Conferences Archive

Amsterdam iGaming Conference

Last week Dave and I traveled over to Amsterdam for 2 nights as Dave was speaking and moderating the day of SEO sessions at the iGaming Supershow conference. For those who are not in the “industry” this conference is all based around the online gaming /gambling sector, so poker, bingo, casino etc and attracts attendees from the big merchants and operators, to the affiliates and marketeers who send traffic to these platforms.

We flew out of Newcastle on Tuesday morning and got back to the UK on Thursday night. We had a good few days but it always wears you out as you spend most of the time chatting mainly about industry stuff, while stood up at a conference and generally staying out late. It’s our third or fourth time to Amsterdam for conferences over the years so we have “been there, seen it” so, No … we didn’t go to any cafes or venture back to the red light district!

Here we go then… probably the most photographed part of Amsterdam at the airport

schipol airport

Once we’d arrived we headed to the Holiday Inn that we had been booked into. Great hotel, just over the road from the busy conference hotel so we managed to have a quiet lunch which was amazing.

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Once we’d collected our conference badges for the following day we took time to relax in the afternoon, while keeing up with emails and then we ended up going out for dinner together at a super Italian restaurant not far from the hotel called Bellini. Its a restaurant that if you walked past, you may not go in, as it doesn’t look much from the outside and is in a residential area, but the food was amazing. It happened to be the World Cup match between Italy and Uruguay, the one where Suarez bit again so that was a shame that Italy went out.

bellinis restaurant amsterdam

It was a super cosy restaurant and the menu is just a guide as to what can be served. We went a bit off the menu with the starter and asked for some mozzerella and meats which arrived along with some fabulous hot prawns in garlic, and a plate of thinly sliced veal and tuna (an intriguing but delicious combination)

starter bellinis

The next day was conference day so up early to get the the venue for Dave to chair the day’s sessions. The conference was held at the RAI Amsterdam which is massive

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and this is where we spent most of the day

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dave conferencing

Afterwards it was time to go for some food with friends. So we ended up at Rosarium which is close by to the hotels and a beautiful setting. It was warm so we sat outside and ate fine food and drank cold wine.

rosarium restaurant amsterdam
amazing pudding rosarium

We didn’t have to get up early the next day so had a bit of a late night, which was good fun. The following day we headed to the airport in the afternoon for our exploration Schiphol airport (you can spend hours wandering around this place, its like a small town!)

There have been quite a few foodie pictures in this post, and doesn’t really represent Amsterdam, so here is one that is more in keeping…

bikes amsterdam

Until next time Holland!

A quick trip to Milan

Last week Dave and I went to Milan for a few days to attend the SMX conference that Dave was speaking at. Its the first time that a SMX show has been held in Italy so it was good to be asked to be part of it. Italy is a country that I want to see more of, we went to Rome last year with the kids which was great, and I’m planning on at least ticking off Florence and Venice in the near future.

This is what we went to Milan for … here’s Dave with John Meuller from Google and Chris Sherman from SMX as they are prepping to start the session.

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Before Dave did his session we had a few hours spare to head into the centre of Milan to see the sights. (I seem to have lost my camera somewhere so I only have my phone pictures for now)

The main attraction in Milan is Duomo cathedral which is a massive, impressive building and when you see it you realise why it took 400 years to build. It sits at the head of a huge open plaza surrounding by amazing buildings. It was a bit drizzly when we were there so all my pictures are a bit dull.

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Inside Duomo are huge columns and gorgeous stained glass windows

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Across from Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II which you enter through a huge archway and then are surrounded by designer brands, superb architecture and details such as the flooring.

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Looking up the roof is as impressive as the price tags!

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We then went to see Le Scala which was pretty unimpressive from the outside and then stopped for some lunch in a lovely restaurant with tables outside where we could watch the fashionistas go by.

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Next up was a mission to track down the AC Milan shop to get the kids a shirt each. They seem to have an array of European football shirts now.

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After 2 nights in Milan it was time to head home. I love the picture of the plane that I snapped while we were waiting to board.

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Barcelona in October

I’m a bit behind with my blog posts but I’m planning on getting caught up and sharing the places we have recently been and what we have been up to. So at the beginning of October we headed over to Barcelona for the iGaming Affiliate Conference where Dave was speaking. This was a week after Dave got back from SEOktoberfest and happened to be suferring from an onset of gout so was hobbling, so there was no sightseeing on the agenda. Here are a few shots of the few days we had away.

