Event Partner Guide

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.

Benefits of becoming an Event Partner in your city:

1) Engage your company or organization in the conversation that is relevant to your cause or industry.

2) Amplify your message using the Social Media Week platform.

3) Attract brands and networks of relevant hyper-social influencers.

-Selecting a Theme

-Choosing an Event Format

-Selecting Speakers

-Choosing a Location/Venue

-Event System Admin Access & Schedule

-Event Registration & Ticketing

-Event (Twitter) Hashtag

-Foursquare Venue IDs

-Promoting Your Event

-Producing Your Event

-Streaming Your Event

Selecting a Theme

The Global Theme for 2012 is “Empowering Change Through Collaboration”

Building on this global theme for 2012, we encourage each event partner to identify which local themes and topics are most relevant.  Every business culture is uniquely different.  Social Media Week allows us to embrace these differences and share them with the rest of the world.

Choosing an Event Format

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,, 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.

Selecting Speakers

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.

Briefing your speakers

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.

  • Contact your potential speakers as early as possible to begin a dialogue
  • Be clear about your topic & theme
  • Encourage a conversation that is focused, but accessible
  • Review the format & specific speaking points prior to the event
  • Prohibit any of your speakers from using your Social Media Week event as a platform for their own self-advancement
  • Set time parameters so your event can begin and end on time
  • Be sure your speakers know whether they are required to stay after for Q&A or press interviews

Choosing a Location/Venue

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.

Event System Admin Access & Schedule

You will be contacted by the conference organizer in your city if the event that you submitted gets approved.

Accessing your Event (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.

Updating your Event

In order for your event to be populated on the global schedule make sure your event has the following fields filled in.

    • Title
    • Description
    • 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.

Event Registration & Ticketing


Global registration begins on August 28th, 2012. You’ll notice on your event that the registration start date has been pre-populated with the August 28th 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.


Basic Registration

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.

Setting up a 3rd Party Registration URL

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).


Wait List, Promotion Code & Payment Processing Functionality

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.


Event Registration Questions

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) Postal Code (10) Country (11) Twitter (12) Linkedin Profile URL. (All fields should be required except Twitter & Linkedin Profile URL as these are not required during profile registration)


Registration Confirmation Email

Here is the default copy of the confirmation email that will be sent to registrants for your event. If you would like to customize this for your event, you can do so in the “Email Template” section of your event admin page.


Thank you [fname] [lname] for registering for [event]. You are not required to print this notification email to attend this event session.

Start time: [start_time]

Date: [start_date]

Venue: [venue_title]

Location: [location]

Be sure check out the Official SMW Mobile App – download here!

Thank You.
Social Media Week



Email Reminders

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.

Ticketing / Export Attendee List to Excel

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.

Event (Twitter) Hashtag

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 :)

Foursquare Venue IDs

The Global Team will be creating SMW specific Foursquare venues for every venue participating in SMW in September. This Foursquare venue #’s will be stored in the venue manager in our event system in the “website” field. Our RealTime app will track check-in’s globally and generate cool infographics with this information.

The Venue title format will be as follows:

[Venue Name] – Social Media Week e.g. “Strelka – Social Media Week”. Once again, the Global team will create all of these Foursquare venues for your city.

Promoting Your Event

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 speaker’s to include their network
  • Give yourself as much advance notice as possible to promote your event

Producing 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

Streaming Your Event

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

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.


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.

For questions about streaming software, please refer to the Livestream Software User Guide.

Encoding Solutions can be found here.

In addition, livestream has just released a portable broadcaster.

Livestream has also provide a technical workflow guide.

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