Social Media Week Social Media Week

Next Conference: Past Conference: September 22-26, 2013

Four Ways to Knock Their Socks Off

Four Ways to Knock Their Socks Off


83 days until SMW February 22-26 Conference in Hamburg, Jakarta, Lagos, and New York. Learn more here.

Over the next while we are going to address some of the top FAQs – from event hosting to content creation, we know you have a lot of questions. Whether this is your first event or your fiftieth, you’re no doubt looking for a way to generate new audiences and some great buzz. Regardless of experience, there are some really great and basic ideas you can implement to take your event to the next level.

Question of the day: How can I make a truly noteworthy event?

1. Shake it up

While panels and speakers are the staple of any conference, unique venues and new formats always intrigue audiences. Ask yourself: What is it about my content that is innovative? How can I be inspired from my own ideas to create a totally unique experience?

From the list of things we know: Toronto loves to get interactive with both products and people, they love thought leadership, case-study presentations over how-to sessions, and being the first to do something new.

For example, here are some ways to present your content that can catch someone’s eye:

• A debate between experts
• Installations or product demo sessions that allow participants to explore content at their own pace
• Interesting locations to hold your event (how about a high speed train?)

Of course not every session can be done in these ways, but we encourage you to think creatively and see how you can work your content into an unforgettable experience.

2. Dig deeper

As social media use becomes ubiquitous in our society, we are moving away from the initial exploratory conversations about social media. We are no longer just reaching marketing professionals, but stretching far beyond into the daily life of everyone around us. The days of “What is Social Media?” are on their way out and now the question, “How can we better use Social Media?” is at the forefront of the conversation.

Some suggestions you can use to dig deeper into your content:

• In-depth case studies
• Use your audience to provide insight – poll them, involve them, have open discussions, etc.
• Include panelists and speakers using similar practices from outside your industry

3. Drive the buzz

Remember to promote your sessions! We’re expecting over 50 sessions, programs and events this year, so you’ll want to make sure you make your voice is heard. Start early, and be sure to capitalize on that buzz once your session is announced. Don’t be afraid to plug your session everywhere!

Some other tips that can help you drive the buzz:

• Watch out for people who are expressing interest in attending SMWTO and engage them if you think they might be interested in your event
• Send your session information to current clients, prospective clients, advisory boards, bosses, staff, digital and offline communities – you have the connections to spread the word and this is a great opportunity to show your own thought leadership
• Include these stakeholders into the conversation while you are creating your session – get them involved and they will be more inclined to talk about it.
• Remember, the more innovative the session the more likely you’ll be getting the press you are looking for

4. Court the controversial

The social media world is constantly shifting, and changes are happening everyday. Some of these changes will ignite a flurry of debate. Everyone loves a good controversy where they get to throw in their two cents. By guiding your conversation to places that are not commonly discussed, you’ll be breaking new ground by opening the door to scarcely heard discussions about some of the topics that matter the most.

Some topics that have been vigorously debated include:

• Online influence and Klout
• Online privacy and governance
• Age usage of popular sites
• Employee engagement on Social Media
• The role of social media in protest and civil disobedience (London riots, the Occupy movement, etc.)
• Personal vs. corporate branding
• Open Source

Want some other inspirational ideas? Check out SMW NY’s post from Ben Scheim about making your event unique.

Inspired to run an amazing event now? Submit your event , or let us know if you need help.

Images from Steve Jurvetson and Rochelle Hartman
Social Media Week Toronto 2011 image from Carmen Villadar