I have an excellent day in store tomorrow at this Blogging4Business conference in London. I shall look forward to meeting ace bloggers Antony Mayfield and Euan Semple, as well as many other excellent speakers.

I went along last year and much concern was expressed from the PR guys about how businesses would be able to handle negative comments. Let’s see what difference a year makes, if they have learned that in fact it is a blessing to know about a problem that needs addressing – and preferably sooner, rather than later. I had only been blogging for about six weeks when I went and felt so exhilarated and inspired when I left.

I shall be up and off before the milkman has a chance to put his cap on – he still exists in these parts. I thought you might like to see the agenda with all the keynote speakers.

 

Agenda


Blogging4Business

April 4th 2007 – Marriott, Grosvenor Square, London


09.00

OPENING REMARKS – Matthew Yeomans and Bernhard Warner, Directors Custom Communication


09.15 – 10.00

Morning Keynote Speech The Social Media Phenomenon: It’s not just for kids…. Stephen Taylor – Regional Vice President, Audience Group, Yahoo! Europe


10.00 – 10:45

Massaging the Message – how PR is adapting to consumers who talk back

Sponsored by Waggener Edstrom  

It’s been nearly 18 months since bloggers scared the life out of Kryptonite Inc by posting a handy guide to picking its franchise lock for all the world to see. Today, blogs and podcasts are the must-know and must-use new tools of public relations. But how much has PR truly adapted to a medium and an audience that places honest, transparent conversation above all else? Learning new communication tricks is hard when you are part of an industry that has spent so long controlling the message.

Panelists:

Ged Carroll – Lead European Consultant, Digital Strategies Group, Waggener Edstrom

Darren Strange, UK Office 2007 Product Manager, Microsoft EMEA

Paul Munford, Business development director, Player X

Tamara Littleton – CEO – eModeration.com

10.45 – 11.15


COFFEE BREAK


11.15 – 12.00

Social software in business: from pilot projects to enterprise-wide adoption

Sponsored by Headshift and Six Apart

Whilst many companies have experimented with Web 2.0 tools, techniques and ideas, the enterprise-wide deployment of innovative social software in everyday business settings remains limited to some early adopters. The business reality of the ‘Enterprise 2.0’ vision is that inside most corporate firewalls, companies are still wrestling with 1990s enterprise systems based on ‘command & control’ thinking.

Although the managers of business functions such as Corporate Communications, Know-How, R&D, and Sales & Marketing are quick to see the benefits of adopting online social tools – and underlying concepts such as user-generated content and collective intelligence – they often struggle to get buy-in from risk-averse colleagues and thus find it difficult to move beyond limited implementations and pilot projects.

* How do you integrate social media tools and ideas into the fabric of an organisation?
* What are the common challenges faced by the champions of this approach?
* How do you build a compelling business case for social software in the enterprise?

The session will focus on the essential components required for the successful adoption of social software in practical business settings, based on previously unpublished case studies and hands-on experience with some of the world’s leading corporations and professional services firms.

Panelists:

Lee Bryant – Director, Headshift

Olivier Creiche – COO, Six Apart Europe


12.00 – 12.45

Next Generation Market Research – How Companies are Listening and Learning from Social Conversation

Sponsored by Attentio

Blog monitoring, blog auditing and brand social research are some of the real buzzwords that get companies excited. From PR to marketing to advertising to consumer brands, research directors and company executives are embracing the ability to listen to the global conversation and learn what real people are saying about goods and services without the need for focus groups or artificial surveys. Whether you need to know how your company is perceived or how your competitors’s new brand fared during that expensive US launch, next generation market research is the social tool every company can benefit from.

Panelists:

Simon McDermott –  CEO Attentio

Heather Hopkins – Head of Research, Hitwise

Kris Hoet – Marketing Manager, EMEA Consumer Marketing, Microsoft Online Services Group

Scott Thomson – Analytics Director, Starcom

12.45 – 01.45


LUNCH


01.45 – 02.30

Navigating and understanding social networks

Sponsored by Microsoft Digital Advertising

Afternoon keynote by Michael Steckler, Business Planning and Development Director, EMEA Regional Advertising Sales, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions


02.30 – 03.15

Social media marketing and advertising – New thinking for the new web

Sponsored by Spannerworks

Behind the hype and buzz around sites like MySpace and YouTube there are fundamental changes to the way that media and brands work on the web. What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for media and marketing in this world where old media’s distribution channels of content are being replaced by complex online networks of people and brands.

Panelists:

Anthony Mayfield – Head of Content and Media, Spannerworks

Roberto Hortal Munoz (Head of eBusiness) at More Th>n

Ian Delany – New Media Knowledge

03.15 – 03.45


COFFEE BREAK


03.45 – 04.30

What business is learning from the new rules of social media

What are the do’s and dont’s of social media and what have the early practitioners learned from engaging with their readers/customers? The focus of this panel is on the lessons companies have learned from engaging with the public. And what legal, ethical and cultural considerations companies need to take on board before diving into the blogosphere.

Panelists:

Euan Semple – Social Computing Consultant

Struan Robertson – Editor, Outlaw.com

Mark Jones – Communities Editor, Reuter

Jeff Revoy – VP Search and Social Media, Yahoo


04.30 – 05.15

Should your company be podcasting?

Sponsored by Blue Barracuda

Quick quiz: on which medium can you broadcast your marketing message to the entire planet for pennies on the pound? Yep, the podcast. Sony, Gap and Warner Bros. are but a few of the growing number of advertisers to utilise podcasts. But the real pioneers are politicians, journalists and entrepreneurs who have taken to podcasting to get out to the millions an unfettered message. If a start-up with little name recognition can attract a global audience, what’s stopping the big brands? One year on from its arrival on the social media scene, leading podcast practitioners and the companies benefiting from them will take you through the do’s and don’ts of this effective, and low-cost medium.

Martin Talks, CEO Blue Barracuda 

Guillaume du Gardier, Director Online Communications Europe, Edelman Paris

Trevor Dann, Director of the Radio Academy 
Peter Whitehead – FT Digital Business Editor

05.15 – 06.00


Post conference drinks