Photo courtesy of Duncan Hayre, Cornell Club of Boston

Well, my first panel went off without a serious hitch Thursday night, for which I'm eternally grateful to both panelists, Rich Miner of Google and Duncan Perry of Treedia, and particularly to even chairperson Julie Son who basically pulled the whole thing together, twice, and made sure things ran without a hitch. Rich and Duncan had a great dynamic, parrying questions between them with largely similar views on what the future of mobile marketing held: More targeted, more interactive, with lots of experimentation on the way. Both said a key was to provide value and not annoy your customers, which might seem basic but is oftentimes overlooked in practice. Rich said Google was largely holding back on map ads, for example, while they experimented with a way to make them useful. The crowd of about 50 people, a mix of Cornell alums and Boston Googlers, was great: Lots of audience questions, and lots of mingling afterwards. Interestingly, few of the questions had anything to do with marketing, but the panelists and audience seemed happy to delve into the greater world of mobile so it worked well. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to set up my video camera, so as far as I know there is no recording for posterity. Given Google's somewhat Big Brother-ish NDA everyone signed going in (the only thing that got somewhat low marks on the panel evaluations), maybe it's just as well.

Event pictures, etc.: