The European Summit 2011 Review

Billed as Europe’s leading B2B conference for the online entertainment industries, The European Summit (TES) 2011 was held in Prague, CZ at the Hotel Praha. While the show was said to last from September 20-23, that was stretching it. The show itself was really on the 21st and 22nd with some warm-up activities provided by YNOT and Cybersocket. I am not sure what, if anything, went on the 23rd. Most people were headed to London or Munich from what I could see.

The Venue

The Hotel Praha is huge. Sadly, there are only 136 rooms. If it was Las Vegas they would have made it into a 700 room hotel. In Prague they make the rooms very large. The result was inevitable, the show hotel sold out quickly. Several of us stayed at the Silenzio Hotel which was just down the hill. I know others stayed closer to downtown Prague. It seemed that attendees were pretty spread out, more than normal.

It was pretty obvious that the hotel and staff were not prepared for the influx of business at the bar. I arrived fairly late Monday evening after traveling from Amsterdam. There were several of us that had the same thing in mind, and that was food. The front desk told us there was none to be had in the hotel and no one knew of much other than a KFC that would be open past 10:00 PM. I opted out of the KFC option and discovered that there was some food that could be ordered at the bar. What they failed to mention was that the bar only had a very limited number of beers in stock. That was gone in a flash. Yes, they had other alcohol available, but I really wanted a beer.

The European Summit

Sometimes when I write these reviews I feel like I am repeating myself. I guess I have to blame any consistency in my reviews, to the consistency of the shows themselves. Yes, there are seminars at every show. Yes, the topics may be repeated at each new venue. Speed Networking and Meet Markets are as much a show standard today as booths and flying foam boobies were in 2003. So, if it seems like I am repeating myself at times it is because a lot of the shows are similar and you read my reviews closely.

One thing I learned after attending a couple of The Barcelona Summit shows was that Andreas and Walter keep you busy. Nothing changed with the name change to The European Summit. Not only do seminars and workshops run consecutively, there are usually several running concurrently. The first speed networking session was pretty intense. When I look at the photos it looks like they set up for 120 people to participate and every spot was taken. When I think back to the days when speed networking first began and compare it to today, it is obvious it has become a popular event at many adult trade shows.

YNOT Grand Prix and YNOT Awards

The YNOT Grand Prix continued its international racing circuit in Prague. Of all the off-premise events held during TES, this was the only one that the sponsors provided transportation to and from the location. As this was not part of TES per se, all credit for this has to be given to the YNOT sponsors, 2000Charge and PussyCash, for not only providing a fun event with good food and libations, but for getting participants back and forth.

YNOT also held their 1st Annual YNOT Awards. This was a very well done event. The restaurant, SaSaZu, was very upscale with very good food and a full bar. After the awards were given out, a Beatle’s tribute band provided the musical entertainment. They were very well received. Probably because it was YNOT’s first award show and it was in Prague, there were quite a few winners that were not present. I have a feeling that once word gets around about what a classy event this was, next year will have an even better turn out.

Summary

There are two things I have noticed about The European Summit that are similar to The Barcelona Summit. The first was mentioned above, and that is the constant activity. Granted, there may be kinks in the machinery that results in the morning coffee starting an hour later than scheduled, but you know that Andreas or Walter will be on it if there is a problem.

The second thing is that it seems that the show locations are intentionally picked to keep you at the show. There are few distractions readily available. While I understand the thought process, all work and no play makes me a dull boy so I like to be able to explore a bit. Especially when it is a first time visit to a particular city or country. There is something to be said to being able to step outside the show hotel and have things to see or places to eat. With the Hotel Phaha we were a 10 or 15 minute taxi drive to anything. And that was if you knew where you wanted to be. Having no familiarity with Prague or the Czech language, I felt pretty much like a hostage.

This becomes a real problem when the hotel is not big enough to accommodate the number of attendees. There were four off premise events that I was aware of. The YNOT Karting, the YNOT Awards, a Cybersocket Party and the opening party that was held after the YNOT Awards. Of the four, only the karting event had transportation. Speaking of transportation, there were the taxis.

It was broadcast that we should limit cab use to one company with the assurance that all the drivers spoke English and they had the best rates. Not only did the all drivers not speak English, it was proven time and time again that there were much cheaper cabs out there. Considering a cab was needed it you wanted to do anything away from the hotel, this was an issue.

I have always enjoyed The Barcelona Summit and now The European Summit, but I have to request that future shows be located somewhere that it is not as much a retreat but a complete experience for those new to Europe.

One Response to “The European Summit 2011 Review”

  1. [...] 2012 European Summit (TES) has now begun in Prague and it has caused me to reflect back to last year’s European Summit in Prague. The European Summit is billed as Europe’s leading B2B conference for the online [...]

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