Wednesday, December 21, 2011

BlackBerry DevCon–Special Reader Offer

Just a quick post to let you know that I have a discount code for the upcoming BlackBerry DevCon Europe happening on 7/8 February 2012 in Amsterdam It’s the first time they’ve brought their popular DevCon to Europe (previously, it has only run in Asia and USA) and it promises to be a great event.

The BlackBerry® Developer Conference is the showcase for the latest innovations and breakthroughs with the BlackBerry® Development Platform. Thousands of BlackBerry enthusiasts come together to collaborate with platform experts from the community and attend sessions, demonstrations, hands-on labs and keynotes — all focused on developing leading mobile applications, no matter your skill level.

It's an amazing opportunity to connect with BlackBerry experts, get tips and discover ways to build for the BlackBerry platform whether in native or using web standards that allows you to extend your work onto other platforms. You'll walk away ready to reach a community of 70 million subscribers.

There’s an early bird rate (Euro 250) available until Friday 23 December and you can get 50% off that using this blog’s special offer code DSTNS0. And after that, you’ll get 50% off the standard rate (Euro 350) with the same code up until 18 January 2012. In addition, all delegates will receive a BlackBerry Playbook Tablet. Now that’s not too shabby a deal.

You need reasons to go? Well, here’s a few for you

  • Train on the latest developer tools first hand, like BlackBerry WebWorks, APIs, BlackBerry Messenger SDK, BlackBerry 7, and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
  • See best practices that will ensure a better understanding of the options for connecting to back end infrastructure, deploying apps, and how to use web services to our advantage
  • Get up to speed on not just developing apps, but how to come up with multi-endpoint strategies using web technologies
  • Be inspired by looking at what other companies are doing and how their approaches could benefit your company
  • Learn how to develop Super Apps that do more for staff while they work away from the office
  • Connect with the best of the best in the industry — from Research In Motion (RIM) leaders to partners and colleagues — ask questions and see if they've solved challenges you face

Hope to see some of you there.

Fun and frolics at the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards 2011

I’ve been a regular columnist for Mobile Marketing Magazine for some time now and have been a judge for their awards both this year and last year. Even better though, this year, I got to present the awards alongside David Murphy at Delfina. This was a great honour for me, made even better as I knew so many of the entrants and winners personally. So here’s my blog post rounding up the occasion. If you have time to read through to the end, you’ll see the list of winners and finalists and also some information about why they won and videos where there are videos available. These make for good case study examples in many sectors and in many countries. They’re not limited to the UK. Special thanks to David Murphy and John Owen for including me in the proceedings. And thank you to the sponsors, Upstream, Propel and OpenMarket for supporting such a great initiative.

I’ve only just spotted that the video from the event is up now which I’ve included here.

The photos are also up on flickr and you can see the set below

And of course, last but not least, details of all the winners
Winners include: The Guardian; Sainsbury’s (Groupe Aeroplan); BSkyB; Pepsico (Rabarba); Auto Trader; New Look (MIG); TripAdvisor; British Airways (Incentivated); Debenhams; Chiltern Railways (Masabi); Disasters Emergency Committee (OpenMarket); Txtlocal; Sony Columbia Music (Fetch Media); Buongiorno; Mippin; Rippll; Flexion.
Most Effective Mobile Site
Winner: The Guardian for The Guardian Mobile Site
Summary: Developing the mobile site is part of The Guardian’s Open Strategy. Its core purpose is to increase the reach of the brand. The aim is to deliver text and image content in a fast, fresh site that will appeal to readers on any handset in any country.
Results: Since launch in March 2009, has grown into the UK’s number one mobile content service for the digital newspaper industry, achieving over 7 million unique browsers and page views of more than 36 million per month. It accounts for around 12 per cent of The Guardian's total digital traffic and has seen a 233 per cent increase year on year. has also seen strong growth in its global audience, particularly from the US (2.12m unique browsers) and Canada, Ireland, Australia and India. Combining targeted mobile ad solutions with rich-media formats has allowed The Guardian to grow advertising revenues by more than 80 per cent year on year.
bemoko/Macmillan Cancer Support for Macmillan Mobile Site
Found/Autoglass for Smashing the Glass Repair Market on Mobile
Incentivated/Centaur for Marketing Week Live!
New Look/MIG for New Look’s Mobile Commerce Site
Somo/Audi for Audi Mobile Site
Most Effective Mobile Sales Promotion/Direct Response Campaign
Winner: Pepsico/Rabarba for Pepsi Content in a Bottle
Summary: Unique codes were found under the lids of Pepsi bottles. Consumers who texted the unique codes under the Pepsi can lids won: a) one month free Premier League Live Football subscription from Turkcell including live goal videos, breaking news and information about their favourite teams of choice; b) one month free Ring Back Tone (RBT) subscription from Turkcell, so when people called them they would hear one of five different tracks instead of the usual ringtone; c) each participant also won 12 hours of free airtime from Turkcell.
Results: During the four-month period, 3 million people participated in the campaign up to four times each on average; totalling up to 11.5 million participations. At the end of this campaign, Pepsi reached its highest market share in the last eight years.

Highly commended: Found/Autoglass for Smashing the Glass Repair Market on Mobile
OpenMarket for Disasters Emergency Committee East Africa Drought Appeal
Pharos Mobile for Burger King Monopoly Madness
Saudi Telecom Company/Upstream for 100 BMW X5 *100 Days
Turkcell/Aerodeon/Shell Turcas for Shell FuelSave Fuels
Most Effective mCommerce Solution
Winner: New Look/MIG for New Look’s Mobile Commerce Site
Summary: New Look launched its fully transactional mobile website in April 2011. The HTML5 and CSS3-based site was designed and built by Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) and integrates into New Look’s back-end systems. Key features include fast one-click checkout for registered users; engaging zoom functionality; easy to browse products in one, two or three column formats; seamless viewing with accordion navigation to reduce page refreshes and single consumer shopping basket between the website and mobile site. Two sites were built – one for high-end devices and one for low-end devices. The redirect automatically detects the user’s device and serves the best mobile experience for that specific device.
Results: In three months the mobile site delivered 24 per cent increase in mobile visits, 60 per cent increase in orders and 45 per cent increase in revenue. • See this video demo
Pizza Express/2ergo for Pizza Express iPhone App
Usablenet/JD Sports for JD Sports Fashion Mobile
Most Effective Mobile Advertising Campaign
Winner: Fetch Media and Sony Columbia Music for the launch of Calvin Harris & Kelis single Bounce.
Summary: The only promotion for the new Calvin Harris single was via mobile advertising. The campaign objective was to drive engagement and purchase of the new single so moving it up the charts and encouraging more radio play, thus making it the summer anthem of 2011. The media targeted was Shazam, Ministry of Sound and MTV. A rich-media HTML5 ad campaign was specially built for MTV, using a ball bouncing in the banner, once visitors tapped on the ball, they were exposed to a full screen expandable ad inviting them to watch the video and buy the single.
Results: The campaign received more than 8 million impressions within 10 days. 30 per cent of the people who clicked through the ad watched the video or clicked to iTunes. The single went straight into BBC Radio 1’s A List and charted at number 2 in its first week in the iTunes chart.

