I have just spent the last three days at the fourth Like Minds Conference in Exeter. For those of you who have not heard of Like Minds it was founded in 2009 and “connects a wide network of innovative thinkers and doers together at its international events and co-working club locations.” The theme of this year’s conference was “Innovation and Opportunity” and focused around social media, digital technology and SME business development.
This is my review as a first time participant (delegate).
My driver for attending the event was the amazing reviews from previous participants which made me think I couldn’t afford to miss it. I went to the event expecting wow, edgy, futuristic. Sadly I was sorely disappointed by the end of day one. The overall theme was contemplative, not very wow, and I came away thinking is that it? Perhaps my expectations were too high or maybe this is just the stage we are at with social media. Whatever, I just didn’t quite get it.
From day two I relaxed into things a little more and took it as it came. My expectations were less dramatic and whilst on occasions I found what was being said to be a bit obvious overall I found the event interesting and thought provoking.
My top “threes” from the three days are as follows:
The key things I took away:
- To be innovative, creative and find opportunities we need time. Time just to stop doing, to day dream and to think.
- Live for every moment, grap each opportunuity and believe in yourself that you can achieve what you set out to do.
- Social media is just a tool and is not the be all and end all of everything (I already believed this but it was reassuring to hear it from others who know a lot more about this subject than me).
- The moving presentation from Gabrielle Laine-Peters on her experience of 9/11 and living life afterwards.
- The great “immersive” (workshop) with Molly Flatt and James Whatley of 1000heads on the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
- Brilliant story telling from Glenn Le Santo, Chris Ward, Chris Baréz-Brown and Scott Gould.
- There is definite room for improvement with the event administration.
- Three days would have been better as two.
- The “Like Minds Alumni” is cliquey and uncomfortable to break into.
Overall I am glad to have been part of Like Minds 2011. I’ve learned a few things, done some thinking and met some great people but as to Like Minds 2012, who knows..What I do know is that if I attend again it will be with a more open mind.
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