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Inspector Gjelstad Looked Up The Stairs ...

Inspector Adam Gjelstad looked up the stairs and sniffed. The air hung thick with the smell of booze, bar fights, and scariest of all, Betty.

Webstock - the attendee view

I'll be writing up my "professional" points gained at this years Webstock conference over at the Enterprise 2.0 New Zealand style blog. This is my non-professional view on stuff that happened ...

Oh, before I get into it check out my own 5 minutes of fame:

Flickr: screen

The organisation and presentation of Webstock is by far and above the best of any other conference ("summit", "...con", "symposium") that I've been to in my 20 or so years within IT - and that includes the many whilst I manned the Businees Objects stand in Australia.

Flickr: Webstock BadgeMike and his kick-ass team manage to embue into every facet a sense of 'New Zealand with a definite Wellington taste'. As Russell put it with his delightfully titled, Wellington, you win:
The people behind it have correctly deduced that you don't get a bunch of tech conference stars to fly across the Pacific by being ordinary. It's not just the organisation, it's the richness of the branding around it.

For instance the conference bags* were top quality, well designed and just plain usable ... laptop size!

My favourite well thought out idea was the name tags that everyone hung on string around their necks (see picture right). Not only did it get you in/out and let people know who you are it was a little flip book with the conference programme (day per page) ... good, it gets better - it was printed upside down so when you opened it up it was the right way round for you to read. It screamed, "We've thought of you people and what you want to do" which, as it happened, was a strong theme throughout the whole conference.

Also, after reading Russell's posting it seems the speakers were also given an amazing Webstock experience.

I'd like to say how amaing the event organisers Clockwork were, especially Nicky. She was willing to look after my heavy bag of goodies (clothes to change into/out of) and even take them and the laptop away with her to be delivered on Monday so that I could go out to watch the rugby with The Dropkicks**

What else. Peoples Coffee cart was top notch qualiry and I still don;t know how the guys just kept on going all through the day - I would suggest "by drinking coffee" but I'm sure they are sick of the smell, taste and look of the stuff after a good 10 hours!

All the speakers nailed it one way or the other and I didn't leave dissapointed by any.
All the attendees seemed to have a cracking time ... but who really can tell with Kiwis :-)

One gripe - the WiFi sucked the Kumara ... just not worth having really as it was up and down more times than [insert favourite slutty actress]. Shame but I agree with someone I was talking to that said, "Well, if te speakes are any good we probably shouldn't be online anyway" - and generally they were all good enough to shut the laptop lid.

The post match functions on both days were top. Thursday was time for Sue to show off just how connected she is by hosting a Craftstock packed with your very favourite crafty/non-corporate manufacturers. Of course my favourites were Hadyn/Amy's and Glenn/Marthas but I am also falling in love with [I promise to fill in name of jeweller when I find her card] 's work and bought a pair for Liz (it was Valentines Day on Thursday, remember?)

Wanda Harland
(Martha's physical shop in Petone) also provided the furnishings for the Scoop Chill Out Lounge - thanks Martha.

Friday after match was good more booze and fine food (thanks Chris and Google) with prizes given away - I didn't win the Wii for my entry into the Webstock Flickr competition (this did) but I managed to make it to the final 16.
Neither did I win a Chumby ... which is probably just as well as I would have had to sell it to find out what it does/could do.

I (re)met up with loads of people and I'm sure the MiramarMike business can only grow from here - mighty! Great to meet ex-colleagues from CCC and MoH :-)

All-in-all a grand old time was had by myself, all my fellow smokers and I'm sure the rest of the attendees of all types.

Thanks to Mike and the gang one more time - roll on 2009!

And I have sent my suggestions and feedback to the Webstock team
If you were there go and do the same so it can grow into an even more fabulous event

* every conference has a bag of goodies supplied by the sponsors/exhibtors - the contents were K but the bag was top!
** I never got to the rugby as I left the Town Hall far too late - next time guys! AND, Happy Birthday Hadyn!

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