Found/Autoglass for Smashing the Glass Repair Market on Mobile
NAVTEQ Media Solutions/Peugeot for Peugeot Hyper-local Advertising Campaign
Nokia/Pring for Nokia Eidi on Pring
Vogue Turkey/Rabara for Vogue Turkey’s 1st Year Anniversary Campaign
Warner Bros/Millennial Media/Odyssey Mobile Interaction for Green Lantern
Most Effective Mobile CRM/Enterprise Messaging Campaign
Winner: Incentivated and British Airways for British Airways SMS Customer Service Messaging
Summary: BA’s text service, available for UK- and US-registered mobile phones, allows passengers to get up-to-the-minute flight information for yesterday, today and the next 14 days, direct to their mobile, using the dedicated shortcodes. Messaging services include the following notifications: disruption to service; online check in open; lost baggage warning; standby notifications for staff; maintenance messages for staff; flight information services for people meeting a passenger.
Highly commended: Ericsson IPX/Velti for A&N Mobile CRM
MePlease for MePlease SmartLinks
Nokia/JWT/Bemoko for Nokia Source
Most Effective Mobile Ticketing Solution
Winner: Masabi/Chiltern Railways for Ticket Machine in Your Pocket
Summary: In May 2011, Chiltern Railways was the first rail operator to go live with the full barcode ticket system provided by transport-ticketing specialist Masabi and ticketing services provider Atos. Rail passengers with smartphones or feature phones can buy and receive rail tickets through one transaction for any rail journey in the UK. Barcodes can be securely validated on the train using the guard's portable ticketing machine. Unlike most commercial booking services, the Chiltern Railways application does not charge a booking fee and is free to download. To get the application passengers just need to text “Chiltern” to 88600 or search the relevant app stores.

Movement/Virgin Media for mTicketing at V Festival: Our Garden
Safaricom M-Pesa/Redsky for Safaricom M-Pesa Ticketing
Most Effective Mobile Charity Campaign/Solution
Winner: OpenMarket for the Disasters Emergency Committee East Africa Drought
Summary: More than 10 million people in East Africa have been left in need of food, water and emergency healthcare because of one of the worst droughts in 60 years. Working with the Disasters Emergencies Committee (DEC), OpenMarket supported the UK appeal by enabling SMS donations via its mobile payments and campaign management platform, CMX2. TV and print media ad campaigns encouraged people to donate £5 (US $7.83) directly to the appeal by texting ‘HELP’, ‘CRISIS’, ‘AID’, ‘DONATE’, ‘HELP’, ‘SUPPORT’ or ‘AFRICA’ keywords to 70000.
Results: More than £1,200,000 (US $1,878,798) has been raised via SMS donations since DEC launched the Appeal in June 2011. This is 500 per cent more than DEC had raised from text donating in the past. The campaign also allowed donors to opt-in to Gift Aid, meaning that individuals can increase their donation by 25 per cent if they opt in to the HMRC Gift Aid scheme – 60 per cent of donors subsequently opted in.
Highly commended: M&S/Oxfam/Profero for the One-day Wardrobe Clear out
Bemoko/Macmillan Cancer Support for Macmillan Mobile Site
DIDMO/Salvation Army/GetJar for Salvation Army Daily Cup Social Justice
National Geographic/Velti for The Last Lions
Safaricom M-Pesa/Redsky for Kenyans for Kenya
Most Effective Mobile Application – b2b
Winner: Auto Trader for Dealer Portal iPhone App
Summary: The Dealer Portal Mobile app allows dealers to manage their advertising any time, any where on their iPhone. Dealers can take photos of their stock on their iPhone, view their forecourt and edit adverts, all on the move. A ‘Profit Indicator’ helps dealers calculate the margin they’d make, with a suggested price. This is based on real-time, accurate, market-based information and helps to reduce the risk associated with purchase and increase the likelihood of making a profit. To ensure that enough dealers had iPhones, Autotrader ran a promotion which gave away a free iPhone to dealers who purchased a particular mobile advertising product bundle. 1,250 dealers took up the iPhone offer.
Results: 1,788 dealers have logged onto the app since launch, representing about 19 per cent of the online Dealer Portal users. 66 per cent of app users return each month; 40 per cent of app users uploaded an advert in August 2011.

Egencia for Egencia Mobile iPhone App
Global Bay for iPad Retail App
O2 Media/Golden Gekko for O2 Media App
IDG Global Solutions/OMG/HP for IDG/HP ROI Resource Centres
Safaricom M-Pesa/Redsky for M-Pesa Buy Goods
Most Effective Mobile Couponing or Barcode Campaign
Winner: Groupe Aeroplan for Sainsbury’s Mobile App
Summary: The Sainsbury’s mobile app (for iOS, Android and Nokia) launched in August 2010 provides collectors of Nectar loyalty points with their points balance and exclusive offers. It consistently generates significantly higher response rates than other Sainsbury’s direct marketing channels. Sainsbury’s and FMCG suppliers provide the offers that are displayed on both the Sainsbury’s and Nectar apps for four weeks. The offers can be targeted by gender and category (i.e. targeting customers that mostly shop in certain aisles e.g. pet, baby, alcohol, and integrates with the Sainsbury’s Feed Your Family for £50 campaign via a meal planner for recipe inspiration. Shoppers can also purchase general merchandise through the app and will be able to buy food soon.
Incentivated for M&S Mobile Loyalty Program
ScanBuy for Taco Bell – Unlock the Box
Most Effective Mobile Application – b2c
Winner: Debenhams for Debenhams iPhone, Nokia and Android App
Summary: Launched in October 2010, the app offers the full Debenhams range for sale with delivery to the customer’s door or collect from store. They can view multiple product images with zoom capability and tailor searches using the ‘narrow the selection’ button were they can filter by type, brand, colour, price, and size. This was the first app on the UK high street to include a barcode scanner that acts like a virtual shopping assistant. The app also allows Debenhams to push location-based offers to customers that are near the stores.
Results: The app paid for itself within three weeks of launch. In the first 6 months the app had been downloaded 500,000 times and delivered over £1.5 million (US $2.35 million) in sales.

