Digital London was buzzing with creativity - the power of the internet drew people away from their screens rather than keep them glued to them. Over 10,000 people took part in seminars, meetings and parties as part of Internet Week Europe - a sharp increase on 2010's inaugural event.
And for everyone who came in person, dozens more took part online as worldwide involvement soared. Support on Facebook and other social media jumped by over 600%, the Twitter following almost doubled, the livestream was viewed by over 6000, and the event's main website got almost a quarter of a million clicks as the numbers subscribing to live details of the events rocketed.
For those who turned up to the events it was a case of work hard play hard. More than 150 events from the very best of Europe's digital industry were staged across the week, with Yahoo!'s inaugural Provoke Summit featuring Andrew Cracknell, the BBC's The Boy with Tape on his Face stand-up show, Google's 'Learn How to', Channel 4's Interactive Filmmaker's Manifesto, Seedcamp, TED's European Salon, Miss Cakehead's Steve Jobs inspired Cake Shop, Coutts' breakfast, and Story's Digital Archaeology: ten websites that changed the world, proving hugely popular and each drawing large crowds.
This second annual festival, celebrating Europe's thriving digital industry, drew to a close, with The Lovie Awards Winners' Party ending a week in which London played host to the cream of the continent's digerati at events ranging from breakfast meetings, through workshops to evening cocktails.
The Hospital Club, which served as the festival's first ever h.Q. hosted over 40 events from Yahoo!, LinkedIn, AOL, Figaro Digital, Par Equity, Sapient Nitro, and Huge, with more than 100 speakers and panelists participating. With more than 600 Foursquare check-ins, the h.Q. saw a large number of business meetings and deals conducted in the lounge areas outside of the workshops and panel discussions.
Digital industry thought leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators participated on inspiring panels and in lively debates such as "Risky Business" with Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, the keynote by Wired's David Rowan, the Big Tablet Event with AKQA, ITV, Sky and Unanimis by IAB, Malcolm Poynton of Sapient Nitro leading the discussion "Culture Clubbing with the Brand".
The five-day festival hosted a number of competitions, including the Finger Battle Tournament, the first-ever competition to determine the fastest finger tapper in Europe, won by Oliver Vass.
"Year two and definitely an all round success," commented Nick Farnhill, co-chair of Internet Week Europe. "Over 10,000 attendees experiencing what the European web community is capable of and an inspirational show of creative and tech entrepreneurialism."
Internet Week Europe 2011 Sees Record Attendance
| by Levent Ozler