Why, in my opinion is this singularly one of the most important gatherings within the marketing and communications industry today?
Because it is organic. Organic in the way that our industry has and will continue to evolve along with all of the buzzwords we have become accustomed to. It’s authentic, fueled by recommendations and built on WOM. It’s also random. Random in the sense that it is iterative and events are added and build momentum as the gatherings take shape over the course of one hell of a dynamic week.
Most of the events are hosted by industry leadership within their offices and are on a first to sign up basis. In other words no Javitz Center here folks. Speaking to one of it’s founders I griped that most venues were ‘sold out’ only 1 day prior to signup and that they needed bigger venues. “Shoot me first…” was the response I received…and I think I finally got it. So don’t think conference…think globally coordinated and loosely orchestrated croudsourcing (I’ll probably get shot for that one too!).
Social Media Week is run not dissimilar from a franchise in the sense that all host cities get support and guidance from the central team, but run and coordinate their own venues in a way that best suits the local marketplace. The press conference on Monday for kickoff streamed live coverage from 5 of the 6 international cities at the same time! One of the cities (don’t ask me which…was still sleeping). One of the many challenges of pulling something like this off.
In other words the conference is reflective of our industry in all of it’s forms. The focus is of course on social, but the events reflect the fact that the dynamic nature of the communications industry extends into the social strategies that inform our ideas, the technologies that carry our dialogue, while emerging measurement tools are finally beginning to take shape in order to inform our iterative approaches to improvement at a pace akin to Moore’s Law. All of course leading to our client’s success along with measurable ROI.
All of this along with the fact that the events connect us globally, the fact that growth is organic and challenges the founders to keep up with the pace of their own creation. Talk about being reflective of the industry!
I for one am also sick and tired of paying bloated entry fees for industry events year after year only to get the same choices served up in the same locations – by the same people along with vendor lists that are limited to the size of a venue. None of these constraints apply here. Brilliant!
With the exception of a few very affordable events, most on the bill are sponsored by brands leading the conversations within their respective industries. A win win for all.
So run, don’ walk to what is left of Social Media Week this week. Events worldwide in a city close to you.