My how time flies. BizCamp was a week ago and I am still processing contacts and connections I made there.
First of all let me say what an amazing event it was. Oversubscribed by 70% with a week to go and 3 times as many speakers as we had sessions for. The venue was perfect, facilities wonderful and the food was just perfect too. A huge thank you to the event team who volunteered their time on the day and especially to the BizCamp leadership team who have devoted many hours, and quite a few pounds and euros, over the past 4 months to make this all happen. I want to thank Nichola Bates of GrowSalesOnline most of all for her leadership and vision in making this happen.
And let’s not forget the amazing sponsors Firmus Energy, Dell, Lumen, Fortress, The Adventure Team (these guys have more fun than anyone I know!), Microsoft, AllState, Empowering Change, The Web Bureau, Kim Johnston Executive Search, 2b, Novosco, Digicube, I love Mondays, Momentum and GrowSalesOnline (what a cool web site!) and JustNI.
It is hard to distill down to a few nuggets what I learned from the day but here are some of the gems of wisdom I picked up by just going to sessions:
From Jase Bell: “Data is the new oil, in the next ten years it will be the world’s most valuable natural resource”
From Ken Fitzpatrick: “Ask your sales person why they sell. If their answer does not include ‘because I like making lots of money’ it’s time to find a new sales person.”
From Sven Kielgas: “QR codes don’t have to be ugly” and “Marketing is engagement.” And what a great presentation! Some very cool ideas about marketing to mobile devices.
From Ian Graham: “The cloud will dominate deployment platforms.”
From Eve Earley: “Live by your personal imperatives, each day make one act of charity, one act of kindness and do one thing to restore the world.”
From Yanky Fachler: “We get praise and encouragement from our family when we get a job but we get warnings and discouragement when we say we’re starting our own business.”
And in the corridors and at lunch the place was a-buzz with networking. I met politicians, and would-be politicians, civil servants, venture capitalists and angel investors, mentors and life coaches, web designers, ecommerce gurus, people with ideas to share, people with problems to be solved, engineers, accountants and they all had one thing in common … they were all full of energy, optimism and excitement.
At dinner the night before, in the beautiful Malone House, the conversation ranged across many topics but it kept coming back to one thing: the huge opportunity that Northern Ireland offers for business. With the government and the economy crumbling in the Republic there has never been a better time.
BizCamp Belfast was the perfect setting for that energy to be focused. Now BizCamp goes on the road to Newry in January. I’d register early – it is going to be the place to be.
PS: I spoke too. My presentation is below.