On October 16th, I attended the inaugural LikeMinds conference in Exeter.

In the fast-paced world of social media, 13 days is an awfully long time. I’ve been slow to blog: others have blogged about it ages ago, such as here, here, here, and here, to name a few: a more comprehensive list of blogs on the conference is here on the LikeMinds site.

I took my time in reviewing the event, partly because I’m slow to thought and partly because I wanted to let the noise die down so the signal could come through and I could sort it out in my mind.

So, regardless of what events we go to, why do we go to conferences? Good question. Here’s my list of reasons:

  1. to learn something new
  2. to contribute to a movement or school of thought
  3. to network with like-minded (or not!) people
  4. to get ideas and stimulate my brain
  5. free food and coffee

LikeMinds delivered on all these and more.

The conference was billed as exploring the “ROI on social media”. I want to talk about this in more detail another time because its…well, kind of geeky and interesting, and because I want to just make some general comments on the event. My blog posts are generally too long!

The whole conference was devised, marketed, organised and delivered through social media, and as such was a triumph of the movement. Over 200 people attended in person and over 500 watched the video stream with a load more hitting up the #likeminds twitter hashtag. The venue – Exeter conference centre – was a great place to hold such an event, the sound quality was great, the speakers were uniformly excellent.

Since the conference I have changed the way I use social media, started this blog, and had a whole series of thoughts about my job and how it links to other areas of business, most of which were unconnected to the actual content of the conference – LikeMinds has been a catalyst.

The next one is on the 26th Feb 2010: I’ll be there!