I am getting very mixed reaction on the Cross Media Week in the Amsterdam Gas Works last week, as a result of interviewing participants for a UK TV show. The official website says 5000 were involved in all the events, including the fringe parties and free seminars. I think most of the seminars drew crowds of 600 max. Seems the city of Amsterdam is pleased with the event to want to make it annual for the next 4-5 years. Results? Networking score 8. Quality of presentations 6. Knowledge transfer US-NL 4.
The problem is that many of the foreign guests have no clue as to the challenges facing the Dutch new media companies. So their case studies and comments are not applicable to the Netherlands. When you ask attendees whether the event was better as a result of over 1 million Euro in grants from the city of Amsterdam (taxpayers), the answer is always no. This is not an event that benefits from a subsidy model! Will the city open the tender for 2007 to other groups in Europe to bid for such an event? Sadly, my guess is NO.