Quite simply, attending the CMC changed my life.
It’s almost a year since I attended as a self-funded delegate trying to get my content consultancy off the ground, and my abiding memory of the event is “white heat”. I don’t just mean the sweltering July temperature in the Showroom bar or the un-airconditioned budget hotel room that I had booked myself into. I mean that it reminded me of Harold Wilson’s 1963 speech about “the white heat of the technological revolution”.
Like everyone else over that few days I networked my socks off, caught up with old mates, listened and frantically scribbled notes in all the sessions, tried not to get too drunk at the social events and dabbed my damp eyes at Jenny Sealey’s incredible keynote.
But what really struck me was how apt the conference theme was: “All Change?” It became obvious across that few days that something huge was happening in our industry. Youtube and social media were being talked about everywhere. Maker Studios and Little Dot were names on everyone’s lips and were simultaneously impressing and terrifying everyone. Watching them in some of the sessions, I knew they were more than a technological flash in the pan. Multi-channel networks, social media and User Generated Content seemed to have the potential to disrupt everything. It really was “all change”.
The conference explored all this in detail and through some incredible presentations and discussions it gave a really powerful insight into what is happening in young people’s media.
And that was the moment that my life changed. A light was switched on. I shamelessly adopted an “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude and decided that trying to launch myself into an already crowded Kids’ TV consultancy market wasn’t the best use of my time. Out with the old and in with the new, I thought.
By the time I had driven the 200-odd miles back to London, I had a plan. And almost a year later here I am: Director of International Content Distribution at Maker Studios.
I have the CMC to thank for that. If I hadn’t attended that conference and witnessed how well it explored this incredible revolution, I wouldn’t have been inspired to make that change. And I wouldn’t now be immersed in the strange world of Stampylongnose, PewdiePie and TheDiamondMinecart.
So to paraphrase Monty Python: “What did CMC ever do for me?”
“It changed my life.”
“Yes, but apart from that…”