Pub Crawl = Conference 2.0.
Sceptics might think that spending the afternoon wandering between five pubs on the edge of Borough Market was a skive but, in fact, I was attending Under The Influence which really should be the model for all conferences.
I heard John Grant not deliver his prepared speech, saw Andy Mackay explaining the marketing thinking behind Manumission's decision to drop the live sex show, glimpsed a bewildering exposition on the changing face of retail outlets from Lucy Johnston through a crowded staircase and marvelled at a history of beer from former planner Pete Brown that had both great visuals and resonances for product as objects of sociability.
The back-channel was bumping into people you'd previously spied as they walked between or reflected in one of the various venues (pubs); the mood was open, sociable and stimulating; and the only jarring note for me was some dressed-down corporates spouting about the branding opportunities of Second Life and virtual identities.
To top it all, I re-met an old acquaintance, the remarkable Captain Crikey whose emigration from the big city has thankfully done nothing to curb his derision of marketing bollocks. I have seen the future of conferences and it came with two bottles of commerative ale. Bravo.