Hell's teeth!!! What am I like? What would I know? About social media or the construction industry? What an imposter! Why didn't I think harder before accepting Toby's kind invitation? Felt like a right charlatan joining the "expert panel" and said so immediately (taking the view that it was better to 'fess up, as I was sure to be found out within seconds) and what made it worse was that there were some seriously leading-edge thinkers sitting beside me on the panel and, indeed (even worse) in the audience; people who really knew what they were talking about. Ooh-er.
Entertaining and illuminating, and looking much younger than his 47 years, he made the sagacious point that to say you haven't got enough time to use new communications techniques means you've completely missed the point: the new techniques will give you back your time. I hung my head in shame at that. And I promise that I will try harder.
I seem to spend all day every day with Barclays Capital lately, and rather wonderful to also be sitting on the panel with Ardell Bunt who is head of their corporate real estate (I think), I understood one word in four from him!
And then the fourth of our merry band was the hugely urbane Philip Tidd (also charming beyond belief, said he couldn't do Twitter as he was a loquacious Welshman) who, being the MD of those smarty-pants thinkers, DEGW, said clever things about how folk use offices, and how folk use technology, and also asserted that he was banning internal e-mails within his firm (this last statement, of course, was not true, but in the making of it he will effect real cultural change within DEGW. But it did cause the lovely Alan Froggatt - in a CBRE-green tie - to nearly choke on his coffee; indeed, I couldn't look at Froggatt all the way through this event for fear of collapsing in fits of giggles, as we seriously were the only two luddites in the room).
I managed to make one halfway serious point on how social media could revolutionise community consultation and Toby let me off any further contributions. Nobody really seemed to mind me being a klutz, so that was OK. The breakfast was simply fab, with a lot of posh charcuterie (I'm on the wretched Atkins again, I can't work out why it doesn't work if you drink a bucket of white wine every night) and the audience was warm and cuddly. I caught up with David Izett and Doug Weston, and that's always good news. And I learnt a lot. What's not to like?
And the controversial fit-out of the Royal Institution? Well, it is an interesting outcome, in a neo-classical building. It wouldn't have been my choice of brief.