HD Live ’09 Technology Conference a Total Success!Posted Friday, October 16th, 2009
So, October 14th ’09 saw the region of Hull get its first Digital Technology Conference. I was asked to speak at the conference a while back from its founder Jon Moss, to which I agreed without question. I was also commissioned with the task of designing the website for HD Live which was featured on my portfolio a couple of months back. Well, what an experience! The conference was incredible, I met some fantastic people, learned a load about what was going on with all things digital, and received a very warm welcome from a fantastic audience when I finally stepped up to the podium.
My journey started on the night of the 13th, I traveled down to meet all the speakers for a pre-conference dinner which was great. We got down to some techie talk over some calamari and pizzas! I must say for a very small group of people I don’t think I have ever seen more iPhones in my life!
Within the group was the keynote speaker, Rory Cellan-Jones, BBCs Technology Correspondent, Charles Arthur from The Guardian, Anand Verma from Sapient Interactive and Kai Gait from GSK. Also present was Matt Seward who won his ticket to come to the meal and conference through the HDLive competition. Matt runs a small web design agency in Leeds called Kilo75, and he was a pleasure to chat to.
After dinner we all headed back to the hotel where I spent the next 2 hours in my room pacing over my speech and making my final modifications. Then it was off to bed for a well earned rest before the big day!
8.15am came pretty sharpish, I even un-characteristically missed my breakfast! (Nerves!) We arrived at KC Stadium, the venue for the conference just on time to get setup with the AV guys who did a marvelous job throughout the day.
The conference opened with Rory’s keynote on “Digital and technology in the UK today” which was extremely enlightening. Jaan Orvet then followed, The Swede from Noded! His talk was on Noded, entitled “Don’t limit yourself – work Noded” It was an extremely interesting speech about finding the best team for particular web projects and searching outside the box. I have just downloaded a copy of his book, “Noded – The Untouchable Business” which was written along with his business partner Andreas Carlsson. I am sure it will be a very interesting read.
Charles Arthur and Mike Butcher from TechCrunch also spoke, Mike gave an interesting speech about business start-ups.
We had a break for lunch where again, I ate very little as I was first up after the break! 1.30pm arrived and it was my turn to go on. I was quite pleased with how much I actually held my nerve, (Kai may disagree!). My speech was all about how much a well designed website can influence a business and its presence on the web.
It was quite difficult to judge the audiences technical knowledge so I didn’t go to much into coding techniques and covered off more detail on good design practices. It seemed to go down really well!
After me was Kai with his talk on his on going digital battles in the pharmaceutical world, the difficulties they experienced when incorporating social media into their business due to different rules and regulations, and how relying on strong content written for search will enhance a websites rankings. Kai also mentioned that its been heard some GPs gather their medical information from Google! Which is rather worrying…
Next up was Karen Barber from Audio Boo. Karen had a few technical problems at the beginning of her talk but pulled it back marvelously once she really got into her business and booing!
And finally to round up a great day was Anand Vermas talk. I have to admit, I was totally taken back by the quality of work Sapient are producing and Anands talks was extremely inspiring. He touched on a project they are working on to close his talk involving Augmented Reality, which was pure wizardry! I am definitely going to have to get my study cap on and get myself some of that intel!
So all in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and a great experience. There is already now talk of HDLive10 so lets watch out for next years conference!
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