Opening the conference was award-winning science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer, telling audience members that thinking in the present actually places you behind forward thinking trends. He urged the audience to think years in advance, highlighting the emergence of digital technologies, all content streaming, and 3d and interactive experiences. Perhaps his most entertaining quote was when talking about how easy things will be in the future, he noted that “the future is a drunken slut you can take home every night.”
Following Robert’s keynote audience members were met with panel discussions highlighting professional, and traditional, media enthusiasts, as well as ‘real-world’ media users. The first panel highlighted the need to create cross-platform content providers, allowing users to access information on any platform. Noted blogger and author Shel Israel described the future teens and media consumers as advertising-resistant, likening them to a non-stick frying pan. His most prudent analogy to new media was that “rock and roll didn’t replace Opera, but it changed the world.” Shel’s optimism and forward thinking was an attitude not shared by others on the panel. Shel also stressed that companies can no longer consider their users as dumb consumers, and that this relationship must operate on transparency.
The lunchtime keynote was a presentation by Bridezilla creator Tony Chapman of Capitol C. Dissecting the campaign, Tony outlined the motives behind the launch, analytics, and future campaign spin-offs. Tony’s presentation complimented Shel’s thoughts, stressing that “consumers really have that bullshit meter up”, and that companies need to be wary of it.
Other panels presented new media ideas during the Chum U-Pitch challenge, and surveys understanding consumer preferences. Stay tuned for more play-by-play, and if you were in attendance (and wirelessly working now during the conference) feel free to leave a comment!