The Year Ahead 2013
What a fantastic afternoon.
Running for the fifth year, Wednesday saw MediaTel's 2013 Year Ahead event, sponsored by Enreach, kick the media calendar off with an insightful bang.
Stimulating. Impressive. Humorous. These are the words we're seeing on the many thank-you tweets we're receiving today. Not forgetting something about Big Sexy Data and #sizereallydoesmatter.
More than 150 senior media executives, including representatives from agencies, media owners and researchers, amongst others, marvelled at the stunning venue - this year hosted at The Runner Bar at Green's - as they listened and posed questions to the excellent panel.
And, like the audience, the panel had grown in size this year. Stalwarts Torin Douglas, BBC News's media correspondent, and Newsline columnist Raymond Snoddy, were joined by IPA president, Nicola Mendelsohn.
The addition of Nicola added some excellent perspective on what she thinks will happen in the digital and agency worlds in 2013 - and it was good to see a new face sandwiched between the media old hats sat either side of her.
As drinks were served from the cocktail bar, the trio answered questions from the floor. Douglas McArthur, Greg Grimmer, James Smythe and Graham Lovelace, to name a few, took the mic to kick off discussions about what 2013 has in store.
A range of issues were covered, including the future of regional media, the plight of the BBC, local TV and some interesting discussion on advertising - asking if it's less powerful than it used to be.
As the event was observing Chatham House Rule, it's a case of requiring a much sought after invite to know what the panel really thought, but, as always - and as our Twitter feed is proving today - the answers were illuminating, amusing, genuinely useful and interesting.
Nicola had some brilliant insights on Big Data - and yes, she really does think it's sexy - and how it can be harnessed in 2013 to help drive communications effectiveness and efficiency.
Likewise, there were some interesting views given when a question was asked about the thriving UK Commercial Radio sector; is it proof that private companies make better media owners than public companies?
One of the best things about the Year Ahead are the anecdotal chats, and between them the panel has many years' experience in the media, and so listening to their insider knowledge is a real treat.
If you missed out, then you better try and get on the guest list for 2014.
In the meantime, see what other events MediaTel has lined up for this year.