Monday, May 25, 2009

Mobile Monday Edinburgh

Way back in Autumn 2005 I sat in a pub with Jim Black of MX Alliance and Michael Ewins of I-Play chatting about the lack of a technical focused gathering for the mobile and wireless folks in Scotland, and came up with the MX Techtalk event.

These ran with moderate success from then until the end of 2007 by which time they more or less fizzled out. Key learning from it was that the initial focus had been a little too narrow, and that the best events had been when the focus was a little less exclusively technical, more about what we can do with it as opposed to just what we can do and how.

Since then I have been humming and hawing about kicking off something new, and after a number of visits to the excellent Mobile Monday London specifically about running something under the Mobile Monday banner up here, but as often happens it never quite made it to the top of the heap!

During February I became aware of several other folks who were thinking along similar lines. Two of the regular attendees of the techtalks, Steve Brown and Justfone and Gary Irvine of ConnectedDay, the latter also one of the original founders of MX Alliance, were talking to the MoMo London committee about starting up a Scottish satalite of that event. In addition Ben Hounsell of Tenbu was talking to the Wireless Innovation team at Hillington about a mobile focussed event for Scotland.

This all resulted in a group of us getting together in the ETTC conference room to chat about what form of event would make sense, both in terms of appeal and sustainability, and also simply fitting into the existing landscape of technical and business events in Edinburgh which has become considerably more crowded since I started the techtalks in 2005! Present were:
The formula we decided to run with (taking seeds of inspiration from Mike Coulter's excellent new media coffee morning - see pages on facebook and 38minutes) initially at least is a gathering around an inexpensive and informal networking lunch at Centotre on George Street in Edinburgh on the first working Monday of each month, with mainly informal discussion around topics provided by the attendees, but with the potential for specific after lunch speakers as well in due course. This will almost certainly develop over time!

Our first event on 11th May was semi-closed, with each of us inviting a couple of guests. In the end 12 of us got together in the downstairs boardroom at Centotre and a good lunch and even better discussion was had - and photographed by Richard.

We have now created a google group in support of the event so please do join that to keep in touch with what we are doing! The next meet on 1st June will be open to all - with booking via Amiando by Wednesday 27th. I am looking forward to it!

PS. The latest Carnival is up over at the Mobile Broadband Blog.

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