The Tokyo MoMo crew managed to escape, barely due to Typhoon Fitow, Tokyo’s sweltering concrete jungle for some nice cool breezes at the 3rd annual MobileMonday Global Summit in Helsinki last week. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet once again with chapter founders from around the world and mingle with some of the industry’s more interesting players in a relaxed and somewhat secluded atmosphere. We arrived a day early to check-out the sights, do a little recon for a new Mobikyo EU office location and play with a couple of fancy handsets at the Nokia store (video to follow of the new N95 8GB, N81 and Music Express models).
We spent all day Sunday in conference with MoMo reps from over 20 cities who made the journey to discuss current status and future issues while taking in presentations from the OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) and GSMA. We would love to go into more detail about some of the topics covered but all parties were required to take a blood oath (well, pinky-shake actually) to keep the specifics confidential. Needless to say that with over 50 chapters now operating worldwide and new locations set for launch in Adelaide, Berlin, Caracas, Croatia, Jakarta, Moscow and Philadelphia – to name a few – we’re rather excited about the potential this grassroots community has going forward..
According to this account, the actual summit day on 10 September was well attended (tons of photos here and here) with some great presentations, panels and seminars. We took part in the Mobile Entertainment Panel discussion and managed to conduct a few video interviews as well.
Tuesday morning saw most of us catch the 7:00AM train to St. Petersburg, arriving early afternoon for a boat tour (meet Nidal from Venezuela) and check-in at the hotel before making our way through traffic for Part II of this year’s event, which was held at the Museum of Communications. While the PA sound was not great, the massive satellite was pretty cool and we met several key players in the Russian mobile market. After a few false starts we managed to get a late dinner, complete with super-sized draft beer, in the Tinkoff Pub and then a few brave souls wandered late into the night for some un-scheduled local action… it was almost exactly like this classic Canadian Club commercial: “Remember we beat the Russians in ’72″ (details for you young folk on Wikipedia here).
The Wednesday morning agenda included presentations from a few more companies, which I skipped to risk my literal life crossing three lanes of traffic for a few snaps of Freedom Square. Then then several of us hit the streets for a bit of local flavor before making a white knuckle cab-ride to the station – just in time – for our 4:00PM train back to Helsinki. The highlight of our Russian adventure had to be visiting the Winter Palace it was incredible! We had only about an hour behind the gilded gate to tour the halls, chat with Peter the Great and see the throne, while sneaking a shot (Oops – “No Photos”) of his crown. The collection of masterpieces from the likes of Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Renoir and Van Gogh on display (pix in that room definitely not allowed) were simply stunning.
Relieved to be back in Finland we checked into our comfy prison cell and hit the town with a local guide (thanks, Vesa!) on Wednesday evening, making a few stops where the locals hang out, and finally got to bed at a ‘reasonable hour’ for the first time in a week. Thursday morning saw four MoMo founders attend a very interesting meeting, details of which we can’t for the moment disclose, which hopefully will result in a powerful new tool for all global chapters (more on that coming ASAP).
It’s basically not possible to summarize the whole adventure, and no doubt others will post their thoughts as well; however the organizers and sponsors of this year’s event deserve massive thanks and praise for bringing everything, and everyone, together for a memorable experience. We managed to spend some quality time with old friends – making plenty of new connections as well – during the week and arrived home late Saturday afternoon pretty fired-up for the future of Mobile Monday.
- Lawrence Cosh-Ishii, MoMo Tokyo
Note: We are planning the next MobileMonday Tokyo event for mid-October and will get the details out for that soon.