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Location, Location, Location: Your Geo-Social Guide to #SMW

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Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.

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jmakkarAbout this Guest Blogger: Johnny Makkar is a digital marketer who blogs at Attention Digital. You can follow Johnny on Twitter @jsmakr.

No matter which location-based social app you prefer, they can all be useful during Social Media Week to network with other attendees, find nearby food venues, and discover other activities to compliment our events. I’m a Foursquare user myself (which seems to be the most popular choice among this crowded space), but see value in some of the competing apps and new social event apps like Hot Potato.

Here’s are a few tips for those who will be attending Social Media Week equipped with a mobile device:

Foursquare

CHECK-INS: If you are a regular Foursquare user, you’ll probably be anxious to check-in when you arrive at an event. You should find that most venue locations have already been added to Foursquare like the Condé Nast Building (where The Future of Space and Time, hosted by Wired.com, will be held) or 92YTribeca (the site of Mashable’s Future Journalist event). In case the venue name does not come up automatically, be sure to search first before adding it to Foursquare. If you still find nothing, help everyone else out and enjoy some extra points by adding the venue.

NETWORKING: Broadcasting your check-ins to Twitter and Facebook will obviously help you discover other people in your network that are nearby. Within Foursquare, you can also take a look at everyone else who is checking in at each event (complete strangers who have common interests). Browse through their Twitter bio/feed quickly and if you’re up for it, reach out during or after the event to start a conversation and continue the discussion.

TIPS: Make sure to look out for useful tips for that specific venue. For example, visitors of the The Roger Smith Hotel (where Social Media Club’s Speed Dating event will be held) have mentioned they like having a “fabulous cocktail” from Paul the bartender or trying the mussel’s at Lily’s bar which are “edging delicious.”

TWITTER SEARCH: Another great way to find out which events are popular throughout the week is by monitoring Foursquare and Twitter to see what’s trending. Foursquare does a fairly good job at highlighting trending locations near you (just launch the app and those will be highlighted at the top of Places tab).

However, since all SMW events require pre-registration, this feature won’t necessarily allow you to spontaneously attend an event (unless that usually doesn’t stop you). Some events might have their own unique hashtag but to get an idea of where the most people are congregating once things are underway, try searching for #SMW + 4sq.

Yelp

Yelp is worth noting especially since they recently upgraded the app to include venue check-ins. Yelp’s extensive database can be a great for attendees looking to find nearby restaurants and bars to migrate to after a SMW event is over.

Simply launch the app, make sure you’re on the Nearby screen and the first three options will be Restaurants, Bars, and Coffee & Tea. Depending on the size of your group, make sure to browse the reviews to see if the place is accommodating then easily make a quick call to let them know your coming or make reservations.

Hot Potato & PegShot

These are two more relatively new iPhone apps that aim to make live events more engaging through further discussion and media sharing. We have partnered with both of these companies for SMW so keep an eye out for more in-depth instructions on using them during the conference.

Hot Potato has a great Web and iPhone interface that organizes a real-time stream around a specific live event. Once you have the app installed and are logged in using Facebook Connect, look for the Social Media Week page. Once you have it open, Check In to follow along and post your own comments/photos.

PegShot is also great for sharing geo-coded images and videos during any event. Take a few minutes and check out the video tour on the homepage to see how it all works and give it try during SMW.

The biggest advantage to using these apps is creating a micro-community in one location away from all the Twitter and Facebook noise (but both still easily give you the option to share your activity).

More Tips

Many of the same tips given for Foursquare can also apply for Gowalla users. Deciding how you use any of these apps really comes down to preference. Let us know which app(s) you’ll be using and if you’ve found any of these useful in other interesting ways during live events not mentioned above.

Finally, to access the complete schedule on-the-go, don’t forget to download the official SCHED* Social Media Week New York (iTunes) iPhone app.




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