Social Media Week Explodes & Takes the World By Storm with 500 Events Planned in Nine Cities Simultaneously

Social Media Week

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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Social Media Week February 2011, powered by NOKIA, begins this Monday, February 7, in nine cities around the world, and this year the number of cities participating and the level of engagement and participation is greater than ever.

The nine cities making up Social Media Week this February are New York, London, São Paulo, Toronto, San Francisco, Rome, Paris, Istanbul, and Hong Kong.

In New York the program consists of more than 150 events taking place throughout the city in some of New York’s most iconic institutions, including Google’s New York head office, Time & Life Building, The Paley Center for Media, Hearst Magazines at Hearst Tower, The New York Stock Exchange and many more.

“The program this year is as diversified as the social media space that has so quickly transformed our lives,” said Toby Daniels, founder of Social Media Week.  “The depth and breadth of content is really spectacular and we are humbled by the community’s response to our call to ‘Get Involved.'”

Taking part in the program this year are organizations such as the UN, who host two events that explore the idea of engagement in the age of real-time.  New York’s EDC hosts an event at The Paley Center for Media which looks at Open Government and The Transformation of New York City’s Digital Environment, while the Guggenheim hosts a discussion which looks at Enriching the Arts Experience Through Integrated Social Media.

The roster of local sponsors for New York is large and diverse and includes YouTube, PepsiCo, AOL, Meebo, Sapient Nitro, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, Time Inc., Edelman, Luminary Labs, Opera Solutions, Microsoft Advertising, Convio and Macallan. Local Event Partners include the New York Public Library, hosts of a number of panels as well as the SMW New York opening party, Whole Foods Market, Terra Fossil Wines and NYSE Euronext.

Joining New York, Social Media Week Rome has achieved considerable success in its scope the first time out. The Rome team is lead by Augmendy founders Marco Montemagno and Marco Antonio Masieri, who spearheaded a similarly successful effort in Milan last September and were inspired to see if they could achieve the same result in Rome.

Said Montemago and Masieri, “There are more than 130 events involved in the Roman edition, with the objective of exceeding the Milan event both in quality and quantity. We are bringing Social Media Week to the people, holding events in museums, on trains, and in the streets.”

Events in Rome will concentrate on important issues such as privacy, the new rules for accessing information and music, e-commerce, online communication and much more. Speakers include: Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, co-founder of The Pirate Bay and Flattr, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, founder of Breadpig and angel investor; and Carlos Eduardo Espinal, partner at Seedcamp, one of the most important investments funds in Europe specializing in start-ups.

Heading across the globe, São Paulo provides us an example of why Social Media Week will always develop in response to the particulars of its locality. With traffic such a challenge and the city so spread out, the local team lead by Sixpix Content decided it would be best to choose one large venue and host everything there: Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP).  City headline sponsor for SMW São Paulo is Oi Telecom, and other local sponsors include iG, Fiat, Lomadee, PepsiCo, and Santander. Media Partners include Proxxima, Brainstorm9, MTV, PEGN, Epoca Negócios, INFO, UpdateorDie, ResultsON, youPIX. Key event partners include JWT Brasil, PepsiCo (both of whom are global sponsors as well), Vostu, and Proxxima.

Social Media Week London, lead by the Chinwag team, hoped to offer 50 events this year as an increase over their 2010 offering, but have now reached 90 and are at the point of turning events away simply because there isn’t time to add any more.

Chinwag leader Sam Michel said, “We anticipated a high level of interest in SMW London, but we’ve been surprised and delighted by the number and diversity of events taking place and the organizations getting involved. The week will really showcase London’s position as one of the leading centers of social media expertise.”

In San Francisco, despite returning to Social Media Week from last year, entered with a new team lead by Futureworks featuring Brian Solis and Krystyl Baldwin. Running more than 40 events, sponsors include CoTweet, Meebo and YouTube, with in-kind support from PopChips, RedVines, Hansens Soda, and ONE Drinks. They’ve also gotten great media exposure through their relationship with Yelp and Read Write Web, and some of their exciting events include Seesmic hosting a Social/Retail and Community Management; Zozi, hosting mixer at House of Air on Thursday; and the BlogTronix 5 day blogging workshop.

Another returning city from February 2010 is Toronto, who host 50 events that connect deeply with their community. Marketwire is their leading media partner and sponsors include BMO, GM, Rightsleeve, and Flip Video. Exciting events are happening with Ryerson University, Sysomos, Journalists for Human Rights, and Facebook

Eli Singer of organizer Entrinsic said, “We are proud to be part of the global Social Media Week family.  There are over 80 volunteers working together with our hosts to put on 50 free events covering all dimensions of social and digital media for the Toronto community. Next week is going to be outstanding!”

Rounding up the roster are three other new Social Media Week cities: Istanbul, Hong Kong, and Paris. In each of these cities, the outcomes have far succeeded the expectations, with each city doubling the number events they’d anticipated holding.

As city partner Emir Işık of McCann Erickson Istanbul said, “The Buzz is out there,” a point emphasized by the fact that SMW Istanbul generated 35 events and 3000 participants despite coming on-board last of all cities, less than two months.

In Hong Kong, the team lead by Sarah Woodhouse and Jocelyn Liipsfert had to overcome the potential challenge of a locale split in half by language difference. But rather than let that be an impediment, the Hong Kong team embraced it and programmed events in both English and Cantonese, 38 in all. Local city headline sponsor is The Wall Street Journal Asia and media partners include Time Out Hong Kong,, Sina Weibo, and SmoothWeb. The program also features events at official hotel partner Langham Place Mongkok, and by Facebook, Tibco, Web Wednesday, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong,, HK PR Network, and Popcorn Media Network.

And lastly we have Paris and their team at La Netscouade, led by Benoît Thieulin and Fleur Douet. Also latecomers to the SMW party, La Netscouade managed to put together a spectacular program of 27 events and over 1000 participants. Sponsors included Kodak and Viadeo; media partners include Frenchweb, Mediapart, Owni, GenerationsFM, and Observatoire des Medias; and key event partners included American University of Paris, Social Media Club France, Toute l’Europe, Publicis Consultants France, and Read Write Web France.

We leave you with this video from our team in Paris (in French, of course):

SMW – Social Media Week Paris – 2011
Uploaded by LaNetscouade. – Explore more science and tech videos.

And that’s a lot of action for one week. All in all, this February’s Social Media Week will be one to remember.

For all press and media inquires, please contact Ben Scheim of Crowdcentric/Social Media Week at

Ben Scheim

Global Director, Social Media Week


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