My first visit to The Fantastic Tavern (#TFTLondon)

Some time ago, I used to work for a company called Conchango (now EMC Consulting UK).  It was a great place, with some really fantastic people, although I’ve lost touch with many of them in the intervening years. Even so, some of the guys and gals at Conchango EMC Consulting [sorry, can’t get used to the bland corporate name for such a creative company] pop up from time to time on the same social networks as me (online and physical) and I’d started to see reference to this thing called The Fantastic Tavern (TFT for short).

TFT is run by Matt Bagwell (@mattbagwell) and Michelle Flynn (@michelleflynn), and when I asked Michelle what it’s all about she suggested I come along and see. Last night I did just that and found the whole event quite inspirational (although the free beer probably helped too!).

The Fantastic Tavern sounds rather magical: like platform 9¾ at London Kings Cross station; or something from a Terry Pratchett novel. In reality, it’s a meetup, in a pub, with two themes: beer and ideas. The people who come along are called Taverners and we all do something digital – whether it’s as practitioners, clients, or in agencies. The rules are simple: have a drink; exchange ideas; but no selling!

Last night’s TFT was entitled “What happens now?” and there were ten speakers, each given a few minutes to talk on their chosen topic, which was then rated on a care graph (do we care? vs. will we take action?). Don’t ask me what happens to that information later (it was my first visit) but it might have something to do with future events.

The diversity of topics was pretty wide – but they all had something in common – they were genuinely interesting!

My first visit to The Fantastic Tavern was enlightening – and I was genuinely in awe of the creative talents that surrounded me. I’m definitely planning on being at the next one (even though it involves schlepping into London… or New York!).  Find more at The Fantastic Tavern site (or @TFTLondonNYC).

[Updated 14 February 2011 with full speaker names/organisations and links to presentations]

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