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So, I’m back from a few days at the seaside. Silicon Beach 2013 is over. And I’ve had a few days to sit back and consider everything I heard.

There are plenty of write-ups about Silicon Beach 2013, a conference, held in Bournemouth, Dorset, about tech, marketing and innovation that is in its third year. You can read Matt Ballantine of stamp London talk about his experience here, or Jo Eyre of Starboard Media – who were covering the event from a social media perspective – here.

So, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to briefly explain why I enjoyed it.

Although I was speaking at the event, I’ll leave that part out, as I’ll be writing up my talk, sharing my deck and trying to impart some knowledge for those who didn’t attend. Although, here’s a taster of what it was about, as I was interviewed over breakfast on day one:

However, it wasn’t just about me and my talk.

There was an eclectic bunch of speakers, including Laura Jordan-Bambach, Steve Price, Mark Stevenson, Kevin Moss and the inimitable Dave Birss. All had different things to say, although the talks were loosely around the future of their preferred subject matter – brands, technology, humans, or innovation. And it’s that eclectic nature of the speakers and their topics, or points of view, that really made the event a joy to attend. While there was crossover in places – education featured more than once, as did upcoming tech – every single person added something original.

And then, the important part of every conference: the conversations that came afterwards in the bar and at the restaurant, over coffee on the second morning, and during lunch. The attendees weren’t passive observers. And that says a lot, to me. It tells me that they were inspired, invigorated, challenged.

I kept wondering why I hadn’t attended Silicon Beach in 2011 and 2012. What had I missed from previous events? I’ll never know – except through the write-ups of others. What I do know is that it will become a fixture on my must-visit conference list, alongside The Story and ThisIsPlayful.

So, here’s to Silicon Beach 2014. I’ll see you there.

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