AKQA/Random House for Nigella Quick Collection iPhone App
Future Platforms/Orange for Official Glastonbury App
Grapple for Premier Inn Mobile
Pizza Express/2ergo for Pizza Express iPhone App
Poynt for The Poynt App
Most Effective Location-based Service/Campaign
Winner: Rippll for Rippll GeoWave
Summary: Rippll GeoWave is a technology platform for running location-based mobile advertising campaigns. Rippll provides simple-to-use ad serving tags to publishers and ad networks turning regular ad campaigns into location-based ad campaigns. Rippll GeoWave allows ads to be served in specific regions, such as near the advertiser’s store and allows for different advertising messages to be served in different locations. Map-based reporting shows where the ads are working best so publishers and advertisers can optimize campaigns. Rippll works with ad networks 4th Screen Advertising, YOC and StrikeAd to place tags in mobile publishers such as The Guardian, EBuddy and The Sun. Rippll has run location-based campaigns for TGI Fridays, McDonalds, IKEA, HMV, Dove and eBay among others.
Highly commended: Grapple for Fable III Kingmaker
Found/Autoglass for Smashing the Glass Repair Market on Mobile
Mazda/Joule/Mindshare for Mazda MX5 Facebook Deals
NAVTEQ Media Solutions/Peugeot for Peugeot Hyper-local Advertising Campaign
NAVTEQ Media Solutions/Spur Restaurants/Wand for Spur Restaurants Location-Aware Mobile Ads
Most Effective Tablet Application
Winner: BSkyB for Sky News for iPad
Summary: Sky News for iPad is an app built around live events and breaking news displayed chronologically on a timeline that is updated as the news day unfolds. Technology developed by Sky lets users rewind live video to the start – even if the app was not active when the event commenced. Each story is supported by a number of modules that deliver editorial depth and context. Modules include interactive stills, image galleries and graphs, as well as bespoke HTML content created on a daily basis.

Highly commended: DK/AKQA for The Human Body App
Auto Trader for Auto Trader iPad App
Financial Times/Assanka for FT Web App
Somo/Audi for Audi UK’s Guide to Le Mans 2011
Tigerspike/Telegraph Media Group for TMG iPad App
Most Effective Mobile Advertising Platform or Network
Winner: Txtlocal for Txtlocal Control Panel
Summary: 75,000 use the Web-based Txtlocal control panel to send in excess of 25 million text messages every month. Txtlocal allows business to text thousands of people within minutes from as little as UK £0.025. (US $0.038) Txtlocal also enables companies to set up a shortcode to solicit opt-ins to text campaigns or build a mobile Website for recipients of messages to click through to further information.
Results: Using Txtlocal, The English National Opera could advertise last-minute ticket deals and minimise revenue lost from empty seats. Two ENO campaigns delivered £8,000 ($12,530) gross profit from a £500 ($783) spend on text credits. Papa John’s Pizza increased sales 31.7 per cent during a three-day text campaign promoting a discounted price offer. Subway used Txtlocal to inform its customers of special-offer meal-deal promotions generating a response rate of 24 per cent. Domino’s Pizza received 10-12 per cent redemptions from a text campaign delivering £10,000 ($15,661) of sales from a £350 ($548) investment.

Luigi uses Txtlocal to increase customers from Txtlocal Limited on Vimeo.
Adfonic for Adfonic
Blismobile for Blis App Zone
madvertise for madvertise Mobile Advertising Marketplace
Placecast for ShopAlerts by Placecast
Smaato for Smaato Open Mobile Advertising Platform (SOMA)
Most Effective Campaign from a Mobile Operator
Winner: Buongiorno for Recharge and Win
Summary: Recharge and Win is a fully managed revenue stimulation and loyalty program that rewards prepay customers each time they top up. After topping up the customer receives a code allowing them to enter a WAP competition/game to win a reward/prize such as free SMS/Minutes, physical prizes or a paint-ball experience. Buongiorno Recharge and Win customers include Optus Australia, O2 UK, Proximus Belgium, O2 Germany Telecom New Zealand and TIM Italy.
Results: Recharge and Win helps operators increase the monthly spend of participants by 9 per cent and reduce churn among participants by 25 per cent.

Highly Commended: Saudi Telecom Company/Upstream for Win 100 BMW X5 in 100 Days
BigTime/MTN Zambia for Mega Millions Promotion
Future Platforms/Orange for Official Glastonbury App
Orange Romania/Velti for A New Day, a New Life
Most Effective Mobile Travel and Tourism Solution
Winner: TripAdvisor for the TripAdvisor App
Summary: TripAdvisor is a free travel app for iPhone, iPad, Android, Nokia, Windows, Palm available in 123 countries in 20 languages. The app includes a “Near Me Now” function, so travellers can determine what hotels, restaurants and attractions are nearby and a search engine to find cheap flights. The iPhone and iPad 2 version includes “Live View”, an augmented reality feature that allows travellers to view TripAdvisor’s 50 million traveller reviews and opinions of hotels, restaurants and attractions superimposed over what they see through the camera of their mobile device.
Highly commended: Crafted Media and Colchester Zoo for Colchester Zoo Mobile App
Incentivated/British Airways for British Airways SMS Customer Service Messaging
RedFish Media for MGM Luxor Las Vegas Mobile Alerts
Most Effective Mobile Payment Solution
Winner: Flexion for Flexion Wrapper
Summary: Flexion’s wrapper technology creates a small amount of code that is ‘wrapped’ around mobile content such as games or apps, enabling a range of additional services, such as in-app billing, DRM, content discovery and on-device retailing. Content owners can create customized pricing options and promotional models, such as free trials, rentals, bundles and discount and loyalty schemes. The wrapper technology increases conversion rates for apps, by allowing people to try before they buy.
Results: Four million wrapped products are activated every month. Flexion has reached a total of 40 million customers. Consumers have spent a total of UK £27 million (US $42.34) globally on the Flexion platform in the last three years.

Bango for Bango Payment
Flexion for Flexion Wrapper
Payment One for Anyphone
Safaricom/M-Pesa for M-Pesa Buy Goods
Txtnation for JunglePay
Most Effective Mobile Publishing Solution
Winner: Mippin for Mippin App Factory
The Mippin App Factory allows anyone to build an app in just 5 minutes. App Pack prices start at UK £10 (US $15.68) – that includes a Web app for iPhone and Android app, a java launcher and mobile website. Native apps cost £500-£2,000 ($784-$3136).
Results: Over 40,000 apps have been built on App Factory implementations in the last 18 months. The most successful of these are OK! Magazine app (downloaded 475,000 times) and the Daily Star app (downloaded 300,000 times).

