MediaTech 2006

The largest event I spoke at last week (by some margin) was Library House’s MediaTech, held at the IMAX cinema in London – great venue, by the way Рand ably compared by Mark Littlewood and Richard Youngman.


I’m guessing about 200 people turned up, who were a great mix of entrepreneurs, VCs and other interested people like sponsors (Microsoft and Intel), lawyers, accountants and the like. Not to mention a bunch of bloggers as part of a “Meet the Bloggers” session.

Format for that day was some speeches (including mine on the mobile web – let me know if you want the slides), nicely chaired by Doug Richard, some panels and then a series of presentations by various entrepreneurs (7 minutes for the pres and 7 minutes for the Q & A). And furious networking in between, which was a chance to catch up with old friends (although judging from subsequent emails, I missed quite a few people) and make new ones.

If I had to pick one speaker of the day who stood out for me in the sense of really making me think, it was Michael Bayler of The Rights Marketing Company. Two points in particular are worth highlighting.

Firstly, he talked about measuring media effectiveness as Return on Attention. In other words, unless the consumer of the media is engaged and paying attention to the medium generally and your ad in particular, you’re wasting your money. An extreme example might be the TV that is switched on by habit and burbles quietly to itself in the corner of the room, or indeed is left alone while you make your cup of tea when the ads come on.

Therefore, the ideal medium is one which the consumer is focused on to the exclusion of the world around them. Not a bad decription of a mobile, in fact.

Michael called the¬†study of Return on Attention, by the way¬†Attentioneering and I think we’ll be hearing more about this concept.


Michael also referenced an interesting idea from media guru, Marshall McLuhan. McLuhan has a concept that media is “an extension of man”. “What more powerful extension of man is there,” pondered Michael, “but a mobile phone?”.

More on MediaTech in due course. But I’ll leave with this final impression of the day.

Where were all the women? Women allegedly make up around 50% of the population and are also rumoured to consume media and use technology, not to mention be generally better managers (hey, Tom Peters agrees on this one) and nice to talk to. But less than 5% of the attendees were female by my estimation.

This isn’t a reflection on the good people of Library House, I’m sure. In fact, I’ve written before about the lack of women at big mobile events, like 3GSM, which is dominated by men in grey suits. So come on girls in tech and media (and there are many) – you must get out more.

And for the rest of us, let’s make a big effort to recruit more women into our industry – it’ll make us all better tuned into the marketplace *and* more successful.

[tags] mcluhan, mediatech, Library house, michael bayler, Rights Marketing Company, return on attention, attentioneering [/tags]

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