I get asked this question a lot: first time speakers, corporate types, communicators.
I don’t get asked the same question afterwards, because by the end of it, everyone gets it. It is the Woodstock of Communications, with a big – and growing – diverse crowd assembling from all over the world (34 countries this year) to share & learn, but more importantly, to know each other.
As a Co_Chairman I have taken part in the efforts to find the right people, make the panels interesting, shed presentations in favor of discussion. We sit in a very important Hall, where other important discussions take place a few weeks earlier and we discuss grand themes such as the future of our profession together with industry leaders, politicians, media representatives.
Of course, we leave with more questions than answers, but also determined to pick up the conversation again next year, while continuing it over the 12 months.
With some of these people I have also forged business relationships, others I dragged in on the strength of past business relationships. Some live so far that it is unlikely I will see them again before the next edition, but there have been exceptions.
The most interesting part for me is that the Western World representation is a small minority: I hear companies talk about the need to understand emerging markets, yet all they would need to do is rent one of the rooms upstairs and watch us swingin’ by for 48 hours, engage in discussions, disagree and agree, have wild fun.
Will I see you there next year?