Using the App Factory to develop a web app for an RSS from WAC Apps on Vimeo.
Rippll for Appsplash
Vodafone/AMVG for vRead
Wapple for Canvas, Architect and Exhibit
Woodwing Tablet Publishing Solution

• 2010 Winners include (brand/agency): M&S (MIG); McDonalds (NAVTEQ); Unilever Cornetto (BlisMobile); Procter & Gamble (Sky Sports); Skåne (Ericsson IPX, LINK Mobility); ClearMen (Turkcell, Rabarba); MTN (Upstream); SwiftKey (TouchType); M&S (Incentivated); Lions Baseball (Fancharge); NXP SemiConductors… Full details and video case studies here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 is the year when traditional retail starts to hurt

Photography by johnthurm
Ouch. I spent 10 years in fashion retail before I went into marketing and later into mobile back in 2000. I still have an affinity for the sector, even though it’s very hard work and not very well paid. So it’s with interest that I picked up on Nic Brisbourne’s article . I can believe that this is the case for sure. We’ve already seen the High Street being hit by the double dip recession as well as online competition. And it’s all very well for those of us in the tech world to cheer that clients now need to get their online and mobile offering right. But it’s not quite so simple.
What worries me is that not everyone shops online or ever will shop online or will ever be able to shop online. Their finances, life circumstance or mental acuity may not support them doing that.. There are still many people in this country who work on a cash-only basis. Because that's the only way they can work. But not only that, the High Street is a social lifeline for so many people that it's demise could have devastating effects on community. For some people, the only other human face they see all day could be a local shopkeeper. I know working from home, alone, much of the time, means that that is the case for me. I like popping in to say hello to my local newsagent and buy a bar of chocolate. I recognise the checkout staff at my local, small supermarket and they’re friendly. This is a very nice feeling. I like to be able to really look at a product before I buy it as and when I have the luxury of time to do my shopping. I like to know there are other people out there.
And for these social reasons, now is the time to rethink what the High Street means and how property companies (for they're the ones dictating rents), the council (they dictate the rates) and retail fits into that picture and the community. I would hate to see the demise of my local stores. I'd hate to be restricted to moving my shopping online. I like going to my local town centre to do my shopping. My Mum goes up to town every single day to do her shopping and that's where she bumps into people she knows. If she didn't do that, she mightn't see anyone other than my Dad day in day out. Are you going to deny her that?
At the same time, the people working in the retail sector, at all levels, from cleaner to general manager, need to think about what they have to do to make a visit to their store a positive experience and one that will be repeated. If fashion and electronics are first for the chopping board, then the retail staff have to up their game unless they want to work in a warehouse. It’s not just about pricing, it’s also about product knowledge, effective and efficient customer service and about making it a sociable and rewarding experience.
And of course, we have to recognise the effects of the recession, of austerity measures, of world economies tanking, of ecological concerns over waste. This has effected changes in consumers too. People are shopping much more carefully, thinking about what they buy and thinking what they actually need and will actually use.
I'm all for technology but I believe it should support community and human well-being not destroy it. I love the work that Space Makers have been doing with the regeneration of Brixton Village market and now The Brickbox are doing similar things at my local Tooting Market. But that’s taken hard graft and commitment and a vision. And they’re only at the start of the journey. I wonder if Mary Portas’s recent recommendations, even if implemented well, will be enough ? Will people sit up and take notice. Or will the online giants like Amazon clean-up? Or maybe there’s another solution out there that’s just waiting to happen…. ?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday to Us!

In case you didn’t know, I organise the Swedish Beers parties and there was a bash last week. And what a lovely time we all had celebrating Swedish Beers 10th anniversary – yes, that’s right, 10 whole years of mobile networking events in London, Barcelona and, until Jenny moved back to London, Sydney. We celebrated in style with a little help from our lovely friends and supporters at Somo and Inspiring Interns, who generously bought all the beers, my friends and cohorts, Jenny, Gabriel, James (who took all the photos) and Catherine, the Nordic Bar for looking after us, and of course to everyone who came.

As ever, there was an eclectic mix of people covering everything from Art to Science with some marketing, brands, media and entrepreneurship in between. For me, it was particularly fun to hear stories about Swedish Beers past where friendships, business partnerships, sales, and investments have been made. It warms the cockles of my heart to hear these and to know that networking at Swedish Beers works! And it wasn’t just the old-timers who turned up in force, there were lots of lovely new faces too to welcome to the Swedish Beers family proving that we’re in a vibrant, growing sector.

Well, not much more for me to say, except thank you to everyone and hope to see a lot of you in Barcelona on Wednesday 29 February for our annual Barcelona bash (get in touch if you’d like to be a co-sponsor – two spots left at the time of writing). In the meantime, enjoy the photos from the party last week.

Created with flickr slideshow.


Helen, Jenny, Gabriel, James and Catherine

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

There’s a lot I’m thinking about and reading at the moment so here’s a few to share with you for your delectation.

The Copyright Industry – A Century of Deceit. A succinct take on the role of copyright (or not) in the 21st Century. Take a look at the comments too. In this networked world, the concept of copyright is questioned.

A lovely little journalism project with the indigenous people of the Northern Territory in Australia. Using mobile technology, they’re creating video journalism. Take a look

The future of news and why ‘digital first’ matters… this article is alluding to the fact that news is now a process not an artefact and there’s a need for mindset change to accompany this.

Fights erupt at Black Friday across the US. For those not familiar with Black Friday, it’s the frenzy for the sales immediately after Thanksgiving. If you thought the first day of the sale at Harrods or Selfridges was crazy, then you need to take a look at this storify of this year’s shenanigans Stateside. I’m glad it’s not like that here in Blighty (at least so far).

Videos of the presentations at the recent Noah conference looking at investment, M&A activity and innovation in the tech world. Lots of case studies and discussion. Worth a look.

The team at 33 Digital have taken a look at the top 10 future trends in social media and have compiled a little report looking at it. Mobile obviously features heavily including some thoughts on automotive and tablets.. Definitely worth a look and it’s free.

In case you didn’t catch this already, this is my friend, Mauricio’s, talk about his adventures in rehab following a stroke at the beginning of the year. A compelling personal story coupled with insight into the role of technology as part of his and his fellow patients rehab. Definitely there are lessons to be learned here.

Five tips for mobile app success from the Vodafone developer relations team. In short, they are

  • Tip 1—Solve a user problem
  • Tip 2—Differentiate your solution
  • Tip 3—Do one thing well
  • Tip 4—Use the power of mashups
  • Tip 5—Iterate and increment

This seems like sensible advice to me and Vodafone goes into more detail about each point here to coincide with the launch of their refreshed app shop, Appselect.

And now for something completely different but no less important… Stan Collymore shares his own experience about depression. Worth a read for both sufferers and non-sufferers to get a wider understanding of the illness. There are also some useful links too.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Swedish Beers–The 10th Birthday Edition–7 Dec 2011

happy_birthday_candles-2011Rather amazingly, Swedish Beers is 10 years old. I can’t quite believe it. I can’t quite believe that I’ve been in one industry that long. I can’t quite believe I’m old enough to have done anything for 10 years! The first Swedish Beers event was in the back of the Nordic Bar (our natural home) and was the brainchild of friend and colleague, Steve Flaherty. He got some of his mates together under the guise of a networking event about technology, put a bit of money behind the bar, courtesy of BT, and a royally good time was had by all and it turned into a regular thing. From the 25 or so people at the first event, we’ve grown somewhat and seen 1000s through the doors and have had parties in London, Sydney and the big one every year – Barcelona during Mobile World Congress. But for our birthday party and a bit of a pre-Christmas bash, we’re back to our old favourite, The Nordic Bar. James and his team will be looking after us.

