Tony, Satjiv and friend

The Red Herring is increasingly being known for the killer conferences held around the world. Most recently Herring on Hollywood featured two days of networking (the old fashioned way, in person) as well as trade booths with entertainment related software as well as presentations on stage. The highlight was Tony Perkins the Editor-in-Chief and Satjiv Chahil, the Chief Marketing Officer of Palm Inc introducing the new Claudia Schiffer Palm Pilot.

The primary focus of the conference was how to drag the entertainment industry into the 21st century. Napster has got the powers that be startled like deer in the headlights and there are more serious shocks on the horizon. We learned that all the first run movies are available for free the day they come out or even before. They are put up by kids with handy cams, shot from the seats, complete with talking, popcorn and even comments from the cameraman. We saw the resolution and it was quite watchable AND it comes with a real, in-the-seat experience. All this is being done for free. What will Hollywood do?

There was also a TV studio set up and Tony interviewed conference participants. This was broadcast live over the net and we fielded questions in real time from viewers. Tuesday night we went to a studio for an an intimate bash for about 500 which ran until the last lie was told.

I’ve been to Cannes and Sundance and the meetings in the lobbies were of a very different nature. There was serious promoting of software products and phrases like “burn rate, peer to peer, fatpipes” and the like. No starlets, loud clothes (except mine) or air kissing. Hey, that’s why I went!