18 June 2012

Philofaxy Conference/Convention

Thank you for all your lovely comments about last months Philofaxy Meet Up it was a great day, I love looking back on these very special days, especially if it's raining outside... it brings some sunshine in to my life and makes me smile remembering the comments and things we enjoyed talking about on the day.



So looking to the future.... I still want to do these sort of meet ups with up to about 12 people, they are very personal and great fun, so if you haven't been to one yet, don't despair I'm not thinking of stopping doing the small meet ups, there is already one planned for September 2012 and the possibility of another in November.

However, my original idea back in 2010 of a convention for a larger group of people now looks like something we could do, if there enough people interested in such a bigger event. In total about 26 different people have attended the London meet ups, with new people attending each one so far.

So I have had some discussion with a few people about a convention/conference idea, so here are my notes.
  • Event to be open to everyone, may be up to 100 people, likely to be held in London, but I'm open to other suggestions. Ideally it will be somewhere where we can do a complete package of the conference and accommodation as well. Ideally it needs to be accessible from most parts of UK, Europe and even further afield... yes that means you readers in the USA and Canada and South America. 
  • People would pay to attend the event, but discount would be given for early booking.  I have no idea yet on what the cost per person would be. This is something I'm actively working on at the moment.
  • However it is intended that the fee would include lunch and refreshments, conference bag or similar with notes etc. etc. 
  • Sessions to include guest presentations, open discussion session, Filofax focus group session, social meet up sessions. The social side of this conference is very important, putting faces to names (comment name, twitter name, Skype name etc) 
  • We would be seeking sponsorship from companies such as City Organiser, DodoPad, The Pen Shop, Filofax UK with them being able to sell stock at the conference and add publicity material/goodies to the conference packs etc. And these companies would also be encouraged to take part in the conference with presentations etc.
  • Possible target date early 2013

The above is a very basic outline of the idea, if there is sufficient interest (and I hope there is) then we can get in to the details of what the event will include.

I'm happy to take comments by email or in the comments on this post.

44 comments:

  1. Hi Steve,
    I think this is a great idea and City Organiser would be happy to co-sponsor and take part.
    From our point of view sometime like the second week of Feb would be good as the trade shows and Jan sales are all done and the samples of all the new 2013 organisers should be available...

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  2. Seeing London and a Filofax event - that sounds really tempting.

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  3. Definitely something i'd think about although the thought of travelling to London alone fills me with dread :(, got time to work on that though!!

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    1. Alison, I feel exactly the same way hun, I live 260 miles from London and it looks a huge scary place. I've just found my way around Newcastle Upon Tyne. lol

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    2. Hi Gail, I would come down with you (depending on price/date) we could travel from Newcastle I do not know London at all! lol how's it going with your ochre Malden? xx

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    3. @Gail: You live in Newcastle? How cool is that! I lived in Gateshead for about 6 months (back in 1995) and worked in Newcastle. Newcastle was great, though the streets were not the right place to be right after a football match ...
      My English teacher was thrilled that I had managed to pick up the Geordie accent, though I sadly lost it in the following years. Still love to hear it tho!

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  4. Me too Alison! Going to London and finding my way around . . . OMG! A rather overwhelming thought. But in theory it sounds like a great idea.

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  5. Sounds great. I helped organise a similar convention for an online book website (bookcrossing if anyone knows of it) and it was hugely successful. The format of the day was very good, with some structure in the morning and afternoon - quizzes, discussions, etc - then free social time in the evening. Most people stayed in the same "recommended" hotel so there was a gathering in the bar at night as well as people returned from individual dinners and whatnot. Striking the balance between having some organisation and being too prescriptive is important, but it was a great event and I think a lot of the ideas would translate well to a Philofaxy event.

