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Posts Tagged ‘fsb conference’

A Week in Leicester

Toyah Wilcox with Peter Scargill in LeicesterThe highlight of the week for me has to be having met Toyah Wilcox – amazing experience. She was about to go live on stage at the FSB Annual Conference… and we met up in the holding room first for introductions. Amazingly pleasant and despite crutches due to an injury she put the effort in to give us some decent photos…

As IT Director it is my job at our conferences to ensure our presence on the web includes topical reporting, imagery, video and this year – social media.

On the social media front it is our first shot at doing this properly at one of our conferences and everything worked wonderfully well, with nice comments coming in throughout.

The delegates (several hundred) arrived on Thursday for the AGM (in which new national officers such as the chairman are elected),  at Curve, Leicester (don’t ask why they don’t call it “The Curve”)followed by 2 days of debates, resolutions and exhibition.

imageJohn Allen - new National Chairman of the FSBFriday after  a very early start, I caught John Allan – the new National Chairman, in our hotel and video interviewed him on the spot – John has some strong views on out of town parking as you’ll see – the video is on the FSB website along with many other videos.

Later in the morning we had an excellent talk by Peter McAvoy of Google – I met him some months ago in Southern Ireland while at an ESBA meeting at Google’s HQ.

He talked about Google’s ideas and in particular, Google Glass which is a fascinating project about to come to fruition and involving micro-miniature circuitry effectively putting the power of a modern mobile into a set of glasses with transparent projection in front of your eyes. The video explains what they’re trying to achieve.

Peter Scargill (right) with guest Peter McAvoy of GoogleThe rest of Friday was taken up with various policy-related talks and we had the RT Hon Vince Cable doing his thing along with other political speakers including the RT Hon Owen Paterson.

The exhibitions included Dell and Microsoft (the latter funded the excellent Friday night drinks reception) as well as the guys from Passing vanESBA (European Small Business Alliance) – Saturday saw more of the same culminating in the talk by Toyah Wilcox.

The whole lot is up on the web (I should add that was surrounded by an excellent team of staff and volunteers who’re working hard to make sure this all runs smoothly – but these photos are my own). Here are some more pics from the event.Twitter feed live at Conference

Marilyn lookalike

Toyah Wilcox

Early Sunday Morning in Aberdeen

Amusements in Aberdeen

It’s a lovely Sunday morning here in Aberdeen at the seafront. The FSB’s conference which I’ve been working on since Tuesday is now all done and dusted, is all done. It would all have gone without a hitch had it not been for some idiot turning the electricity off at the last minute, losing hours of valuable time for our IT support guys.

Conference is always a great time, meeting people you’ve not seen for a year or more, the political wrangling, new places to visit, new technologies to try out. I’ve spent the past few days struggling with my new Dell Studio XPS laptop which has been acting up and new video software as I put myself in charge of “voxpops” which means processing vast amounts of video data for just a few moments of results. The whole thing has been interesting and at times, quite exciting.

My last duty last night after dinner (something like 700 attendees) was to announce, along with our recruitment chairman and a very enthusiastic staff member the results of a competition for the best interviewee (we had a roving cameraman along with said staff member doing interviews throughout the event, asking members their views on a range of subjects). Even that had it’s political elements as the outgoing secretary amazingly managed to call the staff member up on stage while totally ignoring the fact that myself and the recruitment guy were a key part of the presentation. Fortunately between us we expertly rescued the situation and I got up on the platform with the mic for a few short minutes, which in itself was a nice end to the occasion.

Amazing car in AberdeenHard work, hard play and non-stop for days on end… This morning it all seems different, everything is very quiet, the sun is up already and it’s boding well for a quiet morning driving home. Next week we start afresh, new senior executives, no doubt new ways of doing some things, but life moves on and I’m sure I’ll enjoy every minute of the changes… not so for some folk who’ll now be considering retirement as the job they’ve done for years and years suddenly disappears from view.

And now a quiet breakfast, possibly a trip to the seafront – and then we start the long drive home. If the conference is of any interest, visit the website or even the mobile version.