Below is a set of guidelines that are designed to help you with the planning and execution of a local Social Media Week event. Please note that this is just a guide and we encourage you to get creative when thinking about designing your own event experience.
+ Basic Registration
+ Setting up a 3rd Party Registration URL
+ Wait List, Promotion Code & Payment Processing Functionality
+ Event Registration Questions
+ Registration Confirmation Email
+ Reminder Email
+ Ticketing / Export Attendee List to Excel
The Global Theme for 2012 is “Open & Connected”
Open & Connected will serve as a framework for the thousands of individuals and organizations around the world to draw inspiration from and utilize to develop their own original ideas, content and discussions as part of Social Media Week events over the next 12 months.
Since 2010 over 2800 individual event seesions have been hosted during Social Media Week in 26 different cities. Of those, at least two thirds were curated and hosted by Event Partners made up of organizations such as the US State Department, New York Times, MTV, BBC, SONY Electronics, JWT, Drop.io, The Paley Center for Media, McGraw Hill.
This approach gives Social Media Week an unmatchable size, scope and scale, and enables it to host a much broader and more diverse program of events, across literally hundreds of industry sectors.
Traditional conferences tend to focus on the predominant event formats: keynote presentations and panel discussions. While these formats are an important component of a conference experience, Social Media Week strives to design new ways for people to share ideas, engage in dialogue and explore new concepts. Check out this most recent blog post to help guide you along: Stop Broadcasting and Start Co-creating: Collaborative Experience Design for the Conference Industry.
Here is a comprehensive list of event formats, together with a few examples that we have helped to produce in the past.
+ Panel discussion
+ Speaker Debate
+ Speaker presentation or talk
+ Seminar or workshop
+ Fireside chat or interview
+ Pitching competition
+ Cocktail event or mixer
+ Awards show
+ Charity fundraiser
We encourage you to seek speakers who are one or more of the following:
+ Leaders in the theme or field you’ve chosen
+ Local voices in social media
+ Innovators in their own field, as it relates to social media
+ Unique & varied in their perspective
+ Experienced in public speaking
Look at the leaders and innovators in the field you’ve chosen and see who is already in your network. Utilize your resources, ranging from your own set of contacts and local community, to the greater Social Media Week network, and then reach out & invite them to participate.
Identify the topics you would like to cover, and allow your speaker(s) to lead the conversation. You have invited she/he/them for their expertise or unique opinions on social media advancement, so provide a set of guidelines, but also give plenty of room for creativity. You want your speakers to bring their excitement and personal perspective to the event, so allow for their unique visions and experiences to prevail.
Securing Venue Space
The space you choose to host your event in is almost as important as the speakers you select. The more interesting or iconic the space, the more likely you will attract a better audience. Location is of course crucial as well. Consider where the event space is situated in terms of size and transport links, as these are also important factors.
Throughout the planning process we recommend that you begin reaching out to local brands, businesses and possible partners to discuss ways to collaborate with and support your event. In the past, we have been fortunate to have the support of New York Times, Sony Electronics, JWT, Razorfish, Wired, Mashable, IDEO, TIME Inc, MoMA and FastCompany. They were invited to participate in a number of ways, from hosting events, co-producing to help with promotion and generating awareness around the conference. Many of the organizations have wonderful and in some cases iconic event space, which they are more than happy to provide at no cost.
You will be contacted by the conference organizer in your city if the event that you submitted gets approved.
http://socialmediaweek.org/wp-admin (log-in using your SMW account ID / password)
-> Click “Events”
-> Click on your event
*note: If you event status says “PENDING REVIEW”, your event has yet to be approved. The “DRAFT – APPROVED” status will indicate your event was approved.
In order for your event to be populated on the global schedule make sure your event has the following fields filled in.
+ Event Start Date / Time
+ Event End Date / Time
+ Category, Expertise Level
+ Event Twitter Hashtag
+ Venue Name (Leave blank if you have yet to confirm the venue)
+ Speakers (add only ones that have been confirmed)
Important note on Speakers: We strongly recommend that you provide each speaker’s twitter handle in the Speaker / Staff section of the event admin. No need to include the “@” symbol. Our system will pull in the profile image of the speaker’s twitter account.
It is so important to formerly add speakers to your event in the event system. The speaker section of an event page is significantly enriched if you connect speakers to your event. This will allow your speaker profiles to flow into the SMW REALTIME FEED experience as well.
Here is a 2 minute video on how to do it
Global registration begins on January 15, 2013. You’ll notice on your event that the registration start date has been pre-populated with the January 15th date. Please do not change this.
Our event system can power registration internally. By using our system, it will allow for users to more efficiently register to your event. Instructions on how to properly setup your event for registration should be reviewed below.
If you are planning on having your event setup with simple, basic registration process (no promotion codes, wait lists, and payment) there is only one thing that you need to do to setup your event. Log-in to your event and and insert the proper “Attendee Limit” quantity.
*Note: free events generally have a 50% drop off rate. So, if your venue has a 100 person capacity, you should set your “Attendee Limit” to at 200.
If you prefer to have your event powered by a 3rd party technology, you can easily re-direct your registration page to another URL. Insert the URL in the “Alternative registration page” field in the event system admin (right column).
Our current system does NOT support wait list, promotion code and payment processing functionality. If your event requires robust wait list functionality, we recommend that you create a separate event using Eventbrite, and insert that Eventbrite URL into the “Use an alternative email address” in the left column to process your event’s registration and ticketing.
The following questions will be asked of all attendees. Please note that these questions / fields cannot be changed by event managers / partners.
