This week, I’ve been to c/o pop conference, or, precisely put, I’ve been to c’n’b conference at Cologne. I absolutely have no clue why re-branding something established. Would you consider changing your domain name? Which is quite similar, I think.

It’s true, they changed focus. But it’s much easier for your audience to stick with the same name although it might not entirely match the topics you present.

The result: Yes, I found a number of topics from different branches tackled at c’n’b. Design, advertising, social media – whatever. It was a nice event, and I met a whole bunch of cool people. Yet it was like… where are the musicians from last year’s event? The number of panels dealing with music didn’t decrease much (though definitely there were more non-music people on the panels than before).

But for some reason, musicians were hardly to be found. Actually, a2n experienced that in last year’s event too. I couldn’t help to find that c’n’b extremely suffered from missing attendees active in music creation.

Admittedly, I didn’t attend many sessions. Unfortunately though, right the first session had a massive impact on my overall impression. The session had been titled “Opportunities and Risks in Social Media Marketing and Direct-to-Fan Communication”. Differing from the programme, the room tagged the panel as a workshop. That’s great – let’s go interactive.

The “room” had been set up by separating space from the main floor (high ceiling, hall) by some sort of wall – not reaching the hall’s ceiling at all and missing a lower ceiling itself. You might imagine what it sounded like… people from the floor loudly talking to each other, music from booths etc.

Our ceiling-missing box was packed. The speakers had no microphones at all. So finally they even stood up when speaking but the acoustics were horrible. That’s why in the middle of the session we switched rooms. Some 50 plus people. **fail**

Format-wise, it wasn’t a workshop at all. That’s been a perfect case study presenting interplay of different providers and products. Sorry, but compiling a programme myself I’m quite sensible to that. Interactivity: about 5 questions from the audience at the session’s end. **fail**

Content? Let’s put it this way. The speakers – representing renowned companies – explained how they experimented with tools like MusicMetric and various social media platforms in marketing the band Naturally7. And they were so happy to see gaining more and more fans by little effort within only 3 months. **fail**

It’s painful to see people with a high level in expertise talking about the impact of social media – when they could have gained this insight literally years before by reading ebooks like the “20 Things” book by Andrew Dubber.

That’s why I was glad to attend another session the other day: “Storytelling in Future Digital Communication”. Yousef Hammoudah (Head of Interactive Product Development & Management, MTV Networks) nailed it:

It’s impossible to lay out a detailed plan for a social media campaign. You don’t know in what way your product will be accepted – or not. You depend on how customers’ react and reply to your initial move. Then you can go on and react yourself. Today’s technology enables you (and the customer) to establish this kind of interaction.

I think it was another panelist who pointed out,

you simply can’t say – hey, let’s do a viral campaign. There has to be a perfect video first. The response to that decides if it goes viral or not. It’s not in your hands.

That said – yes, I enjoyed c’n’b. Because of the people I met. And some inspirations I got.

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