The 2nd annual Mobile Monday Global Summit brought together over 1,000 mobile business leaders from around the world on May 8th and 9th to attend this event held at the Wanha Satama Fair Center in Helsinki, Finland. Speakers at the conference, which focused on mobile trends and visions, profitability for businesses and fun for consumers, included Anssi Vanjoki (Executive Vice President, Nokia Multimedia), Ted Cohen (SVP of Digital Development & Distribution, EMI Music), Harri Koponen (CEO, Wataniya Telecom of Kuwait), Mikael Jungner (CEO, Finnish Broadcasting Corporation), Christian Lindholm (VP Global Mobile Products, Yahoo), as well as Jonas Kjellberg (Nordic Manager, Skype).
The highlight of the summit was the Mobile Monday Global Peer Awards competition and party. What makes this award unique is the fact that the nominations are made and judging is done by peers who are at the center of mobile business development around the world: the Mobile Monday chapter founders and organizers! The Peer Awards nominees truly represent the best products/services from global mobile business hotspots in two categories: business-to-consumer (B2C), and business-to-business (B2B).
Altogether there were 11 finalists in this year’s Global Peer Awards representing the best mobility products and services the world has to offer. The award for best consumer product or service was won by Olaf Lohman, the Canadian finalist, from ComVu for PocketCaster. The best business product or service was awarded to Michael Smith, the Japanese finalist, from Opera for its Opera 8 Mobile Browser for BREW.
On a personal note it was truly fantastic to finally meet in person with all the MoMo chapter organizers who attended from around the world. Representatives from established locations in Canada, China, England, Japan, France, Italy and the U.S were on hand along with new members starting soon in Brazil, Germany, India, Korea, Russia and Thailand. Read on for our post event summary with some of the highlights.
We all got together on Sunday the 7th for a Magical Mystery Tour style bus-ride out to Adventure Valley which included an un-scheduled stop along the way that abruptly cost our beloved Micah his “Transportation and Logistics Manager” position (by secret ballot of course!), en-route to the Villa Tippavaara for some R&R and our high-level dinner meeting over reindeer soup.
Monday the 8th was full blast conference networking with our 9am introduction to the assembled masses and some truly elite speakers making presentations [Agenda .PDF - 2mb] through-out the day in 3 separate halls under the Trends, Profits and Fun theme tracks. The Global Peer awards hit full tilt, just after a tasty fresh salmon buffet, with companies making their best effort 3 minute product pitch and we were thrilled to see Tokyo’s nomination in B2B category, Opera Japan, take 1st place. Note: the Italian judges are still under investigation for alleged intimidation tactics (“life is too short”) during the voting process for B2C nominees, however, in the end Com Vu truly did deserve the win. The evening was topped off with a great live performance from Finnish recording artists Kemopetrol followed by a rather late night on the town.
Tuesday morning came very early for many as we boarded the tour bus again, with fingers crossed, for visits to HP (what’s with the main entrance revolving door there anyway?) and Nokia’s head office (Wow.. first class product demo’s and an awesome lunch buffet) followed by 3 presentations from Nexit Venture group companies back at the hotel. By this point it would be safe to say that everyone was getting a little foggy and needed a “5 minute” fresh-air walk downtown to a great little Nepalese restaurant.. and a nightcap or two of course.
By Wednesday morning most people were packing out for home after 4 days of perfect clear blue skies, while everyone (else) managed to make it to the airport on time – and to the right airline counter no less – the blondest amongst us didn’t.. btw: what are they putting in the coffee on FinnAir..?!? At any rate, yours truly got to spend an extra day in Helsinki taking some photos and catching-up with old friends for dinner. Besides, I always wanted to ride in a classic Rolls Royce!
In closing we offer the most sincere thanks to our kind hosts (and sponsors) in Helsinki who have created this global community and arranged such an excellent event. Suffice to say that some of the very best mobile minds in the world were on-hand, by all accounts there were plenty of valuable lessons learned and connections made and we are already looking forward to May 2007. Meanwhile, there’s a super collection of photos from several attendees on the trip uploaded to Flickr tagged as either MoMo or Mobile Monday. Enjoy!