Media140 – Social Media in London

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Media140 Social meetup in London

Media140 Social meetup in London

Almost every event organsier talks about creating an engaged and involved audience. Sadly it rarely happens.

On Thursday I spoke at the Media140, a Social Media Meetup in London. The event was mostly dominated by Social Media agencies and consultants. There was a lively atmosphere, a loud shouty man and most of all, lots of energetic interaction.

I am still trying to work out exactly what the magic formula was. Perhaps because only a hardcore bunch made it through the snow; so they were determined to speak up. Or maybe it was the free drinks that created a positive and friendly Twitter back-channel from the off.

So what can event organisers, searching for elusive interaction, learn from the Media140 event? One factor that definitely made a difference was the style and approach of Guy Stephens (Carphone Warehouse) and Richard Baker (formerly General Manager, Virgin Trains). They kicked things off with an informal open conversation about Social Media. And they brought two key things to the debate:

1. A specific angle, social media for customer service, in which they had clear expertise

2. An openness to debate. Their style was non-lecturing, they didn’t pretend to know all the answers and it was clear they wanted to be challenged and learn from the audience.

Perhaps it’s something about Social Media – we’re all learning together – that makes interaction more likely. But clearly personal style goes a long way. And I suspect it’s especially important to make sure your first speakers have the right tone.

If you’re working in social media in London then I recommend you sign up for the next Media140 Meetup Thanks @andegregson and @KatePickering for organising it and for @Guy1067 and @Richard_Baker for the engaging conversation on Social Media for Customer Service.

Oh and my favourite Social Media takeaway of the event was that Social Media Agencies need organisational change management skills as much as they need marketing, PR or customer service capabilities.

Image courtesy of Iain Weir

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6 Responses
  • Rich Baker Social Media
    Jan 17, 2010

    Thanks Charlie – it was good to see you and hear you speak. Thanks for the feedback about interaction; Guy and I were very keen to replicate what happens online, offline. I have considerable experience facilitating groups offline and feel it’s where events need to go.
    I agree that Social Media Agencies need organisational change management skills if they are to implement a more sustainable cultural change. I have been working on some ideas on how to sustain business change with social media and seems that might be where things are moving.

    Rich Baker Social Media Jan 17, 2010
  • Jan 17, 2010

    Charlie, it was great to meet you on WEDNESDAY (it seems you mind is still feeling a little muddled ;) I just wanted to congratulate you on your observations about what I too thought was one of the most enjoyable social media gatherings I’d been to.

    FYI the loud shouty man was @lesanto, well worth a follow.

    B Tranquil

    Stuart Witts Jan 17, 2010
  • chris hall ( @chrish10 )
    Jan 18, 2010


    Thanks for posting your views on Wednesday’s meet up. As one of the 40 or so who braved the weather and travel complications, I thought it was everything social media should be – collaborative & engaging!
    Speakers didn’t just talk at the listening audience they invited them to join in and take part.This way ideas were discussed and new ones formulated, and all conversations after the ‘talks’ seemed to be smaller groups carrying on similar themes.
    It was great to talk to you too. Catch up soon.
    …so until the next event which embraces all these ideals.

    chris hall ( @chrish10 ) Jan 18, 2010
  • Twankers
    Jan 18, 2010

    It sounds as if it was a good meeting and discussion. Would it be possible to produce a “Top Ten” social media takeaways from the meeting? We’re always looking for great content. Thanks

    Twankers Jan 18, 2010
  • Jan 18, 2010

    Thanks all for the comments – esp. Stuart for pointing out my date mistake.

    I guess there were two loud shouty guys: @lesanto and the other guy who had the amusing moment with the microphone. Sadly I didn’t catch his name.

    Charlie Osmond Jan 18, 2010
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