But of course, it couldn’t happen without the financial support of our lovely sponsors, Somo, and Inspiring Interns and of course, the friendship and support of our friends and regular attendees. It’s all of you who make Swedish Beers what it is today. And for that, I really am grateful.

So back to the birthday bash. It’s the same formula as before – mingle, make friends, talk of mobiles, marketing, life in general, drink beer, talk some more, rinse and repeat. There’s no PowerPoint, no formal speeches, and no agenda. Just come with a smile on your face and be prepared to hang out with everyone from mobilists to marketers, brands, agencies, creatives, media owners, journalists, pundits and more. We hope there’ll be a good mix and friendly faces for you to chew the fat with.

We will have free* house beer, house wine and soft drinks for you courtesy of our lovely sponsors Somo Agency and Inspiring Interns. You’ll have to look for them to get your free beer tokens. There are plenty to go around. *While the bar tab lasts. If we run out of beer tokens and/or the bar tab is spent, then we’ll revert to a pay bar.

What: Swedish Beers Mobile Networking Party – The 10th Birthday Edition

When: Wednesday 7 December 2011 from 6.30pm until 11pm

Where: You'll find us at the Nordic Bar on Newman Street which is the North side of Oxford Street, nearest tube Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus or Goodge Street. We’ll be taking over the whole bar and there’s outside space with heaters for those who like to stand outside in the Winter. There’s no need to RSVP, just turn up. If you’re really feeling the need to RSVP somewhere, then you can do that over here


Helen, & the Swedish Beers crew

About the sponsors


Somo The Mobile Marketing Agency - Orange

Somo is the leading independent mobile marketing agency. Our mission is to help our clients benefit from the rapidly evolving developments in the mobile market. We do this by identifying the potential that mobile marketing can bring to a client’s business, then designing, building and delivering first class campaigns across all mobile platforms. We use sophisticated reporting and tracking tools to measure the success of campaigns to ensure that, whatever the objectives, they are achieved. Head honcho and very knowledgeable, Carl, and his growing team of experienced mobilistas will be on hand to chew the mobile fat with you and to hand out beer tokens.

Inspiring Interns

inspiring interns logo

Inspiring Interns is today's intern recruitment solution, connecting businesses with fresh graduate talent. We search for talented, intelligent, and motivated young interns who want to learn, grow and importantly make a positive contribution through their skill sets and attitude. Any team, whether it is finance, administration, sales, marketing, HR, design or otherwise will benefit from having an intern as an additional team member.

We screen and interview every potential intern that we put forward for a position. We psychometric test them and ensure that we are dealing with highly motivated as well as talented people. If you want to meet any of our interns now you can perform a search or view via the player on our website. Search out the founders and long time friends of Swedish Beers and technokitten, Ben, Benedict, Sam and Charlie who will be on hand for fun, frolics and beer tokens.

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Views and perspectives from the recent MMA Forum in London

A guest post by Emmanuel Legros (twitter), Gemalto

This year’s Mobile Marketing Association Forum held in London was the usual hotbed of discussion around current and evolving market trends. As a member of the MMA, I both attended and presented at the event, speaking in a track session on ‘Doing More’, alongside Nokia, Eagle Eye Solutions, O2 and InMobi, hosted by Jonathan Kelly from Vodafone.

The presentation given by Babs Rangaih from Unilever was one I found particularly compelling. Outlining Unilever’s Mobile Manifesto, including the fact that the FMCG company has further committed to Apple iAd campaigns, as reported Ronan Shields and others, Unilever’s VP of global communications planning made some really intriguing points, including:

· No one is doing a great job in social media yet, which means there’s still an opportunity here

· It’s just the beginning for us and those in our industry, and we can all continue to learn and adapt.

· Mobile is a priority channel – if you lose your wallet, it may take you a day or a few hours to realize it. If you lose your mobile, you notice immediately.

Ultimately, his key message was that mobile marketing needs to be kept simple. It can bring great benefits or utility for consumers, for example through the delivery of mobile coupons.

Attila Weisz, digital marketing manager – IMC, at The Coca-Cola Company, raised a good point in his presentation too, talking about “mobile 3.0”. Even with all the development we’ve seen on mobile platforms, however, SMS still reigns supreme as a mobile marketing medium. Tens of millions of consumers out there haven’t made the leap to a smartphone platform yet.

It was interesting to hear how more and more big companies and corporations are investing in mobile. One major brand claimed it spent 70% of its time on above the line campaigns, 10% on innovation and 20% on mobile! If more companies adopted this investment in mobile, we would be significantly further down the line!

A third presentation that stood out was from the VP of digital products for The Weather Channel – Scott Jensen. In his eyes, mobile needs to be relevant – the keywords here are personal, local and social. Mobile marketing can only ever work if it offers the right message with the right content to the right person at the right time.

Which takes me on to my final thought which flowed through the entire conference, which is that permission-based marketing is the key to success. What marketers, who are embracing the mobile channel, need to be mindful of is that privacy and obtaining permission from consumers is what will determine whether their campaigns are successful or not. Access to this personal information is vital to creating that personalised experience, and consumers need to give you their permission to have that access. Also to note that permission is only granted on a temporary basis and has to be updated over time. People change so permission given once is not permission given forever.

It’s not all bad news though – those who manage to obtain permission stand to make headway with their target audiences. Gemalto has supported a Mobile Marketing Association whitepaper on Permission-Based Marketing (free pdf once you’ve filled in a short request form) which provides further guidance, case study examples and success stories. Worth a read if you want to learn more.

Heroes of the Mobile Fringe (working title)

solo heroMy new thing, or at least one of my new things is the very unofficial fringe festival happening in Barcelona at the same time as Mobile World Congress. You’ll find a landing page at where you can add your email address to be updated, there’s a group on facebook (likes are always much appreciated and if FB is your thing, then you’ll see the updates in your stream too) and you can follow proceedings on twitter and Lanyrd.

So what’s this all about then?

The unofficial fringe festival during Mobile World Congress is down to me. I've been attending the show for many years now and the events on the side (discussion sessions, parties, lunches, roundtables) that have proved at least as valuable and interesting to me as the main event. I've been running the Swedish Beers party and a ladies lunch at MWC for the last 7 years already, and I've also organised panel sessions, dinners, discussion groups and formal lunches. Back in London, I ran Mobile Monday London for the last 4 years or so, Swedish Beers for the last 10 years, and have run my own conferences and workshops in between the day job as a mobile media consultant.

The concept for the fringe festival is pretty simple... inspired by The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the aim is to bring the grass roots mobile community together.

- The website (and hopefully mobile friendly version – funds and resources permitting), will help you find events and happenings that interest you and add them to your diary.

