Have you ever attended a business conference that was so much fun you didn’t want it to end? That’s how I felt about ATOMICON, one of the best business conferences I’ve ever been to. As a virtual assistant, I had the pleasure of attending this conference in November 2021, organised by Andrew and Pete, a marketing company that runs a popular business membership and is also one of my good long-term clients. But even if I wasn’t little biased, haha, I would still say it was amazing.
What made ATOMICON so bloody brilliant? And why should you consider coming to the 2023 edition on 13th June at the Sage in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK or online? Let me count the ways…
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First, there was the pre-pre-party (unofficial gathering in a pub for those who arrived in Newcastle a day early), the official ATOMICON pre-party (jazzy shirt night in a swanky bar – there was even a competition for jazziest shirt!), and the unofficial meetups before and after the main conference that were arranged by various communities of people going to the conference. These smaller events were not only a blast, but also provided ample opportunities to network with other attendees in a fun and unstuffy way.
Obviously there is also plenty of networking done too during the big conference itself. No joke – you’re greeted by a sparkly stilt dancer, get to grace a pink carpet and play a cyclone machine game!
And speaking of networking – the online ATOMIC community is wonderful and it really enhances the experience of meeting these people in person. It’s like you already know them, especially if you’ve worked with them before but only seen them online. I got to meet and hang out with current, past and future clients, colleagues and vendors.
However, it wasn’t all fun and games at ATOMICON. There was also a lot of useful business learning to be had. Are you a Dragons’ Den fan? Business titan Deborah Meaden was a headline speaker, and how amazing it was to be in her presence and learn from her! The speakers I went to see were all very educational and vibrant to listen to. Headlining this year are the likes of YouTube sensation and “the nation’s PE teacher” Joe Wicks, as well as best-selling author of We Should All Be Millionaires book Rachel Rodgers and popular email marketing wizards Rob and Kennedy.
The conference is multi-track so you can see the talks that are most appropriate for you to see, and then all recordings are given to attendees after so they can watch anything they missed. Andrew and Pete themselves are funny and brilliant speakers, and they even hosted an online implementation workshop afterwards to help attendees implement all that they learned at the conference. I thought this was a really great extra and thoughtful thing to have to get so much more value out of it, since it is very easy to just attend a business event and just leave it at that.
Business Conference in Newcastle Upon Tyne
And let’s not forget the location. As someone who loves to travel, I was thrilled to visit Newcastle for the first time. A lot of big British business events tend to be very London-centric, so it was nice to be able to go somewhere different for once. Newcastle is only a 1.5 hour train ride from where I normally reside near Edinburgh, and the Sage Gateshead is a wonderful venue that was perfect for this event!
Newcastle is a fairly affordable for a UK city, very walkable and easy to travel around, with a good choice of hotels, hostels and other accommodation to suit your budget. Many ATOMICON attendees stay at the Hilton Gateshead, which I’d highly recommend because not only is it a lovely 4-star hotel with great facilities, but it’s also another way to effortlessly network with more people. I would often sit with fellow attendees at breakfast, and had an impromptu coworking session with some in the lounge.
I even extended my stay for a few extra days in Newcastle, moving into Albatross Hostel, meeting up with a few ATOMICON attendees who were still in the city, and visiting Newcastle Castle and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. It was definitely worth the small effort and expense to come out here, and I can’t wait to do it all again at the next event in June 2023!
The Bottom Line
Like I said, Andrew and Pete are my client so naturally I am a little biased. I’d rather be transparent and upfront with you about that. So, if you don’t believe me about how great ATOMICON is, then go search the hashtag #ATOMICON21 on social media and read the comments of other unbiased attendees. They’ll tell you what an amazing experience it was!
If you can, I would highly recommend attending ATOMICON in person like I did. However, if you’re not able or would prefer not to, then the next best thing is to come to the virtual version, which I hear is just as good! So if you’re a business owner or entrepreneur looking for a fun and educational conference to attend, I highly recommend ATOMICON. You won’t regret it!
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