Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mobile Monday London, 5 years down the road

It is with some pride that MoMoLondon has made it to it's 5th birthday ... still in tact and still feels as relevant today as it did all those years ago. I cast my mind back a couple of years before MoMoLondon hit the scene. Along with Dan Appelquist, Paul Cooper and Stuart John we tried to start the perhaps badly named, ill fated and short lived Foneclub. But the idea was the same, get people to meet up, discuss mobile and network. The first 'event' took place in the boardroom of the old offices of Clarity Capital in Mayfair, must have been around 20 of us there, and Paul had chipped in to buy some beers to keep us in there for an hour or two. Even with that number there was a good industry cross section of attendees from operators, technology, funding, agency and so on. Regrettably, consequent meetings saw less people able to make the events ... and inevitably it faded away.

Two years later (the summer of 2005), I was sat with Dan in a restaurant in South Kensington, both of us suggesting we should start it up again (the mad fools). Dan then talked about something called Mobile Monday going on in Finland and in Silicon Valley and proposed we start up a chapter in London. Well in October 2005, the mailing list was created, and the membership flood gates opened. We didn't know what to do for our first event, I mean where do you start? Dan opened it up to the list proposing 'Bridging the mobile and physical worlds' ... and the theme stuck for the first event. It took place in the canteen at the old Vodafone offices on The Strand and there must have been 100+ people there that night (Monday night obviously). In the early days most of our events were in the canteen of an operator or web giant, typically with the sound of a fridge whirring in the background. Since the early days, we moved out of the canteens and into more comfortable and functional spaces, mostly at the CBI at Centre Point. We have run events most months now for over 5 years, and the ideas and offers of help and sponsorship still come, although the organisational side of things has evolved from the original line up.

So where are we now? The MoMoLondon karma is still all about the community, events and networking. The industry may have changed, grown, mutated even, but the community still needs this free to attend space to discuss and network as much as 5 years ago, perhaps more so. A couple of weeks ago I was sat in a board meeting with fellow organisers Dan Appelquist, Jo Rabin and Helen Keegan, discussing what the scene is like now, how we run ourselves effectively, who else are in our space and where we see ourselves in the coming year(s). You will hear more about this in the new year and you will be glad to hear that we continue to celebrate the spirit and values of MoMoLondon.

It is probably worth wrapping up this post with huge thanks to organisers past and present, namely Dan Appelquist, Jo Rabin, Helen Keegan, Stuart John and Paul Cooper. Also thanks must go to everyone that has been involved over the years, the speakers, the demoers, the sponsors, the volunteers and of course, everyone in the MoMoLondon community. Thanks one and all!

Anyway, Happy Birthday us :)