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Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Three more speakers announced!

In Uncategorized on October 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

The next batch of tickets go on sale today at 3pm, so its time to announce another three speakers for this year’s event.

Anthony Owen is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s most prolific and influential magical creators, writers and producers. His original magical effects, routines and ideas have been featured by performers around the world and he has acted as a consultant for numerous performers and theatre, film and television productions. He is the author of over twenty books on magic, including Some Tricks, Some More Tricks and The Sticky Blue Book. He is also the BAFTA and Rose D’or award winning producer of over one hundred hours of television magic shows including all of Derren Brown‘s series and specials, and The Real Hustle for BBC3. I’m a huge fan of magic, and how magicians use various techniques in their storytelling, so I’m really looking for ward to hearing from Anthony.

Tom Chatfield and Phil Stuart will be talking about The End, a game produced for Channel 4 Education about philosophy, belief and death. Phil is the Creative Director of Preloaded, one of the UK’s most innovative game design companies, who have produced award-winning games for clients including the BBC, Channel 4 and The Wellcome Trust. Tom  is a freelance writer and the author of three books about digital culture. He has a doctorate from St John’s College, Oxford, and is an associate editor at Prospect magazine, a guest fellow at the Said Business School, Oxford, and a faculty member at the School of Life in London. He writes, speaks and broadcasts internationally on media, arts and technology, appearing at forums including TED Global, the Cannes Lions and authors@Google.

Danny O’Brien is one of the most influential writers, journalists and activists of the last 20yrs. He spent the 90s documenting the fledgling UK new media scene, working on the first iteration of Wired UK, and later starting the very influential Need To Know webzine with Dave Green. In 2005 he left the UK to join the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, and in 2010 moved to take on the role of Internet Advocacy Co-ordinator for the Committee To Protect Journalism. Danny was also one of the founders of the Open Rights Group, an activist group working to protect users’ rights on the internet in the UK. Danny is a fantastic writer and storyteller, and is working on some of the most pressing political and ethical issues we face as we become ever more dependent on digital networks and the stories they tell about us. I’m really looking forward to hearing about his work next February.


So – that’s another three speakers announced, and the line-up is starting to take shape. Just a few more to go – we’ll announce these as further batches of tickets go on sale. Get yours now from our Eventbrite page!


Next batch of tickets go on sale Monday 10th October, and some data on ticket sales

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Blimey. Today’s batch of 50 tickets went on sale at noon today, and they sold out in under 5 minutes. That is much faster than we expected, so we’ve brought forward the next batch to go on sale Monday 10th October, at noon GMT. There’s 200 tickets in this batch, so there should be plenty of time to get one before they all disappear.

It might seem strange, or frustrating, to sell tickets this way, but there’s a good reason – selling early bird tickets helps our cashflow, as the vast amount of the cost of running conferences has to be paid up front. By September, the time the first batch went on sale, we’d already had to spend nearly £5,000 on venue hire, flights, and other costs for the event, so getting early bird ticket sales really helps our cashflow.

However, this year, it does seem that the balance between getting money up front and demand for tickets is a bit out of whack. We’re learning every year about how to sell tickets, so it might be worth sharing some data from previous The Story events to show the patterns of sales.

For the first The Story event in 2010, tickets were sold in three batches – ‘early bird’, ‘later bird’ and ‘proper tickets’. It was the first year for the event, and tickets sold pretty steadily until just the week before the event. We announced speakers in batches in the run up to the event, so that we could spread the word and drive ticket sales, and daily ticket sales fluctuated as these tweets and blog posts attracted people to buy tickets. The last few tickets sold the day before the event, and the chart looked like this:

For The Story 2011, we released tickets in just two batches – ‘early bird’ and ‘later bird’, and again released speaker information in batches. We had faster sales around ticket releases, but outside of that, sales were pretty slow until a final burst in late Jan, meaning we sold out before February, a few weeks before the event. Here’s the chart for The Story 2011:

So, this seemed to show that releasing more batches is a better way of getting early ticket sales, so for The Story 2012 we’re trying four batches, partly as a way to help cashflow, but also a way to keep down the tickets price for early bird tickets. Demand has been *way* higher than we expected, with both batches selling out in minutes. The next batch has 200 tickets, so should sell much more slowly, so apologies to anyone who has been frustrated about getting a ticket – you should be able to next Monday!

After the event next February, we’ll share the ticket sales data again- if you’re organising a conference, this is a really hard thing to get right. I’d love to see what other people are learning from organising their events.

Three more speakers announced

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2011 at 10:24 am

The second batch of tickets for The Story 2012 go on sale today at noon on our Eventbrite site – the first batch sold out in 15 minutes, so set your alarms if you want to get one of the early bird tickets! In the meantime, here’s details on another three speakers who will be at The Story next Feb:

Fiona Raby is a partner in the design partnership Dunne & Raby, established in 1994. She is professor of Industrial Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, and a Reader in Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art in London. Dunne & Raby use design as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of existing and emerging technologies. Their work has been exhibited at MOMA, the Pompidou Centre, and the Science Museum in London and is in the permanent collections of MOMA, V&A, FRAC and FNAC. They have published two books: Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects and Hertzian Tales.

Matthew Herbert is a musician and composer who works principally turning everyday sounds in to music. He has produced an astonishing volume of work for a variety of media.  Herbert has released some 20 of his own albums under various monikers, including Herbert, Matthew Herbert, Doctor Rockit, Wishmountain and Radio Boy. In 2010 Herbert was commissioned by The London Sinfonietta to create a programme of music from a single edition of The Guardian newspaper. He  incorporated numerous sounds – including recordings of the printing presses creating that day’s edition, the original recording of the paper’s interview with Jonathan Frantzen, an auction of Lehman Brother’s art collection and the polluted rivers of the Niger Delta – into the writing and performance process.  In 2011 Herbert scored the soundtrack for Life In A Day, directed by Kevin McDonald and produced by Ridley Scott, weaving thousands of audio submissions from contributors around the globe into the film. This year he released One Pig, the third in a series of three albums about one thing. In the first, One One, Herbert makes all sounds (including singing) himself. The second is One Club, made from recordings of the audience and building-fabric at a German nightclub on a single night. One Pig is derived from recordings made during the life, death and consumption of a single English farm animal.

Ellie Harrison makes work which moves constantly between the roles of ‘artist’, ‘activist’ and ‘administrator’. She uses skills drawn from each of these perspectives to create playful and engaging work, in-and-out of art world contexts, which expose and challenge the systems which control and rule over our lives, be they political, ethical, social or economic. Her work takes a variety of forms including performance spectacles, interactive installations, collaborative projects, political campaigns, media interventions, lectures, websites and coach trips. In 2009 she founded the Bring Back British Rail campaign and in February 2010 she became the first individual artist to openly publicise an Environmental Policy on her website. She lives and works in Glasgow where she is secretary of the Artists’ Lottery Syndicate and member of the Scottish Artists Union.

So that’s another of the three speakers for next year’s The Story. We’ll post up more as the other tickets go on sale. We look forward to seeing you there!


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