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So I visited Stockholm, the capital of Sweden these passed few days.

The visit to Stockholm for me, or should I say my aim, my goal, my intention, was a four pronged affair, which meant I had to be fairly efficient at achieving all four of these items over the two days, and essentially “blend” the activities. I think I did reasonably well too.

The items on my agenda were:

  1. to invest a significant amount of time with a new client of Audana
  2. to visit PodcampEU and hang-out with some of the creative people there
  3. to see VON, and reach-out
  4. to explore the city of Stockholm itself

I flew out of Stanstead airport on Monday evening, arriving in Stockholm Skavsta Airport, which proved to be a non-amusing start to the trip, being 90 minutes outside of the city itself. Typically these euro buses fly along, but no, this was a very steady Swedish 55MPH all the way, very tedious.

The following day of Tuesday was a good day, we got to discuss a big project for most of the day, and seeing as the location was a Euro destination, something very removed from our normal lives it seemed to aid the flow of creative juices between us.

Mid-way through Tuesday we took a taxi over to VON, touted as “The European IP Communications Industry Event”. The event was being held at the Stockholm International Fairs, an impressively large conference centre. There was a significant commercial presence at VON from most of “the players” in the communications industry and I managed to contact some interesting people, and get to hear their views on how the industry is changing.

Mixing it up with some of the representatives from these large corporations and hearing their views on what new-media is as a concept, was highly interesting. I managed to pin a few of these representatives down for an interview, if nothing else to plant a seed in their minds regarding such concepts as podcasting, and social-media networks. It’s quite interesting watching people “ramp-up” the gears once a microphone is revealed.

VON was the major sponsors of PodcampEU, which is the free un-conference, a concept having taken place in numerous destinations repeatedly in the USA. If you have read some of my earlier posts you’ll have realised I have been to another one of these events this year which took place in New York over the Easter weekend.

PodcampEU was a very small affair by comparison, which was probably a good thing as I imagine this meant lots of good friendships were struck very quickly. On the ground the PodcampEU area consisted of three small units within the VON exhibition itself and I managed to catch a few of the sessions I had down on my check-list, one of them was to meet and listen to Kfir Pravda who ran a session called How to make my mom watch Internet TV” – though more about a brain storm regarding how to market the concept of Internet TV, and what needs to be done.

Though this particular Podcamp was a small affair it was actually superb, and I think the founders of Podcamp, namely Chris Brogan and Christopher Penn were very happy with it, that’s the mood from the blogs and pics and my early reflections.

Personally, I think what was significant about this camp was having this un-conference, free to attend, Podcamp, in the same vicinity as the “big-boys” who were exhibiting at VON. New-media can be (and I whole-heartily agree) accused of being in the “fishbowl”, that is to say the practitioners might only mix, discuss, socialise, and attract similar people doing the same things as themselves, essentially a little intrinsic and possibly incestuous. However, by having these wonderfully creative new-media champions in this commercial VON space, next door to the big companies, was in my mind perfect, a perfect opportunity to embrace and poke someone who might be in the dark.

I truly hope everyone made a significant point of talking about what it is they do to these people, the people who know little about web2.0 and podcasting, the power of blogging etc. I know I went to great lengths to “reach-out” to many of these types outside of the fishbowl and grabbed a heap of business cards.

A great shame we missed the VON party on Tuesday evening, as I heard it was rocking, we had moved on and focused back on our project and were deep in dialogue and felt it was in our own best interests to continue. I would imagine many people mixed it up at the party though and cemented some great friendships.

Much of Wednesday was spent with my client, brain-storming away which proved to be very effective, we also managed to explore the city somewhat.

I’ve realised this blog could turn into an essay so rather than continue, I think I’ll break it down into four blogs, or four podcast themes rather than mash-it-up into one long stream of consciousness.

There were many hilarious antics (as well as the serious stuff) on the trip and so, yes, I think breaking the blog into those highlights will be more fitting.

Wait till you hear about the Hot-Dog incident in Stockholm