The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

Cardiff Screen Festival - Focus on Interactive zzzz

– November 15th, 2004 –

Having just attended the morning sessions at this annual event (my first time btw) I just had to get something down here before I forget.

The thing about these kind of events is that most people want to get at least something out of it, personally as well as professionally. You might want to find out, as a designer, what is happening in Wales at the moment in terms of New Media. You might, as a client, want to see what the possibilities are for your product or service. Invariably events like this fail to deliver on these simple wants and needs.

I went to SXSW in Austin, TX in March of this year and was expecting the same old boring excuses to plug a book, a service, a product of some kind. but I was pleased to see that it only happened a couple of times. SXSW speakers (generally) were superb, eloquent, passionate professionals who inspired the audience.

Now, surely i’m not expecting Cardiff Screen Festival to be the same? Well, why the hell not? Why do all these events in this country, Wales especially, degrade into political rants about public service organisations or just simply bore the audience to tears with manicured, predictable presentations delivered as if you’re presenting to your grandmother? (you get the impression I wasn’t too impressed?)

Now, there were some interesting points that were made, some interesting products (although don’t get me started on the usability of a pda as a broadband wireless exhibition/location guide - that really is stretching the technology model.) but the emphasis was on products or services being sold in the guise of a ‘case study’. There was no honest debate, up to point when I left. There was no discussion on ROI, no discussion on market, in fact no discussion. It was all one way.

It was very difficult to sit through. Let’s hope they get it better next year.

Filed in: design, news.

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