The Great British Business Show – November 2012

October 15, 2012

I attended a similar Business Show in November last year and it was rather good. I’ve attended quite a few of these types of events in the past and I thought I’d become rather jaded but it was definitely worth the visit. It’s also free (just register).

22-23 November 2012, Olympia, London – full details here.

Rather usefully, they give a checklist:

We understand that when you’re running a business, time is money. That’s why we recommend that you carefully plan your time at The Great British Business Show, to ensure you get the most out of the event.

With more than 200 exhibitors and over 140 seminars – and a series of live events to participate in over the event’s two days – The Great British Business Show 2011 will be the UK’s largest event for growing businesses.

This checklist, as well as the glossy showguide that will be sent out to all pre-registered ticket holders prior to the event, should help you with your planning and preparations – so that you don’t miss out on anything that could potentially help you propel your business forward.

Between now and the show, you need to think about which options for expanding your business that you’d most like to explore, so you can prioritise them at the event. However, keep in mind that the perfect strategy for your business’ growth could be something that you’ve not yet thought of – so make sure you keep an open mind at The Great British Business Show!

If you’re thinking of giving a pitch these tips might also be handy – it’s surprising how many people ignore/forget them 😦


Tiny Desk Concerts

July 21, 2012

Tiny Desk Concerts: intimate performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered with host Bob Boilen. A clever and simple idea!

Lots of them and all very good.

Two recent examples:


Being Phony

June 23, 2012

“If you’re phony, they will feel it in the farthest row of the arena. You have to really care. And you have to make yourself care time and time again.” – Tom Petty (musician)

Picture credit: here.


Remember To Have Some Fun!

June 1, 2012

It’s a long weekend in the UK, starting tomorrow, due to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

If you’re not quite in holiday mood, watching this video of Conan O’Brien’s Commencement Speech at Harvard should change all that!

Quite excellent 🙂

I’ll go now, to make bigger mistakes and to embarrass this fine institution even more. But let me leave you with one last thought: If you can laugh at yourself loud and hard every time you fall, people will think you’re drunk.

Picture credit: here.


It’s World Towel Day!

May 25, 2012

Watching BBC Breakfast this morning, I was surprised to find out that it’s World Towel Day today – May 25th! It celebrates the life and work of the author Douglas Adams (best known as the creator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).

To give a flavour of the towel theme:

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Here are some nice quotes of Douglas Adams including

Solutions nearly always come from the direction you least expect, which means there’s no point trying to look in that direction because it won’t be coming from there.

The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks.

The cast of the BBC radio show has reunited and will be touring the UK during June and July 2012 – I saw a excerpt, it looks really good, so catch it if you can!

Picture credit: here.


Business Startup Show – May 2012, London

April 6, 2012

The 27th Business Startup Show will be taking place in ExCel London on 17 – 18 May 2012. It’s a free event.

If you’re interested in some background, I’ve written a post on the previous show – the article also gives some tips for a perfect pitch. They’re obvious, but as with many ‘obvious’ things, not always done!

I was very impressed by Penny Power‘s charismatic and insightful presentation last time and fortunately she’s speaking again at this show – well worth trying to see her if you can.

The show is partnered by the Federation of Small Businesses.


Cafe Scientifique And The Future Of Data

March 12, 2012

I’ve been meaning to go to (my first) Cafe Scientifque for quite a while now

Cafe Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place in cafes, bars, restaurants and even theatres, but always outside a traditional academic context.

Finally the timing was good and last week I managed to get to a meeting in nearby Winchester, which was held in a very pleasant patisserie (great cakes!). Hugh Proudman, a Program Director at IBM, was the speaker and the topic was

‘The future of Data: will we be swamped or can we manage it?’

Hugh is based at the IBM Hursley Park site which is near Winchester.

The format was a 30 min presentation, a break for refreshments and then a period of Q&A. After some general introductory material, Hugh went on to talk about the leading-edge IBM computer system Watson. This hit the popular headlines last year through winning the US quiz show Jeopardy! against top human contestants.

The talk generated a very lively and varied discussion ranging from technical to ethical issues!

Coincidentally there’s an interesting article on Watson and it’s possible applications to the healthcare market in today’s Wired:

“Watson will give you the confidence and say: ‘I”m 90 percent sure of this, or I’m only 10 percent sure of this.’ You can immediately see how that is useful in medicine or in finance. The other thing we can do is we can tell the user why is this answer here. What kinds of evidence do we use, what facts did we use, what were we sure about, and what were we not sure about? And were the documents we used from very reliable sources or from less-reliable sources.”

The Cafe Scientifique is a useful way of bringing together people with a common interest in science (and it’s ramifications) that may not otherwise connect. In fact, by pure coincidence, I sat down next to someone who used to work for my previous employer (QinetiQ) but who I’d never met before – it really is a small world!

The cafes are free and have locations worldwide.

Why not try one? You can find your local one here.

Alternatively, perhaps you’d like to help start one up (info here)?

Picture credit: here (cropped).


The Business Startup Show 17-18 November

November 9, 2011

The 26th Business Startup Show takes place next Thursday (10 – 6) and Friday (10 – 5) at Earls Court 2, London.

As the industry-leader, Business Startup is free for anyone thinking about starting a business or expanding a business. With over 140 seminars, over 200 exhibitors, advice, opportunities, and much more, can you afford to miss out?

If you’re thinking of attending, and to get most value out of a busy day, consider using their show checklist:

  1. Plan
  2. Identify
  3. Target
  4. Relax
  5. Record
  6. Network
  7. Follow-up

Royal Society: One Culture Festival This Weekend

September 28, 2011

If you’re in London this weekend and have some time, this might appeal:

“Join us to celebrate 350 years of the Royal Society’s library at the One Culture festival. Over the first weekend in October 2011 some of the best novelists, scientists, poets and historians will explore the crosscurrents between science and culture.”

The festival will be held at the Royal Society in central London. October 1-2 and tickets required (not a free event).

Details here.


Ten Things About Time (You May Not Know)

September 5, 2011

Sean Carroll, a physicist at the California Institute of Technology, has just participated in a multidisciplinary conference on the Nature of Time, a subject that should interest us all!

Here’s his take on the ten most important points that came out:

  1. Time exists.
  2. The past and the future are equally real.
  3. Everyone experiences time differently.
  4. You live in the past.
  5. Your memory isn’t as good as you think.
  6. Consciousness depends on manipulating time.
  7. Disorder increases as time passes.
  8. Complexity comes and goes.
  9. Aging can be reversed.
  10. A lifespan is a billion heartbeats.

Full details on the list here (together with links for further info).

Fascinating stuff!

Picture credit here.