Le Web London stank of perfume but the grass outside was good

I’d never been to the Le Web conference before, I’d planned to go to Paris last year, but was waylaid by something MUCH MORE IMPORTANT, er, I mean a job for a client.

So the conference’s debut in London this week piqued my interest and off I toodled to the People’s Hall in Westminister, a venue I imagine was not chosen for its egalitarian description of men and women, but for its proximity to the more privileged shadow of Parliament.

Entrepreneurs, naturally, are selfish bastards, a description that most would believe a compliment. I, too, have designs in that area so I strode past the LA-nightclub-style security into a two-day show that costs around £1,500 to attend.

I did the mathS. A thousand attendess at that pricepoint, plus exhibitors’ and sponsors’ money add up to a very nice margin for Geraldine and Loic but while I pondered this figure, I was assailed by something very different, something very different indeed.

It was the scent-stench of CK1 ( or CKOne as a brand-expert next to me has just explained) wafting through the starched clothes of the safe, European entrepreneurs into the wainscoting of the People’s Hall.

I hate perfume, although I’ve been known to wear nothing else in bed apart from Channel No 5, and I see no reason for it. There’s no need to pay the pheremone, the human smell gets us laid anyway, no need to mask it. BO is better than perfume.

The delegates seemed OK with it but I was called away to lunch with a popstar at the Groucho Club and then realised what the Olympics was going to do to my London. St James’ Park was completely closed and I was kettled down Whitehall before picking up short-cuts around the back of the National Gallery.

A nightmare with all those (stinky) tourists, it’s been three decades since I passed one of those bearksin trophy-soldiers sitting still on horses, but a decent lunch ensured and I returned to the conference.

Aha, that’s the beauty of conferences, it’s the place OUTSIDE the conference where the action and business is done. Usually it’s an adjacent hotel, but in this case it was a patch of green lawn outside. Fantastic, met some really interesting people, some old mates and even a couple of pints in the nearest pub.

It’s summertime, it’s London, a city that reeks of style and interest and a conference hall is no place to conjoin.

So, be done with your perfumier, throw off your tie-less suits and let’s have Leweb London at a lower price and with a little less pomade and pout… it will be all the better for it.

Monty (680 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.