I went to a book launch event yesterday evening in the hope that I might learn something useful for the forthcoming launch of my book No Small Change, co-written with Anthony Thomson, which I think I may have mentioned.
Amidst the drinks and canapes, there was a presentation and panel discussion which lasted an hour or so. Naturally the author spoke, and the panel also included a couple of quite impressively heavy hitters from the financial world, with a well-known journalist chairing.
There were over a hundred people present, in a long, narrow room where many of us were a long way from the stage. So it was a pity that three out of the four speakers’ microphones didn’t work so we couldn’t hear them, and neither did the roving mike so the audience’s questions from the floor were inaudible either to the panel, or to the rest of the audience, or both. Also, the laptop projecting a very large image behind the panel went onto standby every five minutes, so that the title slide disappeared and was replaced by a huge and distractingly day-glo green message saying NO SIGNAL.
By now you may well have guessed the punchline, which is that the book is about how rapidly and how fundamentally IT is changing the world. We are, the author tells us, in the middle of a gigantic digital revolution which is utterly transforming how the 7.5 billion people on earth relate and connect to each other, with thrilling and largely unimaginable consequences for the way we live our lives.
I didn’t see any evidence that anyone else noticed the irony of the fact that these messages were being delivered in an environment in which the technology present was actively preventing the people in the room from relating and connecting to each other, but I don’t think it can have only been me.
Note to self: when launching a book about financial services marketing, make sure the launch marketing isn’t too shabby.