- If you're an event organiser, then you can apply to include your event as part of the festival (and unless it's really dull, we’d love to include it and the more grass roots it is, the better). That way, we share the marketing effort through co-branding and make the pie bigger for everyone to share. If you wish to charge for your event, or you have a sponsor for your event, that's ok with us too.

- If you've not run an event at MWC before, we will try to make it a bit easier for you...I'm currently in the process of blagging cheap/free space so that small companies and communities of interest can apply to hold an event in that space so we'll act as a bit of a matchmaker. We don't mind whether your event is for five people or for 500 or anything in between.

- There'll be an email newsletter and we'll have editor's picks - a bit like The Time Out Guide to Congress if you like. On top of that, I hope to have a roving fringe reporter sharing what's going on under the radar during the festival at Barcelona.

- And if you sign up to our service, there’ll be fringe benefits too, ranging from the big stuff – free tickets to access the exhibition to the smaller stuff – free mobile apps and services to make your week easier to who knows yet – it’s all still in negotiation.

There is no fee to include your event for the fringe festival in February 2012. The business model is sponsorship and advertising. There is also scope for media, community and association partnerships.
The festival will start the weekend before Congress (I'm just negotiating an event for the Sunday, but others may have something up their sleeve for the Saturday too) and we hope to finish a day or two afterwards. Like all good festivals, it is open to all – individuals, big companies, small companies and everything in between.

Get in touch

If you'd like to get involved or would like to discuss further (e.g. sponsorship opportunities, volunteering, media partnerships etc.), please get in touch.

*Please note that the festival is not connected to or endorsed by the GSMA*

Monday, November 14, 2011

Internet Week EU–Mobile Best Practice Panel

It was a busy week last week – it was Internet Week in London and there were a ton of mobile events as part of that. I moderated two sessions, participated in a round table, went to a dinner and attended two mobile conferences. Even by my standards, that’s quite a lot. There were some recurring themes though…

  • Mobile is still being placed in a silo and not prioritised despite proven results. I heard tell of a bank wanting a mobile presence but not willing to put any budget behind it. Another tale of a large retailer whose mobile commerce offering is highly successful but has been ignored in all the above the line marketing for their Christmas push.
  • Ad agencies are one of the barriers – inability to make margin or add value in a mobile proposition; lack of technical knowledge or expertise; blinded by the iPhone; unwillingness to change their way of working to incorporate mobile thinking to be at the heart of the strategy rather than an add-on
  • Mobile marketing budgets are still relatively small as compared with above the line or even social media budgets (despite ~50% of social media being consumed on a mobile device)
  • Clients lacking technical knowledge and lacking in consumer insight means that mobile initiatives are tactical rather than strategic.
  • Arguably, mobile commerce is core business to many organisations now (in the same way as having a bricks and mortar store or an ecommerce offering), but is not treated as thus
  • We’re still talking about statistics to prove that customers have gone mobile. Surely we know this already and we should be moving on to talking about what we do, how we do it and what we learned in the process?
  • There is an obsession with direct ROI in mobile initiatives and a fast one – a few months, maybe a year. Yet in publishing, a new print magazine would not be expected to break even for three years. The mobile experience is more complex than just looking at the number of hits or click throughs and we should be applying research methods from other marketing and commerce disciplines rather than transplanting online advertising models.
  • Accessibility is barely on the radar at all. It seems to be perfectly acceptable to alienate a large proportion of your customers because they don’t have your preferred device, so what chance do people with impairments or disabilities have when it comes to the big guys making their mobile sites and services more accessible?! Oh, and there are at least 54m disabled people in the US and over 6m of them here in the UK.

Much of this, and more, was discussed in my Internet Week panel session last Thursday at The Hospital. My fellow panellists were James Pimentel-Pinto from full-service mobile agency, AgencyMobile, Shawn Thomson from Largetail, consultant Andrea Bauer and Andy Smith, formerly of Admob (Google) and now with mobile couponing specialist Eagle Eye. There were also some interesting questions and comments from the audience. So if you have 40 minutes or so to spare, you may want to take a look or have a listen. Comments and questions welcome.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What’s on in mobile in the next month or two…