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  6. Wow!! This sounds just great Steve!!! I attended a similar conference at Exeter University (Research in Music Education Conference) when I was doing my masters. As Babs said there was a bar with comfy seating,where folks could meet in the evenings or grab a coffee together, and a couple of social events. One was a barn dance, which was just a giggle!! Also a few educational publishers exhibition stands.... ie stands linked to the event. Also some freebies... business card holders, pens etc. One guest note speaker.... who is always some one prestigious and gives a longer address and the other events were made up of smaller presentations. Basically you signed up beforehand for the ones which interested you, so that you had an individualised timetable as there were 2 small conference rooms and a larger lecture theatre all running presentations at the same time!!!! I always worried though that some poor speakers would get a much smaller audience than others..... as we timetabled our own events. This just sounds such a great idea Steve. I am very excited. Let me know if I can be of any help. Making delegate name badges etc etc etc.xxxxx

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  7. I think this sounds like a fantastic idea!!
    @Alison & @LucyLastic: people could always meet up at stations so that you don't have to negotiate London by yourself :) Would be fab for City Organiser to be involved too.

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  8. Fantastic idea, count me in!!!
    @Alison and LucyLastic: I live in a small Dutch village and attented the London meetup in September 2011. All I can say is: don't be intimidated. London is just sort of a big village. Everybody is extremely helpful, and of course it doesn't harm to have the Tube Map and City Map of London in your Filofax ... ;-)
    The streets of London are safe, too, even at night, and even when you walk on your own!

    @Babs: sounds like Steve should get you on board to help with the organisational part? Beats having to invent the wheel again, right?

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  9. I love this idea! :D

    Btw, does anyone know if that is a grey or brown osterly? Or is the one to the left the brown? ^_^

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    1. Right is the grey one, and I think to the left is the brown one.

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    2. And note the Tracyley in the window display!

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    3. Actually I think it was the plum.

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    4. Thanks! I plan on getting the grey or the plum. :) nice to know that I like the colors in normal photos and not product shots. ^_^

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  10. I'm not 100% sure this would be something I could commit to due to my working hours, but it sounds like huge fun! I have some thoughts, probably better e-mailed since they might not apply to what you have in mind here.

    @Alison and LucyLastic, and anyone else: as a Londoner who moved here decades ago from a small town, I highly recommend buying yourself either a Filofax map of the centre, or better yet a London A - Z map book - I'd advise against relying solely on i-Phone/PDA etc for maps, if they won't work on the tube.

    And I second the mention that London is basically pretty friendly, especially if you approach people in a confident and upbeat manner! You might want to bookmark http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ now or closer to the date, it's the official website for all your transport needs - and even better, http://walkit.com/cities/london/ gives detailed walking directions for most locations in the greater London region - closer to the date, a quick look on Google StreetView means you can walk round looking totally confident, like you were born and raised here!

    I'm being very premature here of course, but just wanted to point out the abundance of visitor resources!

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    1. Thanks for the links, I've noted them for future reference!!!

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  11. @Anita, Jotje & Shanti: Thank you for your kind reassurances! I suppose it will depend on when it is and the price though, but details aside, I'm sure it's something I would enjoy!

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    1. Yeah thanks for the help but like Lucy it depends on the price, date etc but I will definitely consider it though, meeting up at a train station's probably the best idea because me and reading maps don't go together haha :)

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    2. London is actually pretty easy to navigate around with your A to Z and tube maps. I lived in London as a young child and North of London as a teen, so was always navigating my way around and through London!!! What I would say is take a handbag with a clip and a zip and keep your credit card wallet separate from your purse. A cross body bag is good. I was "dipped" once, pick pocketed on the underground and this was the advice from the transport police. But.... having said that.... Londoners on the whole are a very friendly group of folks, and a helpful lot.... and the shopping, the tourist attractions and the museums, art galleries and theatres are well worth the visit. It's a great place to go.

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    3. PS- The Transport for London Website do a large print Tube Map and Large Print Index, which is just fabulous. Much easier than being squinty eyed with the small handbag sized guides!!!

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  12. I'm in, and happy to do tour guide duty from any of the North London stations (Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, Kings Cross, St Pancras, Liverpool St, Fenchurch St; I'm sure we can field South Londoners for Charing Cross, Waterloo and Victoria.)

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    1. I can defo help with the south london touring.... I grew up in Peckham and can include tours of dodgy estates, the places not to go as tourists and 'the dark side' of london... no just kidding but I know south london well. :)

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  13. I'd be up for this. I live in Camden so would be happy to help along with Ray :)

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  14. Gaaaaah! hjeuyhfkeihjfkwejfeuwf eruqhgjqhkqjwh!

