The LeWeb3 conference brought to Paris all kinds of people from Internetpreneurs to professional bloggers, from hardcore gamers to so-called Old Media journalists. Many came to listen, but most came with a message to spread.
This is Part 2 in my series of articles on how they did it.
Whether you were an event sponsor or not, being onstage was a great way to get your activities mentioned loudly. Reps like Mikko Pilkama from sponsor Nokia were able to talk about Connecting People and many of the venture capitalists present were able to tout their current or past successes, who in some instances were themselves sponsors of the event.
After the first day of the conference, most people were excited about Hans Rosling's mind-opening talk while the second day's politics angered many.
What do those have in common? They will be remembered for quite some time because they generated a strong emotional impact on the audience.
The trading cards of any business occasion, everyone had them in different colors, sheens, thicknesses, you name it. I liked the back of the Maxthon card here on the right with it's on the brain imagery; many of the cards I saw either had nothing on the back like my own – for writing a note before handing it out, I would think – but perhaps other like-minded people were hoping for some Hugh Macleod beautification?
One annoyance of the double-sided cards was when the back design didn't correspond well with the front, which just shows how some people tend to neglect their backsides.
The Oyez! card was very slick and so sturdy that I considered using it as a laptop stand. A number of people took a risk with non-standard sizes in the hopes that they would stand out, and they were probably right. However, you want people to actually keep the card which means that it must fit in their wallet/pocket/cardholder or they're just going to toss it into the nearest garbage can like the official conference program handouts that were already out-of-date when given to arrivals on the first morning.
Here are some great tips for this key branding tool.
Netvibes threw a terrific party at the not-yet-opened on the first night of the conference. Everyone had a great time although no one would call it a networking party, as any conversation attempt quickly became a yelling contest where you were trying to one-up the person facing you and their ears were already buzzing intensely by that point. Not too bright, I lost my voice in the first hour 🙂
Did the party gain any goodwill for Netvibes as its sponsor? If so it's because Thomas Crampton (International Herald Tribune), Thierry Bézier (20minutes.fr videoblog) and a few other journalists had as good a time as I did, and even then I'm not so sure it was worth it.
Microsoft, pushing Windows Live, had a contest where booth passersby were given what looked to be a severed Ethernet cable. Takers had to wait their turn to plug it into one of the available computers and see if they'd won a prize – webcam or mouse, if memory serves. The colored pile of severed cables alone was so unusual an eyecatcher, that it was likely the only reason anyone visited the booth at all, which means that it worked quite well.
Of course, it didn't hurt Microsoft to demo Windows Live for you while you waited to tempt destiny.
At their party, Netvibes were giving out stickers by the handful. The stickers were similar to their subscription button but not identical as you can see. People were having fun plastering other guests with them and generally putting them everywhere.
GroupeReflect left out circular stickers at Marc Goldberg's CGS5.0 Afterparty, one of their confusing .gr logo (one of the Greek Siteowners.com guys wondered about it out loud) and another for their French Web2.0 metasite DeuxZero.com.
Snipperoo gave out kitschy bumper stickers with the slogan – go figure – Widgets are the bumper stickers of the Internet, and for their sake I hope that their cars aren't the only bearers of them. Finally, Alianzo had small rectangles for their Bilbao.bi site, not too memorable and sort of surprising for them as they usually do good work.
So were the stickers useful? It all depends on whether people threw them away or stuck them on their laptops, since laptop lidspace is becoming quite lucrative.