We’re definitely in the middle of events season and there are a whole bunch of events coming up in October and November 2011 in the mobile world that I’m attending or involved with in in some way that I thought you might want to know about…
likemindslogo19 to 21 October Like Minds in Exeter – ‘Innovation+Opportunity | How to build brands, businesses and communities for the future’ is the theme for this year’s event which is something close to my heart and close to the hearts of the clients I work with. Although this is not a mobile event per se, I think it will be of interest to mobile start-ups and SMEs. The three day event looks to be a good mix of keynote speakers, immersive sessions and chances to meet and network. And it’s rather refreshingly being held outside of London. You can find out more and book your tickets here: And before you ask, no I don’t have a cheeky discount code for you!
appfusion logo24 October – AppFusion ‘How to work with the Big Names’ takes a look at how to work with big name celebrities and brands as a mobile developer and entrepreneur. Organised by the lovely Jason Dunne, it’s free to attend (although you do need to RSVP as places are limited) and starts at 7pm at Club Bond on Kingly Street. More information and sign up here:
brandperfect logo27 October – the BrandPerfect Tour – Adventures in Mobile hits Berlin. This is organised by Julie Strawson and her team at Monotype Imaging, alongside event partners Fjord, Y&R Brands, University of Reading and RIT and is aimed at brands, agencies (digital, above the line, sales promotion, direct marketing et al), developers and designers to get their heads round what a mobile strategy looks like in the iPhone era. Speakers include Romy Kraus, Sergio Falletti, Aral Balkan and more. It’s not free to attend but I believe it’s good value for money because of the combination of conference style and learning workshop which means you should get more out of the day than your average conference. There are still some free tickets available for press and bloggers. Please get in touch with me if you’d like to be considered for one of those. Otherwise you can buy your ticket here.
ict ktn logo31 October – it’s the final of the ICT KTN / UKTI competition to win a free place to exhibit at Mobile World congress 2012. You’ll see pitches from the shortlisted candidates and they’ll get a grilling from the judges. Winners will be announced on the night. Free to attend but RSVP is required here.
emmas logo3 November – Effective Mobile Marketing Awards Dinner. I’m a big fan of Mobile Marketing Magazine and they’re behind the annual EMMAs awards and this is one of my highlights of the year. I’m lucky enough to be involved in this as a judge for the second year in a row and it was a tough task this year. There were so many good entries, it was a close call in some of the categories. I know it’s going to be a good night out – I’m privy to some of the plans. It’s being held at the rather wonderful Delfina on Bermondsey Street (I had lunch there today and it was smashing). But if you want to join the fun, you’ll have to get your ticket. There aren’t many left so best be quick if you want to participate.
techhub logo7 November – I’m headed for the Shoreditch Roundabout and the techhub lunchtime mobile meet-up. I’m not sure what I’ll be speaking about yet, but it should be a fun session and it’s free to attend (at least as far as I know). You’ll also find that BlueVia are doing their office hours that morning too so you can get a double-whammy of mobile goodness. If you’re not familiar with the techhub vibe, this is a good chance for you to see how it all works and to see what’s on offer for tech start-ups of all descriptions. I recommend you give it a look. Registration isn’t open at the time of writing, but when it is, you’ll find it here.
mobilesquared roadshow9 November – I’m moderating a panel at the Mobile Squared Roadshow. ‘What’s the Mobile Squared Roadshow when it’s at home?’ I hear you ask. Well it’s a whole day of mobile marketing conferencing and networking. You get to hear from a wide variety of speakers looking at everything from the mobile consumer to the potential of augmented reality. And what’s more, it’s free to attend. Yes, that’s right. It’s free to attend. For a whole day. So sign up, come on down and join the conversation.
powerof1 logo11 November – After something more developer and entrepreneur focussed and covering all things web and mobile? Then the Power of One event is for you. And what’s more, there’s one speaker’s slot available for a tech start-up to talk about what they’re up to. There’s no need for a business plan, there’s a short form to fill in. If you win, you’ll get 20 minutes of prime time to pitch your business to an audience of 300 including investors and key influencers. Not only that, everyone who submits an idea to pitch will get a discount code (and it’s a significant discount) for a ticket. Not that they’re expensive at £99 + VAT in the first place and I’ve spotted a cheeky discount code promoted on twitter – use the promo code BLUEVIA to get a 50% discount. More information and buy your tickets here.
And it doesn’t stop there…
brandperfect logo15 November, you’ll find me at the London edition of the BrandPerfect Tour. I’ll be speaking and moderating a panel looking at ‘to iphone or not to iphone, what is the strategy?’ (I paraphrase here, but you get the gist). Other toptastic speakers on the day include old friends Ilicco Elia – ex Reuters and now head of mobile at LBi, Stephen Pinches from the FT and the inimitable Romy Kraus. It’s being held at the rather lovely Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue. No free tickets or cheeky discount codes, but it’ll be a great day with that mix of workshop meets seminar meets conference with some networking and banter thrown in for good measure. Again, there are some free press and blogger tickets available. Please get in touch with me if you’d like to apply for one of these.
europasThe Europas hit London on 17 November. This will be a big bash to celebrate European tech start-ups and will probably end up being the start of the Christmas party season. It should be lots of fun and jam-packed with tech entrepreneurs, investors, pundits and various hangers on. I know last year’s party was a blast. Prices start at £90 + VAT for tech entrepreneurs and you can get them here.
The following week may well find me in Oslo and possibly Amsterdam speaking at a couple of conferences, but I’ll let you know about that once they’re confirmed. And then maybe I’ll go into hibernation for a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HTML 5 and mobile advertising

I’ve been hearing more and more about HTML5 and I have seen a few HTML5 demos on smartphones showing some beautiful video-based content that rivals anything one might see on a full-fat PC using Adobe Flash. But what that means for marketers and advertisers is maybe not so clear. Guest contributor, Kate Manning, clarifies for us. Over to Kate…
There has been a lot of hype about HTML5, both for mobile advertising and advertising as a whole, but if you aren’t up on the technical side of advertising, this may not seem like such as a big deal. HTML5 has drastically improved video embedding, making it much easier for developers and for the mobile phone to use. Again, maybe this doesn’t seem like a big deal yet, but many experts are saying that HTML5 will dominate the field of video advertising, a trophy formerly held by Flash. Since mobile phones all support HTML, and will soon support HTML5, this is set to change mobile advertising for the better.
Video advertising and mobile phones just seem to go together, but for the longest time there have been major availability issues. Flash has been a popular video advertisement format, but many mobile phones don’t support Flash. JavaScript can also be used, but you run into the same problem, only some phones support JavaScript. This means you can only advertise to a small percentage of mobile users, and that doesn’t spell good ROIs.
However, every mobile smartphone supports HTML, it’s how web applications are able to work. While HTML5 hasn’t gained universal support just yet, it is only a matter of time before every mobile phone upgrades to this new standard. Since every phone supports HTML, this means you can finally advertise to every user, instead of having to choose a specific format and hoping for the best. This also makes it easier for websites to show adverts, making Webmasters more willing to place videos on their mobile websites.
Not only is availability solved, but adding a video is also much easier. With previous HTML versions, you had to write a long piece of coding to embed the video into a website. Considering how popular videos are for mobile advertising, and just the Internet in general, you would expect HTML to make this easier. In HTML5, they finally did. Instead of using several lines of code to embed a video, you just use the <video> tag, and that’s it. Less coding means better rendering. The videos load better, the website loads faster and both advertisers and viewers are happy.
Mobile advertising is easy when people are browsing online, but what about offline browsing? Your videos will not load, meaning that advertisements can lose their effectiveness. HTML5 has implemented a way to save rich media in the device’s hard drive, so even if they are browsing offline, the video will play because it is already loaded.
Aside from making mobile advertising easier, it is also more intuitive. Along with HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScripts are combined into the HTML standard coding library. Both of these are used to control the appearance of a website or advertisement, and to add scripts to a website. Combining them into the HTML5 standard means you can do more with your advertisements without having to worry about whether mobile devices can or cannot load the advertisement.
Operating costs also go down, because there is no need for expensive coding platforms. In the past, developers would have to purchase expensive programs to make mobile advertisements, which could ruin profits. However, HTML5 is an open program, meaning that it can be used for free, and the programs that help you create HTML5 advertisements will be much cheaper.
Tracking mobile advertisements has, until recently, been educated guesswork. Usually, these metrics are based on how often the mobile phone requests a banner of video from the server; however, if the mobile phone cannot or does not load the advertisement, it would still count as an impression. Not only does that mean that tracking metrics are overinflated, but you also have to pay for impressions that may never occur.
With HTML5, since it is integrated with JavaScript, the server tracks an impression only if the ad is displayed. Better metrics means accurate tracking, and accurate payments, for mobile advertising.
Many experts are saying that HTML5 is going to change the world of mobile advertising, while others are saying this is nothing by hype. With all the changes that HTML5 promises, one can be sure that there will be a large impact in the mobile advertising world.
You can see it in action here with this demo video.

So Kate’s told us what she thinks. What do you think? Is the future here already? Is it time for marketers to get savvy with HTML5 or are you going to wait and see? Comments welcome.
About the author: Kate Manning didn't expect to find herself at the intersection of business, marketing, and the Internet, but with sound writing and editing skills, she makes the most of it.