    Geeking out at the prospect of a Filofax/Philofaxy Conference. It'd be like TED or DAVOS, except amazeballs.

    OMG. There MUST be a Jotje panel on pocket organization (I was 3 out of the 7 "Pocket Full of Life Jotje" searches)and a booth selling Steve and Ray Designs.

    rui2hrih 4y82y4i2h5i ui3y2 GAH!

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    1. "Panel on pocket organization" ... hehe, you are funny! Which is why you MUST attend too!

      Second the printables-table with Steve/Ray Designs!

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  15. This is such a wonderful idea. More than happy to meet folks at Waterloo if anyone would like help finding their way around London.
    This will really be something to look forward to. :)

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  16. I love this idea! I too find the idea of travelling to London along a wee bit daunting (prob only cos it's a city I'm not familiar with). Have u considered Birmingham? I go there every year for a veterinary congress and it's a great place :)

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    1. :/ that would be trickier for us coming from overseas... London really is ideal in that respect.

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    2. Fair comment! Didn't really think about that. Sorry.
      Guess I would just have to be adventurous then and brave it to London :)

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  17. Sounds great. Love the idea and any excuse to go to London is fine by me!

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  18. Sounds like a great idea. I would love to take part, though it all depends on the date. =)

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  19. Amazing idea! I would love to do this! I'm with those who are a bit nervous (if that's the right word) about traveling to London, but I don't know that I could persuade any companions from the U.S. ;)

    While I am very interested in this idea, I wouldn't be able to commit without knowing the dates first - before I can do anything else, I'd have to get the time off from work (if I'm traveling across the ocean I would take 2 weeks off, or as close to that as possible). There are certain times of the year that I can't take off due to project deadlines. Plus, I have no idea what a trip like this would cost, and having never been across the pond, a lot of research and planning would need to be done prior to an official commitment. Then, I'd have to coordinate with my hubby - while he wouldn't be interested in the conference itself, he'd definitely like to travel to the UK and I couldn't in good conscious visit without him! ;)

    I don't know if any of the comments above are from people from the US, and I can't speak for anyone else, but for myself I can say that while this is a GREAT idea and one I'd love to be able to join, I don't know how feasible it would be - the biggest issue would be the date(s). However, please keep us informed of any/all plans so that we might be able to plan accordingly and with plenty of notice.

    If this does happen, all I can say is that I will try everything in my power (which might not be that great) to make it happen on my part!!! :D

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  20. Thank you everyone for your comments and feedback both here and on the emails. I have something more solid to work on now.

    I wasn't entirely sure how this would be received! One thing I forgot to mention is that I'm not looking to make a profit out of the event for myself. Break even yes, but any money left over will be donated to our favourite charity.

    I'm a bit busy over the next couple of weeks with 'work' but once that is out of the way we will sit down and start to draw up the plans for this event.

    Again thank you for your input and don't stop contributing thoughts and ideas in the comments or by email.

    Steve

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  21. That sounds like a fun conference. There is a new non-stop flight with BA: San Diego - London. Now if I could only afford it and have some vacation time to spare.... :-(

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  22. That sounds like a perfect conference to me - it just depends on the dates re my deadlines at work. I'm sure my man will be fine about me deserting him with the kids - he knows that if I can't go all I will do is talk about FFs all weekend - ha ha ha!!!

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  23. Sounds like an excellent idea....I'd be happy to be involved in any way I could, work commitments allowing, and would certainly attend.

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  24. As for the date: for me it would be vital that the date would be set way in advance. I'm thinking 9 months to a 1 year beforehand? Otherwise chances are that I wouldn't be able to go, if DH's work schedule gets in the way. Would be lovely if he'd accompany me, but who am I kidding ... LOL
    I definitely would LOVE to meet some of our US-Philofaxers there as well!!!!!

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    1. Yeah, i'm thinking the sooner I know the date, the better. But getting time off from work will depend on the date itself and how many people (if any) already have off, which is why earlier would be better. Then there's the issue of convincing the hubby... But that's the least of the issues. ;)

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  25. Hi Steve - I was going to email you, but can't find an email address for you. Just following up on the convention/conference to see if you have any idea yet of possible dates? I am guessing that the plan is for 1 day... or would it be 2? Cheers :o)

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    1. Email address on the About page.

      Steve

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