Oi logo bigI’ve had to cancel the Manchester and Birmingham conferences. After the hurt of closing Glasgow a few weeks ago, its been a crushing blow.

Its been a really tough week for the Oiconf. I’ve had tougher weeks in business but I can’t remember when. Our amazing social media conference, packed full of the most talented speakers I could find, simply has not caught on outside of Wales.

In Cardiff, ticket sales have been strong. Possibly because we did it in South Wales last year and to such a high level of success. That success was what prompted us to roll out the conference in a bigger way than before. We had attracted fantastic speakers, and the buzz seemed to be there, but sales did not follow.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the last few weeks.

Onwards and upwards I guess? Its the only way…

So after refunding the tickets of the handful of people that had bought tickets for Birmingham or Manchester (we refunded Glasgow last week) I had the pretty difficult task of talking to our wonderful speakers. Every one of them, Mari Smith, Mark Schaefer, Tom and Tamsen Webster, were understanding, and completely professional about the whole thing.

Mark Schaefer went one step further however, which if you know him, is the measure of the man. He has stepped forward and offered to help. Mark wants to help us put on an Oiconf for Cardiff that will be bigger and better than ever, and he wants to help us recoup our losses.

So we’ve redesigned Oiconf for Cardiff ONLY. Its our heartland, our strength, and I hope we can claw back some of the money  we are out by putting on the best damn conference we can.

Gone are the plans for the 4 big name American social media superstars – but in their place is the fantastic Mark Schaefer.

You’ll no doubt remember that it was Mark that helped me to put on Oiconf in the first place. It was our Twitter chat that led to one of the marketing and social media highlights for the businesses of South Wales last year. It was a fantastically well received conference, packed full of learning.


Mark Schaefer at Oiconf last year  (Photo credit: Sarah-hoss)

And Mark has agreed to carry this years Oiconf in Cardiff on his shoulders once more. I am extremely grateful to him and frankly amazed at the depth of our friendship. A friendship that started online, a few years ago, after reading a little book called the Tao of Twitter.

Mr Mark Schaefer, Amazon best selling marketing author of Return on Influence and the new smash hit “Born to Blog’ will put on an entire half day social media marketing workshop worth $300 per person, for the bargain price of £99.

Here is the description of Marks workshop:

Every company and brand is waking up to the fact that content is the currency of the social web.  But how do you win in this digital world where the competition is heating up? How do you cut through the clutter to win in this increasingly information-dense social media world?
Best-selling author, blogger, and college educator Mark Schaefer will lead us through the fundamentals of content strategy, articulate the foundational principles of success business, and lead participants through a regimen of creating unstoppable content. Take-aways from this workshop include:
  • The mechanics of using content as a strategy to attract inbound leads
  • Case studies (enterprise, SMB, non-profit) of content marketing successes
  • Fundamentals of strategy development
  • Practical ideas and tools to help you create viral, share-able content
  • Principles of “igniting” content
Mark’s entertaining and fast-paced workshop will teach you how to leverage these platforms to get the most from your investment in engaging, meaningful content.

On top of this awesome half day, I’ve sourced, and will continue to source, the leading local social media talent we can find.

The fabulous Philippa Davies - best talk last year?

The fabulous Philippa Davies – best talk last year?

Ian Cleary

Ian Cleary

Up and coming Social Media star Ian Cleary from Irelands Social Media tools and technology business Razor Social will deliver a stunning keynote, and original Oiconf keynote speaker Philippa Davies (@mrsmoti) will be back again to spell bind the audience!

Mark, Pippa and Ian will then round off the day with a panel discussion with questions from the floor and gathered through the day. They will be joined on stage by some of the leading social media professionals gathered from throughout the UK and from South Wales, more details to come but it promises to be brilliant no holds barred edutainment!

Anyone that bought a ticket and doesnt want to come will get a full refund. As for the people that bought a ticket in Glasgow, Manchester or Birmingham – they can swap their ticket for Cardiff, or get a full refund if they don’t want to come or can’t make it.

Anyone in Cardiff that has paid the ‘full price’ ticket of £149 will get £50 refund as the price of this amazing social media extravaganza will be only £99.

Please come along and support Oiconf? You certainly won’t regret it, and maybe next year we can take it on and make it as big as it deserves to be

Thanks for listening, and thank you for your support so far. It is very much appreciated

Tony Dowling, and the Oiconf team

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15 replies
    • Tony Dowling
      Tony Dowling says:

      Thanks Kaarina – You would not believe the outpouring of support on Twitter (but maybe you would!) Its been a humbling experience all round

      • seangrey54
        seangrey54 says:

        Hi Tony, sorry to hear about the conferences. It must hurt, when you put so much energy, effort into something you believe in and are so passionate about, to then have to cancel. I suppose the upside is the Cardiff conference is going to be mindblowing!! Best wishes Sean

  1. Allan Blair Beaton
    Allan Blair Beaton says:

    I offered to promote and help out in Glasgow, but it fell on deaf ears. Maybe you’ll listen, listen, listen next time and accept the help of others. I wish you all the success for Cardiff; my adopted homeland. Glad that I was the first person to put on a large scale social media event in Wales, which has prompted you to do the same….

    Best of luck with the Cardiff event. I am sure that it will be amazing!


    • Tony Dowling
      Tony Dowling says:

      Thanks for the support Alan. I missed your offer of help in Glasgow? The fact is we had four very committed ambassadors there that were all heavily involved in the local social media scene via their businesses.
      The communications there, and the promotion in Manchester and Birmingham too for that matter, were first rate. Not sure adding anyone’s voice would have made a difference?
      Fortunately, we’ve had enormous support on the networks and will keep battling on

  2. Dr Bridget
    Dr Bridget says:

    Its another twistin the exciting journey towards success Tony. If we didnt dream big, life would be very boring. It will happen, just not in the way that you’d planned so keep the faith and think about the next step to get what you want x

  3. Surj
    Surj says:


    You know it’s all about bouncing back!

    I was an early bird ticket last year (and this year), got someone else to book for this year – and would not dream of cancelling. Anything I can do to help, shout.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] We took a bath, a kicking. We gambled and lost. And it really hurts. Not just the money, but the six months of slogging to sell Oiconf around the UK and the final realisation that we have come out of it on the negative side of the equation. […]

  2. […] probably know we had some tough times with our social media marketing conference arrangements over the last few weeks. But sometimes as […]

  3. […] probably know we had some tough times with our social media marketing conference arrangements over the last few weeks. But sometimes as […]

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