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Hamburg word-of-mouth marketing conference disorganized?

So what the hell is going with that International word-of-mouth marketing conference, being held in Hamburg, previously announced here?
First, big names are crowning the list of invited speakers, so much so that the web page https://www.b-s-i.org/wom/en/ read like a who's who of viral and buzz marketing. There was Brian Clark, Lee and Dan, Dave Balter, Balder Olrik and so on were all listed as invited speakers. But one by one, they all dropped off the list for various reasons (Lee and Dan are far too busy working to just talk about it, for example.) Too many names on that list had been invited but not accepted, a bit like saying God will make an appearance - doesn't mean that he can make room in his schedule to do so.
Paul Marsden, Martin Oetting and Grey advertising were asked to come, had accepted but then were bumped off the speakers schedule due to some organisational mishap. Martin tells all about it on his own blog connected marketing, and it's almost a text book case in how to create bad word of mouth. The short email from the host of the conference, Nils Andres, simply states "we'll take your presentation from the [conference] program and are no longer interested in your coverage of it for Contagious magazine". Martin is bemused rather than upset, but other speakers who have been bumped off the program are far more annoyed (though they won't waste their breath speaking about it.)
So, if anyone here is still going/is there attending to that thing, let us know how it all turned out in the end will you? :) Curious minds want to know!

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creadrive's picture

Hi! I am pretty surprise to read this post on Adland... Some people have maybe face problems, but I should say I didn’t. I have attended the Conference and these 2 days have been a rare and amazing opportunity to meet WOM professionals & WOM university scientists from all over the world! Sweden, New Zealand, Italia, USA,... and even Korea! That is not every day you can share ideas and have an idea of the world market like this. Sure not all the forecasted participants came, but there was many really interesting speakers from Crispin Porter & Bogusky, StrawberryFrog,...

During the conference organization has been really good: very good atmosphere, good presentations, and enough time to network (bar at night was great ;-) Ok we can just regret workshop have been put aside.

I think we should remember it was only a First Edition: I do not know how they succeed to have that many speakers from that many countries in such a short time! I have attended many other conferences (organized by professional event firms and not by a university Institute) that were really chaotic compare to this one...

So, I cannot speak for everyone, and I do not know what happen with Martin or some of the speakers... but I can just say the participants that I have been talking with (brand managers, university scientists or WOM experts) seemed all very satisfied by the Conference and by Nils Andres (the organizer from the Brand Science Institute) warm welcome.

Anybody else who attended the conference with a similar or different view?

Dabitch's picture

Suprised because you heard nothing of cancelled speaker appearances? Or what are you suprised about?

All I know is that when I first saw the list of speakers I would have loved to attend, I would have really looked forward to seeing, say, Lee & Dan or Brian Clark - but had I bought a ticket then, I would have been terribly dissapointed as most - if not all - of the names that I found interesting vanished from that list of speakers as time went by. Some still haven't vanished despite cancelling their appearance ages ago - like Balder and Jason for example. This schedule is still available to download on their site today.

However, saying that it was disorganised doesn't mean that people can not enjoy themselves at the conferance - even though many might resent buying tickets to se XYZ speakers but instead get ABC speakers - this is why I asked how it turned out in the end. This blogger Carl Walter seems to have enjoyed the conferance just like you - he blogs about it here. Thanks to Björn at site-9 for that link.