On June 23 I was invited to attend the Google Next Event, as a customer of Google and a potential partner.
It was quite a shock comparing the overall tone and spirit to the same event in New York, last year.
In New York everything was oriented toward networking, and you had the feeling that anyone could be anyone, and it didn’t matter if they represented a large company or a “start-up wannabe”.
In London it felt more like a roadshow, like “let’s do this thing here so nobody this side of the pond can say we don’t care about Europe” or “let’s have a few customers and partners on stage and featured so more will sign up”. But it seemed like nobody really gave a crap about who you were or why you were there. As a matter of fact, unlike in NY, the senior execs did not seem too happy to mingle, and retreated to their offices as soon as they were done with their speech.
There were other big differences, like how good the Americans are on stage, with a mic, or how the catering in NY had a lot of vegetarian and fresh fruit options while in London there were hardly any (but there were quite a few and delicious desserts, and even candy bars).
Nothing revolutionary or exciting was announced, but overall it was a very well put together event. Thanks, Google.