The GEL conference held at the Times Theatre in New York (April 29th to 30th) was unusual – a conference designed to give attendees an experience that they will carry back to their work. A brain child of Mark Hurst the entire experience gives you a feeling of being treated like an individual and a personalized experience.
From the Gelconference.com website : Gel ("Good Experience Live") is a conference and community, founded in 2003, exploring good experience in all its forms - in art, business, society, technology, and life.
As I entered the Times theatre I was glad to meet my friend Julien Smith (co-author of Trust Agents)ELIZABETH KIEHNER of http://www.thornbergandforester.com whose agency made some amazing videos for the Gel Conference, Ellen and Doug Rowan . The day started with a presentation by Eric Singer – Robots, Slime, propane and other ways to make strange Musical Instrument. He demonstrated a robot guitar on stage. My next session was a Public speaking workshop with Erin McKean founder of Wordnik. After this conference all the attendees were given a choice of over 12 activities to take part in. They ranged from a visit to the Dead Horse Bay Island ( read Matt Haughey’s Blog post on the trip) to the world’s oldest subway tunnel in Brooklyn ( see pictures from Anna Sabino’s Blog on Lucid New York ), Concrete Picture Safari by Ben Hoffman, Founder and CEO of CityHunt and the Experience Retail Tour with my friend Rachel Shechtman, founder and CEO of Cube Ventures,I went to the The Dining Experience at Maialino and Terry Coughlin, general manager of Maialino did a great job explaining the philosophy of Danny Meyer’s restaurants.
You can see the other activities here http://gelconference.com/10/
The team building and networking got us ready for Day 2 of stage presentations. If you want to skip ahead and watch the videos of the event please go here http://gelconference.com/videos/2010/ . I was impressed with Kevin Roose author of the "The Unlikely Disciple" and his video is below. Some of the other presentations were the The Ebony Hillbillies African-American bluegrass band, Randy Garutti Chief Operating Officer, Shake Shack talk, Louise Reilly Sacco Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director, MOBA (The Museum Of Bad Art )
This is definitely a conference worth checking. Other posts about the Gel conference:
• Jennifer König (scroll down below the cool photo to read her text)
• Matt Haughey on his Day 1 trip to Dead Horse Bay
• Ben Hoffman's CityHunt photos (see thumbnails at bottom)