A second year Social Media Week city, Chicago is building on their incredible record from last September. In fact, last year to help launch SMW, Chicago became the first major city to get its own Foursquare badge and featured a keynote from Twitter’s Adam Bain. With over 40 events already on the schedule, Chicago will be bringing some serious events to SMW, including Spartz Media CEO Emerson Spartz- you may know him from creating MuggleNet. The Windy City is not only the third largest in the US, but it’s also a major player in social and digital.
To learn more about what’s new in Chicago this year, we talked with Harvey Morris, SMW Chicago Project Coordinator, on behalf of Zócalo Group and the Chicago Tribune. Social Media Week Chicago is hosted by Zócalo Group, an Omnicom company and leader in the word of mouth and social media marketing space, and the Chicago Tribune, one of the country’s leading multimedia companies.
Harvey, what are the three most exciting things happening in social and mobile media in Chicago?
We’re the City of Big Shoulders, a place where innovation has always thrived. Chicago is a hub of companies that are on the cutting edge of social media.
It’s the birthplace of Groupon and GrubHub. Chicago is a place where tech expertise and a hardworking sensibility meet to create fertile ground where new social tools can sprout and thrive.
Even in city government, Chicago leads in the social media sphere: Mayor Rahm Emanuel uses Facebook for town hall meetings, helped make Chicago the first U.S. city to have a Foursquare badge, and launched a Google Plus page.
What makes your city a great city for Social Media Week?
Chicago has always been a crossroads. Once a literal meeting point for rail and boat transport in the Americas, the city is now a leader in the next wave of connection: the social media and web sphere.
With more than 2 million residents, a large population under 35 and the headquarters of many large corporations, Chicago is a natural fit for Social Media Week.
What makes both Zócalo Group and the Chicago Tribune perfect for hosting and leading SMW in Chicago?
Zócalo Group and the Chicago Tribune are ideal co-hosts for SMW because they bring extensive and complementary social media roles. Zócalo Group represents word-of-mouth and social media marketing, while the Tribune’s use of social media extends to journalism and beyond.
This partnership means Chicago can host a conversation about the impact of social media in every facet of life, from breaking news to sustainability to arts and culture. Chicago’s Social Media Week 2012 will seek to draw in everyone from the neophyte to the professional community manager, with dozens of relevant and exciting events.
Where do you see the future of social and mobile media heading?
You’ll have to watch for #SMWChicago to find out!
This isn’t your first time hosting SMW. How will SMW12 be bigger and better this year?
So many organizations that saw the success and excitement of Chicago’s first SMW in 2011 are on board this year with innovative ideas and events that are sure to engage a greater representation of the city’s diverse population.