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Branded Entertainment, Bell Fund and mixing business with pleasure at nextMEDIA

As I publish this post, I’m sitting in the Rocky Mountains preparing to attend the 2009 edition of the nextMEDIA conference.   Leaders in the spaces of digital content, production, advertising, marketing and media are converging on Banff this weekend to mix and mingle (as we always do quite successfully) and to try solve the problems of the digital world (as we seem to do with more limited success).

While the odds are that we won’t revolutionize the digital space this weekend, I’m looking forward to some exciting discussion and to meeting and re-connecting with some great people (Full Disclosure: I’m going to drop a lot of their names in this post!).  I also have a glimmer of hope that I might climb a mountain, but it’s supposed to rain, so I’m going to make that my excuse as to why I won’t…

Aside from the cocktail parties, one of the main reasons I’m excited is that I’ve been given the opportunity by conference producer Amy Davies to bring the insights you enjoy here on the nitchblog to a few very interesting panels that are a part of the event!

The first panel, on which I’ll be serving as moderator, will tackle the subject of Branded Entertainment, with an all-star line-up of panellists.  I’m excited to bring to life the discussion between five industry vets  that will hopefully debunk a lot of the myths that went into the great video above from College Humour (via Big Fuel’s amazing Content to Commerce blog).

Here’s that all-star line-up,  (yours truly included of course!) from the conference website:

Moderator

Andrew Lane, Consultant – nitch*

Participants
Jesse Albert, New Media & Digital Strategy Agent – ICM Talent
Matt Di Paola, Vice President – Interactive, – Proximity/BBDO
Jeffrey Dickstein, Digital Advertising Sales Director – Ubisoft
Sean Embury, Creative Director – Fjord Interactive/Cossette
Darren Pereira, Co-Founder, President – Indusblue

My second panel I’ll have the pleasure of being a part of a live workshop with the producers of the upcoming convergent project, BuffaloAir.TV, coming soon to History Channel.  This panel, happening on Saturday, is being put on by the good folks at the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund to promote their new “Bliki”.  The Bliki is a living document, a hybrid between a blog and a wiki that will be a resource to content producers looking to market and commercialize their brands in the digital space.  It was put together by some of the most experienced and talented people in Canadian digital content.   I was honoured to be a part of that group and to collaborate with marblemedia’s Sasha  Boersma on one section of the document.  Furthering my excitement, this panel will feature six of the talented individuals who helped to bring the document to life:

Moderator

Rita Carbone-Fleury - Marketing & Business Development – Bell Broadcast & New Media Fund

Participants
Mary Barroll, – Barrister & Solicitor
Kate Hanley, President – Digital Theory Media Consulting
Andrew Lane, Consultant – nitch*
James Milward, Executive Producer – Secret Location
Will Travis, SVP – Red Team – Dentsu

As is already clear, I’m excited (I think I’ve set a record for the use of the word in one post) for everything that’s going to be happening at the Banff Springs this weekend.  Also, I wanted to post as I’m going to be showing the video embedded above to kick of my branded entertainment panel, and thought I’d get a little personal branding in while I was at it!

So if you’re attending the nextMEDIA conference, or happen to be in Banff as you’re reading this, stop on by the Banff Springs and say ‘hi’.  If I can’t get that mountain climbed, I’m going to have to make my goal having a great conversation with as many new people as possible, and hopefully you’ll be one of them.

If you can’t make it out to Banff (I suppose it’s not the most accessible place), watch out for some (hopefully) interesting tweets @nitchblog and on the #nextMEDIA hashtag.  There’s sure to be some insights into the conference happenings… though I will say that the twitterberry is going to be shutdown once cocktail hour starts.  Sorry for that disappointment, but I’m optimistic that nextMEDIA will be anything but.