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The Workshop, on Friday September 4th at the Magic Circle Headquarters, London was nothing short of a roaring success. Thanks to everyone who attended and we hope you found it worthwhile. All in all, this was probably one of the most successful, enjoyable and informative events we here at Fresh Egg have ever organised. We hope you found it useful too. For those who could not attend, you can check out a video on our home page as from 28th September to see what you missed!
A Magical Venue
The venue itself, I’m sure you’ll agree, was an absolute gem. Tucked away in what looks just like any other bog standard, slightly bin bag-strewn, London side street is a simple door that is the portal to a truly magical place. It was a bit like the TARDIS in that I for one certainly didn’t expect that unprepossessing front door to open up into two levels of pretty spacious meeting rooms complete with a “museum of magic” on the walls including props and items from prestigious prestidigitators such as Maskelyne and Houdini to the more contemporary likes of David Nixon and Ali Bongo.
Special thanks here must also go to RED Anywhere, who provided some outstanding catering in what must have been very cramped behind the scenes food preparation area, but then they too are no strangers to bringing their own special magic touch to any outside catering event. If the meeting rooms were a surprise, the wide spiral staircase to the Magic Circle HQ Theatre revealed a truly astonishing, comfortable and unique presentation venue where you least expected one to be.
Setting the Tone
First up on stage, and ably performing the role of MC and sometime magician’s assistant, was Adam who outlined the day and the running order to the packed audience. The event then kicked off with an interesting and very personal talk from our Chairman, James Caan, who gave his views on the present state of the economy and remained resolutely upbeat about prospects for recovery, provided Britain commits to investing in science and technology. Our reliance as a nation on the financial services sector to be the engine of the economy was clearly coming to an end, said James, and Britain had to recognise that science and technology would shape the future of the economy. That’s why it’s essential to get online and maximise Internet marketing, especially during a recession.
James then invited questions from the floor, and as you’d expect it was his Dragon’s Den persona that most people were interested in. He revealed how, contrary to his expectation of getting a full background and information pack on each candidate, the dragons make their investment decisions only on what information they get when the victim first climbs the stairs. The time they’ve got to decide "in or out” is as you see it on TV! That’s why he admits he failed to invest in anything in his first week and it was to avoid criticism from his children that he made a pact with himself to invest in the very first project that came through the door – no matter how ludicrous! Fortunately, James advised us that the Dog Walking Treadmill is doing very well!
Lee gave his usual robust performance outlining the significance of Google Universal to SEO and how much more “multi-media” you need to become to gain more real estate and get those rankings. Tim Aldiss introduced himself and his role at Fresh Egg and set the scene for our very own Jaamit Durrani, whose presentation proved to be one of the most enthusiastically received. Rob Pierre from Jellyfish then gave an entertaining and enlightening outline of PPC in general and Jellyfish in particular, including one of the most informative “open university-style” talks from a Google employee that actually explained how bid prices are fixed using only a blackboard and some Blutack! To be honest, Rob didn’t need to be "miked up" either in order to be heard throughout the theatre.
Was the usual delicious affair you’d expect from RED Anywhere, who managed to not only serve up mouth-watering canapés, main courses and refreshing drinks, but also somehow achieved the trick of making the act of eating steak with nothing more than a porcelain Chinese spoon possible! It was also a great opportunity for our clients and prospects to mingle, chat with each other, meet our chairman and meet the Fresh Egg team.
Presentations post lunch was given over to topics such as Social Media, Usability and Conversion. Gavin Williams, our Social Media consultant shared the presentation duties with Claire Stokoe, our recently recruited Social Media specialist. Claire’s first time at presenting to a large audience had given her some cause for concern, but she needn’t have worried! She was a star – albeit a star with an obsession for images of fluffy animals throughout her challenging and stimulating talk.
The session then moved into what seemed to be an episode of the Office! Instead of just one David Brent, we gave you Jason Buck and Simon Nixon. A fabulous double act and our retained Usability Consultants, they passed on vital hints and tips using results from an impromptu audience survey conducted in the morning and a video showing how Wernham Hogg (and most web design agencies if we’re honest!) would go the wrong way about designing a website and Internet marketing campaign.
All that lead up to what was really one of the main points of the day – how to maximise conversion from your site in a recession - and how to measure and take steps to improve that process. Nikki Rae, our own Analytics and Conversion expert rounded the day off with a comprehensive and confident presentation on how best to achieve those aims.
The entire day wrapped up with a reprise of all the speakers on the stage in a “question time panel” format. We were very fortunate also to have Adrian Blair, Head of E-Commerce Partnerships at Google, to join us for this final session where he fielded some direct questions from the audience.
P.S. Claire will be adding additional information and free Social Media tools to the existing #egginar on Twitter, so keep a lookout!