The invitation made good sense to me:
Apologies for the short notice but are you free tomorrow afternoon [Friday] after 3pm to meet with us to provide your feedback on MWC please? It should only take 30 mins or so.
It would be a chance to discuss with the Symbian Foundation marcomms team my reflections on our activities at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona the previous week: what had gone well, where there was room to improve, what we should try to do differently at future events, and so on. As a big fan of the practice of retrospection, I was happy to carve out 30 minutes in my diary for this purpose.
As I climbed up the stairs to the first floor of #1 Boundary Row – where the marcomms team sits – I briefly rehearsed my thoughts. I had many positive recollections of how everyone had prepared for and then supported the Symbian Foundation presence at Barcelona. (My main negative observation was that the music in the party was, at times, a bit too loud, and impeded networking conversations.)
But when I came into the room, Anatolie Papas asked me to review a press release. I could see there were lots of quotes on it. Then I noticed the title of the release:
DW 2.0 TURNS 5.0
SLIGHTLY BELATED BIRTHDAY PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION!
The man who helped put the ‘smart’ in ‘smartphone’ celebrates his half century and becomes a friendly spaceman
and I realised I was being ambushed – but in a very pleasant way!
Then a cake materialised, magnificently decorated with what is becoming an increasingly familiar picture:
A knife and forks appeared, and we collectively set to dividing up the cake and eating it. It was particuarly yummy! (The marcomms team get the credit for the design of the cake, but the manufacture was apparently by Konditor and Cook.)
The endorsements on the “press release” left me (unusually) lost for words. I won’t repeat the endorsements here – that would be far too indulgent – but I do nominate Bruce Carney (from Symbian’s Foster City office) as the provider of the geekiest quote:
“Congratulations on your 0x32nd birthday and thank you for your tireless contribution to get Symbian to where it is today; ready for the most exciting decade in all of our lives; the ‘Internet without wires’”, said Bruce Carney, Symbian^h^h^h^h^h^h^h Nokia.
The upbeat creativity that shone through this “press release” gives me all the more reason to be confident that this team will continue to devise and deliver suberb market communications as the rest of the Symbian Foundation accelerates into top gear over the months ahead.