Last week Joel Hughesput the finishing touches to a very special website. He has developed hundreds, possibly thousands over the years, but I’d guess none exactly like this one. This one has been conceived and constructed by a group of people with one aim in mind, and for once at least, that aim is not about making money.

Screenshot of the brand new website!

The Oi! Conference website was launched as the last piece in the plan to promote a very special event coming to Wales in September. An event that aims to teach, and engage with the businesses of Wales at a level we have not seen before. The whole thing started in a unique way, as an idea I discussed a few months ago with the inimitable Mark Schaefer. We had connected in that very special way Twitter has of putting people together over his books and blogs. It was a conversation that even resulted in me getting to post on Marks blog too, discussing the Oi! Conference and the way it came about.

Mark suggested in a tweet to me that we run a social media conference for Wales in a similar way to the Soslam event he runs in the US. Instantly, as I asked around on Twitter about the idea, interest ignited, and loads of people, most of whom I’d never met, offered to pitch in and help make the event happen.

We’ve had people like Russell Britton helping with the brand identity, Nick Miles with the logistics of putting an event on and the billing of the tickets, Pippa Davies who has offered sage advice at every step, Tanya Brookes Dowsett who offered to help with sponsorship, Ben Cook who used his enormous experience of events to put the plan together, Nick Smith one of the first to put their hands up, helping to guide the attendees around the event itself. The list goes on (if I havent mentioned you I’m very sorry)

Special mention again here for Joel Hughes who has put the website together. Joel has probably made the event come to life with the website, and helped us sell a boat load of tickets so far too. And the brilliant Paul Fairburn of Aimable Consulting who has given his time to MC the event for us.

And then of course we have the very special people who have given their time and energy and expertise to actually make the whole event possible, our speakers.

Jay Cooper of Social Media agency Bloom

Marc Webber one of Wales leading digital lights

The super creative author and psychologist and advisor to government and business alike, Pippa Davies

Emma Meese the force of nature social media trainer for the BBC who know teaches journalists to use social media for news gathering purposes

James Cridland the radio futurologist and massively entertaining speaker who is a fixture on the UK and European conference circuit.

And arguably, the man who has made the whole thing possible, giving his keynote talk on Online Influence Mr Mark Schaefer.

Make no mistake. Mark is a global marketing and social media blogging star and best-selling author of the newly revamped 2nd edition Tao of Twitter, and Amazon best-selling marketing book Return on Influence.

The latter is a great book every one serious about social media needs to read. If you attend the event you’ll get a chance to meet Mark and have your complimentary copy signed by him personally.

This guy is a social media SUPERSTAR. And he is coming to Wales. For free.

To ensure the event can happen, Mark is flying over from the US and staying here for a week. FOR FREE. This is how he makes his living, and he has donated this time to us just to help.

You can’t afford to miss this. In turn every other speaker has also given their time for free, to keep the costs as low as possible. Mind blowing!

At this conference you will learn more about social media in one day than you have ever thought possible. And no one is making a bean from it. All the money from tickets sales are paying for the AV and what have you, and of course my brilliant employers Real Radio are also sponsoring the event, providing us with the amazing Celtic Manor venue and the food and refreshments for the day.

Honestly, I can’t think of another event of this quality out on in this way. And it’s here, in Wales, in September