Posts Tagged ‘unconference’

Learning Pool at Geek’n’Rolla – The Event that Rocked

April 22, 2009

long-queue1I was at an unconference yesterday.  It was called Geek‘n’Rolla Tech Crunch and, despite the intermittent whooping and air punching, it was a motivating, inspirational and frenetically busy event.

I call it an unconference, to use an achingly trendy term, because it was cool, unstuffy and informal.  There was a bit of swearing and not a lot of tie wearing.  The speakers signed off with their Twitter addresses as well as their website and email addresses. 

Oh, and there were quite a few cool trilby’s too, especially the neon pink one belonging to the gentleman sitting in front of me with the clashing yellow spectacles.

The speed conveyor belt of speakers, maximum air time of 15 minutes each, delivered up thought provoking and interesting showcases, as well as ideas and experiences of their times as start up businesses in the UK Technical Sector.

Highlights included Andy McLoughlin from Huddle who shared on ‘How to hire a team of peers’ (that’s ‘peers’ not ‘Pierce’ – there really was no need for the smug mug of Mr Morgan, thank you). 

Leisa Reichelt from Disambiguity gave some fab, short and punchy rules to abide by when trying to maximise website usability and William Reeve, one of the entrepreneurs behind the wildly successful, talked about his financial road to success.  We were all ears.

The funniest part of the day?  When the audience’s heckling of the panellists via the live Twitter feed beamed to the huge screen behind them threatened to take over as the floor show. 

Belated congratulations, by the way, to the delegate who used this part of the conference to Twitter about the fact that he’d just asked a beautiful woman techy person to marry him.  Not sure if this was during the lunch break, and whether she said yes, but there you go – it was that kind of day.

And the most cringe-worthy part of the day?  It had to be the orchestrated none-debate from the panel of otherwise successful women tech entrepreneurs.  The topic was ‘How can we get more women involved in tech start ups?’ but no sensible conclusions were reached.  A subject worthy of more structured and sensible debate at another time, certainly. 

My tuppence?  At least this was one gig where the queue for the girl’s toilets was shorter than the boy’s.

So well done to the effervescent Mike Butcher from Tech Crunch Europe, who did a superb job marshalling, chairing, cheer leading and generally buzzing the event along. 

Rock on.