Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Cocktails on a Yacht - C'est tres agreeable!

The stars were sparkling and the lights along the shore dotted the landscape of tiny hills, giving them the effect of a beaded scarf. In the Port de Cannes, behind the Palais de Festival, several companies put their banners out on their yachts and hosted small, intimate soirees for those in the know. AzurTV, one of the most distinquished online TV webcasting companies in l'industrie Internet hosted a small soiree for my premiere Cocktails with Courtney en Cannes. Our affair came to fruition in large part due to the talents and efforts of StockOnWeb's Monsieur Victor Le Brouissois. Hailing from Paris, this European Internet and entertainment consultancy and Victor are classic networkers who make it their business to know who's who and what's going on. He brought in French Southeastern digital development association L'Agence Rhone Alpes du Numeric and introduced me to the charming and successful businessman Frederic Vidal of Media Business Partners, who agreed to be a part this event. Vidal and his firm have organized the NRJ Music Awards (www.nrjmusicawards.com ) and other notable entertainment events in Cannes. Azur.tv's yacht was the perfect venue, and the firm's talented crew handled all the webcasting interviews - all streamed from the ship. PhotoReflex.com CTO Benoit "James Bond" Pinguet was our stylish and dashing photographer for the evening. And Selfmobile brought along technology that ensured utilization of the Palm and Pocket PC for pictures and videos of the soiree.

Azur.TV PDG (President Director General) Ludovic Saurat played his role of host and leader of the affair with ample introductions among guests. And the fashionable Communications Director Florence Bernardon was essential in making sure conversation flowed and guests were happy. Et moi? I did my best parler en francaise with all the guests! Of course, I couldn't resist a little camp a la American and brought over a selection of Cocktails with Courtney branded boxer shorts. They were a hit! Among the guests I met were Adgensite's Maxime Kaeppelin, who formed his company just six months ago. He introduced me to 1,2,3,4...'s Rodolphe Frering and XL Studio's Pierre Emmanuel Brunet. UK-based Xav Adams of his own firm introduced me to his father when they arrived. Norway-based Djuice, part of Telnor Mobil, was well represented by Jan Stala and Hogne Gulla. Jean-Louis Courleux of Jemmapes Communication introduced me around, and France Telecom's Jean-Claude Bouisson introduced me to quite a few attendees. First he introduced me to Sophia Antipolis-based Pauline Weber of the Chambre de Commerce et D'industrie Nice Cote D'Azur and Olivier Kleindiers, also of de Chambre de Commerce, with the Poles de Competence Technologiques. Both were tres helpful in their invitation to help me with future events in Sophie Antipolis, the high-tech center of France.

M. Bouisson also introduced me to ConcertAndCo.com's Jean-Phillipe Malicet and StepStone's Karim Ghali. Exciting news was coming from Valkira Bank Director Eric Charbit and I chatted for quite some time with Accenture's Pierre Rouve and Association Anima Presidente Fondatrice de l'Association Nicoise du Marketing Muriel Martin. Before leaving Florence, Bernardon made sure I met the famous photographer Frederic Beig, who in a moment of ingenuity gave me his email on a roll (for lack of a business card). L'inspiration! The soiree was wonderful, and learning about all the Internet activity in France - in Lyon, Cannes, Paris and Sophie Antipolis - was fantastic. Plans are already in the works for future events with the savvy set of French digerati!