ARGNet @ PICNIC 08 LogoEditor’s Note: Daniël van Gool, an administrator at the Unfiction forums, was on the scene at PICNIC ’08 on behalf of ARGNet. We were impressed with Daniël’s work covering PICNIC ’07 and, as media partners of the annual cross-media festival, were invited to a number of special events in addition to the speaker sessions. This is the first part of Daniël’s comprehensive look at this year’s event. All pictures are courtesy of Daniël as well.

The morning of the 24th of September marked the third year I walked up to the intriguing Westergasfabriek area in the West of Amsterdam to attend PICNIC on behalf of ARGNet. In my report on PICNIC ’07 I tried to describe why this area is perfect for a conference that is all about creativity, innovation and inspiration: the Westergasfabriek area just breathes all those things. If you want to try and get an idea how PICNIC looked and felt in 2008, check out the set of rather nice 360-degree pictures made by C360.

PICNIC’s ambition is still growing, and they have taken things another step further this year, welcoming an even larger audience in attendance and hosting even more events before, during and after the main conference in comparison to the previous two years. The PICNIC Club, the central lounging and networking area, was moved to the Gashouder building this year. Previously a huge silo used to store natural gas, during PICNIC it was fitted with large patches of grass, rows of picnic tables, a stage with some impressive lightning, a couple of huge displays of hundreds of images of sheep (I will come to this later) and various booths and domes where demonstrations were held and books and picnic-baskets were sold.

Around 1:00pm. Bas Verhart and Marleen Stikker, founders of the Crossmedia Foundation and PICNIC, opened the event and announced that over 5000 people had registered this year for the main conference and all the partner events. The main theme of this year’s conference was Collaborative Creativity, a subject that has a couple of interesting parallels with the world of ARGs.

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