Further resources:
Wikipedia entry:
How HTML5 is changing the face of mobile
IABUK HTML5 Advertising FAQ (this one is a bit out of date, but they promise to update it when there’s new stuff to announce)
Brightcove’s HTML5 Whitepaper January 2011
Direct Marketing Association: What HTML5 means to mobile marketers
HTML5 capability of USA’s top mobile devices, March 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BlackBerry Outage makes the news

It was a sad day for BlackBerry users in EMEA yesterday suffering an all day outage of all data services except text messaging. But it was good news for yours truly as I got invited to comment on the situation live on Al Jazeera news. It was the first time I’d ever done a live news piece so wasn’t sure what to expect.
My main points about the outage were a criticism of the lack of customer communications about the outage – despairing but loyal BB customers just wanted to know what was going on, what was being done to fix it and when to expect normal service to be resumed – that’s not an unreasonable expectation. And since BlackBerry use social media to recruit new customers to the handset and, in particular, to BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) it seemed odd that they hadn’t used those same channels to reassure customers that they were doing all they could to fix the problem.
My two-minute piece isn’t available, but I am quoted in the video below which is very gratifying. And yes, I know my fringe is too long. I’m growing it in anticipation of a new hair cut!

Rather gratifyingly, I also get quoted by David Murphy at Mobile Marketing Magazine in his article about the outage.
It appears that most BlackBerry customers now have their service back to normal but I’m not sure it has been revealed yet what was at the root of it. And it will take a little time to see if formerly loyal customers remain loyal or if sales and brand sentiment will take a dive.

Update 1: It seems that two days on and BlackBerry is still suffering problems but they are at least being a little more communicative with customers.

Update 2: I'd forgotten about this lovely 'BlackBerry' sketch from Ronnie Corbett and Harry Enfield which some of you may enjoy. I know I did when I saw it again. Hat tip to Benjamin Ellis for tweeting it.

Update 3: BlackBerry users have been offered compensation in a smart move from RIM. They're getting $100 of free BlackBerry apps which means that those who take advantage of this will (hopefully) remain advocates of the platform. More over at The Guardian

Update 4 (Does this story never end?): Traffic accidents fell by 20% in Dubai and 40% in Abu Dhabi during the recent BlackBerry blackout. Wow. More here

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Europas are back!

The Europas, the European Tech Startup Awards, supported by TechCrunch Europe, are here again and open for entries until 7 October 2011.

Last year there was a month of online voting by the European tech startup industry for the finalists, where over 33,000 votes were cast and over 350 people joined the cream of Europe’s startups, VCs and entrepreneurs at a huge awards event.

This year, I’m told it's getting bigger to get the community even more involved, create an even bigger event, and find the best startups in Europe! You can enter here and tickets are here.

The Europas will be identifying the hottest tech startups in Europe right now, taking hundreds of entries, sifting through them with a large advisory board and then submitting the picks to a public vote which the entire industry can participate in. The results will then be merged to find the winners.

You can enter here. (Please read the instructions in full).

TechCrunch Europe / The Europas 2010 Final Cut from Newspepper on Vimeo.

To enter The Europas your startup must have been launched within the last 2 years (from September 2009). If your startup has received external funding, then it can ONLY be a Seed or Series A round of funding. Startups that have taken Series B rounds and beyond are NOT eligible to enter. Entrants can come from the “EMEA” region (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Entries must be in by Friday 7 October.

The Awards Ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 17 at the Carbon Bar in London’s West End. Tickets are here. It’s a cool modern bar and you’ll be joined by 450 of the crème de la crème of Europe’s tech startup and venture capital scene. There will be drink, food and we’ll be able to party ALL night.

The Categories

Best Education, Recruitment and Jobs Startup

Best Commerce, Finance or Payments Startup

Best Business or Enterprise Startup

Best Advertising or Marketing Tech Startup

Best Transport or Travel Startup

Best European Startup Programme

Best Startup Tool For Startups

Best Mobile or Apps Startup

Best Sport or Leisure Startup

Best Entertainment, Audio or Video Startup

Best Gaming or Social Games Startup

Best Culture (Fashion, Art, Music) Startup

Best Social Platform or Networking Startup

Best Service Provider to Startups

Best Startup Founder / Co-Founders

Best VC of the Year

Best Exit in 2011

Best Angel or Seed Investor of the Year

Best Startup Advisor/Mentor of the Year

The Europas Grand Prix 2011 (chosen by Judges)



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TechCity Investment Organisation

TCIO was set up by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and is designed to help the existing cluster of tech-digital and creative companies flourish. Tech City stretches out from the financial heart of the City of London to Stratford and the Olympic Park in East London, and is the fastest growing technology cluster in Europe. The TCIO team is a unique combination of experienced entrepreneurs and UKTI business specialists. Their role is to help existing companies succeed, as well as attract global business, entrepreneurs and high-value investment to the digital capital of Europe. For more information, visit or or follow us @techcityuk on twitter.


UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000. For latest press releases, visit the online newsroom at



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Friday, September 23, 2011

Upcoming accessibility workshops: London, Belfast and Manchester

smart accessibility 2011 fb imageAt the risk of boring some of you who have already heard about this, this is the *final* reminder about the workshops I’ve been organising and the awards I’ve been helping to promote. As you may already be aware the Vodafone Foundation has set up the Smart Accessibility Awards which Mobile Monday London is actively supporting. These awards are to celebrate apps that help people in four key areas: Social participation, independent living, mobility and well-being. They are free to enter and there is a prize fund of  Euro 200,000. The awards are now open for entries until 15 October 2011 so you have a month to go.

ict ktn logoAs part of this initiative, I’ve been working with the ICT KTN and Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards to bring you a series of half-day workshop looking specifically at this area. The goal of the workshops is to inspire and enable app developers and entrepreneurs to create useful tools for people who have visual, aural, cognitive or other impairments by helping you understand and empathize what life is like for people in this situation. This empathy and understanding is created by bringing together app developers, entrepreneurs and accessibility advocates and people with impairments to exchange information, and allowing developers to experience simulations of being impaired.

App developers who have had the opportunity to experience as directly as possible, first or second-hand, what it means to live with specific impairments, and have been put in touch with the larger community around accessibility, create more effective apps to better the quality of life for everyone. The result not only helps people with major disabilities, but also people with minor or temporary impairments, for example due to ageing or illness.

The format of the workshops will be discussion based with different speakers and contributors to reflect the local scene. Plenty of time will be allowed for discussion and networking and refreshments will be provided. These are different in style to our usual sessions and are more informal and much smaller to allow us to go more in-depth into the topic area.

We ran a successful workshop in Edinburgh last Friday and you can read about it here. There you’ll also find some useful links to the speakers and further resources.

We have two workshops happening on Monday 26 September in the afternoon in London at The IET and Belfast at The Black Box. Free to sign up and still a few places left if you’d like to attend.

We also have a workshop happening in Manchester on 5 October and registration has just opened for that.

You can also follow and track all the events on lanyrd:





A big thank you to all our speakers and fellow Mobile Monday chapter organisers for their support. And of course a big thank you to Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards and ICT KTN for helping us make these workshops happen.