This is the view of Barcelona from the hotel

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We pretty much got entrenched at the little tapas bar across the road from the venue hotel, the Fira Palace and the conference centre. One of my favourite pastimes is people watching so it was a great vantage point.

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Here’s Dave doing his stuff

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and then getting interviewed by CalvinAyre after the session

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When we were there we had a couple of great meals out. The first night we went to a lovely restaurant where they physically showed you all the dishes on the specials menu before you ordered. It was like a beauty parade of plates of food, very bizarre. The next night we went to an amazing Italian restaurant which has the Barcelona team as regular diners, and the only place I know that sells a Nutella calzone!

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It was a quick and expensive visit to the Barcelona shop in the airport before heading home

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to arrive to Miles in a plaster cast after fracturing his elbow doing rugby training!

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Another great trip to Barcelona for the third year running. Here’s when we went in 2011 and 2012.

Think Visibility 2013 – Burst the Speaking Bubble

This weekend was Think Visibility 9 in Leeds so I headed there with Dave, as well as Anthony, Kean and Sian from Bronco. It was Think Visibility’s 5th birthday and its great that Dom has made such a success with this conference and what makes it even better is that its close to home and that there is a great turnout of “regulars” to catch up with.

This year was going to be different for me as I was going to burst my speaking bubble. Dom had asked me a few times to speak at ThinkVis … (hopefully not just to balance the male / female speaker ratio ;) ) .. but I have always shied away from it because I have always been in Dave’s shadow at conferences, and its really Dave that people want to hear. But Dom must have caught me on a good day a few months ago because I ended up saying yes. It crossed my mind many times running up to ThinkVis as to what had I got myself in for!

We came up with the topic of “The Story of Bronco – How to Run a Successful Agency” and since we are coming up to Bronco’s 10th birthday next month it was a great opportunity to share how we run Bronco with others. There was a good turnout to the session and given that it was the last session of the day, it hopefully offered some light relief. If you weren’t at ThinkVis, or missed the session you can take a look.

Once I got started I think I made a fairly decent job of it and managed to ad-lib around the content on the slides, as there is nothing worse than a speaker putting a slide up and then just reading it out while the audience just reads the same information. I’ll have to give a big thanks to Dave for sharing the session with me, and giving me lots of support, and for all the friendly faces in the audience. I hope that people could take something away from it and learn more about us personally too.

I don’t look too scared! (thanks to sk8geek for posting the pics)

Here’s some of the session feedback, which I’m really grateful for :)



Some other special moments from the conference was having a great speakers dinner on Friday night at The Cattle Grid, a good catch up with old friends at the Friday party, being proud of myself and the Bronco guys for taking it easy on Friday night ready for an early start, a great day of interesting sessions on Saturday, amazing pick and mix, a really fun meal out on Saturday at Pizza Express with the Bronco and 10Yetis team, then the cool Winter Wonderland Christmas party, and then a late night wind down drink with Dom and the Bronco guys back at the hotel. Special thanks to Santa for my present.. and a big thanks to Dom and Heather for yet again putting on a great weekend.

Barcelona Revisited 2012

We’ve just returned from another amazing time in Barcelona. We went there last September for the Barcelona Affiliate Conference and we were back again for the conference where Dave did his SEO sessions.

Here he is doing what he does best, talking to a room full of people.

This is a quick snap of the expo hall but it’s hard to show the size of the expo hall with one shot

If we weren’t at the conference we were probably drinking beer or wine and eating Tapas, and spending good times with our industry friends, old and new..but we did manage to grab a few hours to do a bit of sight seeing. Last time we were in Barcelona the weather was superb and we did a full day of strolling around the city. This time it rained and was quite dull, so the sight seeing was cut short. The one thing left in my guide book to see was the Sagrada Familia which has been under construction for 130 years and its the building that Gaudi worked on for 40 years until his death. They hope the building will be finished in 2026, but it may miss that deadline too. It’s a massive tourist attraction that is still a building site, very bizarre, but a must see. It was really hard to get a decent picture of it but here are a couple of the old and new sections.

We also walked past the Barcelona bullring which is huge

and admired one of the new buildings in Barcelona, the Torre Agbar, which is actually the headquarters of the water company! Apparently at night and for festivals it gets lit up in different colours.

It was great to get home, as it always is, and the kids love to see what we have brought them back. Ethan was particularly thrilled with in Messi Barcelona shirt and his Paddy Power Lucky Pants :)