Last week we enjoyed the first Enterprise 2.0 Summit in London. With 78 attendees it wasn’t a big event, but, as far as I’m concerned, it was a successful conference. Now we look forward to the 2015 Paris edition (3-5 February).
This conference is the latest in a long line of #e20s conferences and meet-ups spanning already 6 years.
The first being during CiBIT in Hannover in 2008. In 2009 and 2010, Frankfurt was the lucky city. In 2011 there was no conference, but in 2012 the Enterprise 2.0 Summit returned, and was held in Paris, where it returns annually since.
The London event came about because David Terrar (CXO of Agile Elephant) saw the value in organising a Social Business event in London. Being a returning visitor and panel member of the Enterprise 2.0 Summit David already had close relations with Kongress Media, the long term organiser of #e20s.
The two teaming up to make the London event happen made perfect sense. Lucky for us, now we have two events. The next #e20s in London is already being planned, and will take place 22nd October.
Attending the 2013 edition of the Paris event opened my eyes to a wonderful community, and this does make sense. Social Business (or Enterprise 2.0, read Lee Bryant’s article about naming this shift in business) has to be, per definition, a socially driven movement. It’s simply too big to go at it alone, or to hog any information you have. Besides, you’d have the wrong attitude if this would be your plan.
This reflects on the events, before, during and after. Sure, it takes money to organise such an event, and there are sponsors and tickets need to be sold (get yours).., it is a business too. Next to the wonderful content, I feel the community is what makes attending worth while.
And for me personally, this means I can get out of it what I need. If I have a question, I can tweet it, or ask a speaker. There usually is a solution, or at the very least you’ll have a good discussion.
Although the field of Social Business is not new, ‘we’ have been transforming businesses for over a decade, the convergence of socially accepted changes and technology is driving this digital transformation to new heights.
And despite the fact that we sort of figured out the formula to have a successful change on a company wide scale, things are changing, we are learning and we are progressing.
These events are important, the story needs to be told. I still feel Social Business has the potential to change our world, and the more people are aware of the possibilities the better.
Of course, we have to take care not to become complacent, that we simply repeat what others say and take this movement for granted.
I don’t believe this is happening.
In this field technology never stops, the various software companies are always looking for that next edge, and start-ups are always working hard to get into this space. Microsoft and SAP are main sponsors of the Paris event, showing there is great interest from larger companies, plus, it shows that this 2-day conference is taken very seriously.
But the professionals also look to advance the field. Sure, reputation and personal advancement play part, but this happens in conjunction with finding new ways to approach projects. People like Dion Hinchcliff and Lee Bryant push the envelope, and are more than willing to share what they learn.
Is it worth it?
Yes, everyone I talk to says it’s a great event. It’s unique in its class, especially when you add the MasterClass, a premium choice held the day before the conference. And looking at the line-up for Paris, well, you could do worse.
You could make it a three day event (add a couple of days to enjoy Paris).
In fact, I believe this conference is a must for pretty much anyone, but mainly for those seeking a way to bring their business into the 21st century. Attending this conference will certainly give you a good birds-eye view of what Social Business is about. And with two days, it will be overwhelming, leaving you wondering where to start, if this “thing” isn’t to big.
This is a good thing.
The evolution of a business is never a small thing, and should never be taken lightly. And it doesn’t matter what size your company is, we take it one person at the time, so it’ll just take longer.
But, you will realise it is necessary, that you should give this proper attention. And you’ll also realise that you cannot do it alone, that you need help.
I know this post smells like a big commercial, and in part it is. On one hand I do have a vested interest in the conference (although not a huge, or financial one), I am a part-time member of the Kongress Media family, and I really do want these events to be successful.
But my interest stems from becoming part of this amazing community, where I’ve met so many wonderful people already, and made some great friends.
And, most importantly, I feel strongly about the message, and I do advertise that as much as I can. Everybody should be aware of the fantastic possibilities once you start adopting Social Business practices.
If you have any questions.., please do ask. I’d be happy to answer them, and if I can not, I’ll tell you who can.