(1) First Name (2) Last name (3) Email (5) Company (6) Job Title (7) Industry (8) City (9) (10) Country (11) Twitter (12) Linkedin Profile URL. (All fields are required except Twitter & Linkedin Profile URL as these are not required during profile registration)
Here is the default copy of the confirmation email that will be sent to registrants for your event. If you would like to customize the custom message for your event, you can do so in the “Email Template” section of your event admin page.
Dear [FULL NAME],
Thank you for registering to attend #SMW13. You are confirmed to attend the following event:
Event Title: [EVENT TITLE]
At: [VENUE NAME]
You do not need to print this confirmation email to attend. Be sure check out the Official SMW Mobile App — download here!
[THIS IS THE SECTION WHERE YOU CAN INSERT A CUSTOM MESSAGE]
If you realize that you can NO longer attend this event, please cancel your registration by visiting the my events section of the schedule and click the “ATTENDING” button. It will free up spots for those who can attend.
Automated email reminders can be generated from our system to all of your attendees 24-48 hours before your event. View the “Email Template” section of your event admin page for more details.
You can export all of your attendee information into excel by clicking the “Export” button on the bottom of the “Attendee” table. Printing lists is the most common way to account for registered attendees.
If you are planning on having a laptop at your registration desk, you can avoid needing to print attendee lists or exporting the list by using our new ATTENDEE CHECK-IN feature which we’re rolling out today. Process attendees when they physically arrive directly from the attendee table in our event system.
Since February 2011 we have asked every event partner to create an event hashtag for each event. We are asking the same for the September conference. This allows for the global team to setup applications to give our global audience the ability to drill down into events of interest so they can contribute to the twitter conversations specific to their events of interest. This may be your event!
Rather than using a single universal or broad set of twitter event hashtags during Social Media Week, we prefer that you keep the social media week event hashtag somewhat distinct.
Please create an event / twitter hashtag for your event. Insert “SMW” as the first 3 letters, e.g. SMWsocialdiva (leave off the # symbol)
Start promoting and tweeting your event # right away to populate the twitter stream on your event page.
Before the start of your event, we suggest that you promote to your audience which foursquare venue or event to check into. It is entirely up to you on how you want to treat this. In some cases, you may want to create a new venue in foursquare for your audience to check-in to. If there is a pre-existing venue that is already widely popular, you can create an new “event” at that venue in foursquare. More on that here.
Whether you are working with a public relations firm, or simply spreading the word through your own databases and networks, it is important to garner interest, enthusiasm and attendees who will participate in the greater dialogue that your event hopefully will spark. In order to achieve the most successful response for your event, we recommend that you consider the following:
+ Create a concise and succinct title or topic for your event, one that can easily be shared
+ Identify any opportunities for cross promotion in your community, with your venue, and with your speaker’s
+ Utilize the Social Media Week platform, as well as your own social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, etc. to spread the word
+ Reach out to local press outlets and news publications to publish the event on local community calendars
+ Target a specific audience based on the event’s theme
+ Engage your speakers to include their network
+ Use relevant images and shareable content to highlight your event topic, speakers and time
+ Give yourself as much advance notice as possible to promote your event
A/V: This can include a PA system, microphones, viewing screens and WiFi, and must be coordinated through the venue. Some venues have their own equipment (and technicians), and others will require that event organizers rent equipment or technicians to operate the equipment. The specific A/V needs for an event will be determined by the type of event itself, but most events do utilize some level of A/V.
Catering: It is not a requirement that all Social Media Week events be catered, but many are, and catering on some level can enhance the quality of an event significantly. Event catering can include light food and/or drinks, or can include alcoholic beverages—deciding what to offer should be made based on budget and the tenor of the event itself. Typically organizers must work through the venue to book a caterer, as many venues either have in-house services or exclusive contracts with caterers.
Staffing: The final logistical concern is the team of hired staff or volunteers who will help execute the event. These folks can come from the event organizer, event partners, the venue, volunteers or hired help, but having enough human support on-hand and maintaining and organized network are crucial components in in making sure that an event runs smoothly and professionally.
Recording / Streaming: We encourage you to record and/or stream your event if the venue and space allow. We are growing a community of innovators, and through Social Media Week’s Global presence, we are creating an international dialogue. We aim to establish and continue a cross-continental conversation via streaming footage and backchannel conversation. It is essential to work in conjunction with your venue to establish a live stream or video recording, and you must inform any attendees and participants that they will be filmed. Our official streaming partner is Livestream. See “Streaming your Event” below.
Signage: Your Social Media Week City Partner will in many cases be able to provide you with signage, or basic templates from which you can create your own event signage. When reaching out to your partners and sponsors, it is essential that you also gather their logos, in vector format. Here are the February 2011 signage templates. Most likely in early September, we will be sharing the updated SMW September 2011 templates and you are welcome to customize them with your own local logos & graphics. We recommend the following items:
+ 2’x3’ Foam Core Poster Boards + Easels
+ 3’x6’ Vinyl Banners + Banner Stands
+ Step & Repeat Backdrop
+ Badges for Staff, Speakers, etc
Because we want to help you make your SMW event(s) available to as many people as possible, we’ve partnered with Livestream® to provide our streaming video platform.
We have one master livestream page called the “network page” at www.new.livestream.com/socialmediaweek.
In the SMW Livestream Enrollment Form, we will collect basic info from you such as your Event Titles, Date and Time of the events, and assign you to the official Livestream schedule on a certain subject category channel.
DEADLINE TO ENROLL – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2013. (For the September 2013 conference)
The Global Team will then give proper “producer” permission and instructions to the local event partners to stream their respective event(s) on the dedicated livestream local channels.
Technical requirements for livestreaming events: Please review Livestream’s technical guide.