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Phil Jones on Digital Podge 2012: The Social One

Ten years after having the first digital podge lunch at The Atlantic Bar & Grill for 50 of digital’s finest, 240 squeezed into the IOD on Pall Mall on Friday and it was still nowhere near big enough for those that would have liked to attend. Maybe they will get their chance next year.

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Tiago Varandas, Pippa White, Rowan Heasley, Matt Morgan, George Stuart, Vicki McIvor, Phil Jones, Clare Jones

Every year one of those in the room volunteers to do the design, website, theming etc and this year it was Freestyle Interactive who excelled themselves. My helping team were all there three hours before the lunch, setting up the room and making sure every detail was perfect before everyone arrived. The chef was briefed on where every vegetarian, gluten free, nut allergy, fish, meat person was in advance so nothing left to chance when everyone sat down to find out who they had been sat next to this year.

As always the seating plan through up lots of interesting snippets and they are still flowing in to Jones Towers on e-mail. Justin Eames of Fish in a Bottle sat next to Martin Talks of Draftfcb only to find out that they grew up in the same small village and Martin’s wife is the daughter of Justin’s family doctor. Rufus Spiller of Line sat next to Paul Hoskins of Precedent at last year’s digital podge and this time around is about to start work for Paul setting up his Melbourne office. No space at podge for him next year.

Rob Corradi , Peter Cameron, Shaun Tollerton, Alan Cooper, Suzanne Linton, Windahl Finnegan, Katy Howell, Katz Keily, Nick Farnhill, Syd Nadim

Jackie Brambles was stuck on a Scottish island full of snow and missed last year’s lunch but was delighted to make it this year and loved her first podge experience. Mark Pytlik founder of Stink Digital flew in from New York and Tiago Verandas of Wieden & Kennedy and Mark Chalmers of Perfect Fools made it in from Amsterdam easily this year after the Auchtung boys got stranded at Schipol airport last year due to fog. But the award for perseverance this year went to the chairman of Fjord Mike Beeston who lives in Devon and had to fight the floods in his land rover to get to the train station and eight hours later sat down to lunch at digital podge only to have to try the return journey after 5pm, legend!!

BABY ALERT, we always have a few of those at digital podge and up until this year it was always Lee Leggett of Dare and hubby Jaimes Leggett of Ogilvy that left it until podge day to spring surprises but this year it was Poke’s Nicolas Roope whose wife gave birth the night before podge, many congratulations.

WALKING WOUNDED, always a few of them at digital podge, this year Lee Leggett decided to attend the lunch with a broken shoulder rather than a huge lump and Rhydian Fisher of Public was unable to make his way to the IOD due to a broken knee cap. Tarek Nseir fought off back pain to make it up from Newcastle though.

Tiffany St James, Piero Frescobaldi, Rob Heasley, Chris Perry, Adrian Lomas, Ian Kerrigan Laura Kerrigan, Jon Bains, Natalie Gross

PARTY ANIMALS, always the same rogues who take podge into the late hours of the morning and this year Tiger Tiger was the venue for Lianne Grimshaw, Don Smith of Realise, Rufus and Ross of LINE, Vicki McIvor of British Airways, PJ Jones of Ignition and Clare Jones (it's in the blood) and they all got safely home at five or six in the morning. Ross Laurie gets the vote for the most expensive credit card bill for the second year running with £1,000 on shots and other assorted alcoholic drinks after podge.

WINNERS PODIUM, congratulations to Mark Tipper of Possible for winning the Social Poster competition and to the students of the School of Communication Arts for winning gold (plastic) and Dean Marc Lewis carrying off the trophy with pride.

Eduardo de Felipe, Matt Morgan, Barbara Jones, Omaid Hiwaizi, Lee McGuffie, Phil Jones

The IOD bar after digital podge was buzzing for many hours after the lunch ended and our generous mates put enough money behind the bar to make sure it went a long way, many thanks to Nokia, The
Talent Business, Econsultancy, Barclays, Adobe and our good mates at The Drum.

CEO of Weapon 7 Adam Graham has volunteered his team to create the theme for the 2013 digital podge lunch, gawd ‘elp em I say.

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