City Spotlight with Social Media Week Toronto

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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As we lead up to Social Media Week February, we’ll be helping you get to know the organizations and people behind each of our host cities. We’ve touched base with Tokyo and Hamburg. Now this week, we’re catching up with the producers of Toronto’s third year hosting Social Media Week. Eli Singer– Producer of SMWTO and Founder & President of Entrinsic and SMWTO Event Manager for Entrinsic, Amanda Lynne Ballard. Entrinsic is a Canadian corporate social media agency founded on the belief that new and emerging media are reshaping the way consumers — and by extension businesses — think, behave, and interact.

1. What are the three most exciting things happening in social and mobile media in Toronto?

Toronto is a major hub for the cool and innovative in Canada’s digital space and globally. Here are just a few of the exciting things happening in social and mobile media in TO.

The world’s leading thinker about the impact of the digital revolution on business and society is none other than Toronto’s Don Tapscott. He is the author of 14 books, most recently Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World and with Anthony D Williams, Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World.

Many of us, including myself, have been influenced by Don Tapscott’s work. I worked for Don during the first boom– an experience that has since shaped all my work.

Secondly, we have an excellent start-up culture here with great companies like Freshbooks, Xtreme Labs, Kobo, Guardly, Sysomos, 500px, etc.

As well, Toronto is one of the largest camping cities in North America, with regular community events like the Entrinsic-run CaseCamp, the first ever social media unconference in Toronto. There is also BarCamp, DemoCamp, PodCamp, ChangeCamp, TEDxTO, and more.

2. What three things are you hoping to gain from hosting Social Media Week?

This industry is still in its early days, which offers a great opportunity for Entrinsic to be at the forefront, presenting the industry as it currently is and how the community is shaping it to be in years to come. Unlike a regular conference, we believe the depth and breadth of the week’s events can demonstrate the reach of the medium beyond the walls of marketing and technology professionals. We aim to reach as many tech-savvy minds beyond the marketing world as within this community. As well, SMWTO is a way for us to showcase Toronto’s world-class digital talent to the global community.

3. What is the most exciting and unique aspect that you see coming to SMW Toronto? Can you give us a sneak peak?

This year each day of the week is going to have a unique theme. We think this is going to help us have richer conversations and focus on more niche ideas.

In addition, one program that is particularly exciting is a panel we are setting up between Toronto and London that will be broadcast live in both cities. More details to come…

4. What makes Toronto a great city for Social Media Week?

I think we have a unique community here in Toronto. It’s large enough to be home to many of Canada’s top companies and thought leaders, but small enough you can walk into a room and see a familiar face. I think this blend helps drive our great programming and attendance.

5. What do you see for the social and digital media fields in Toronto in five years?

Five years ago Mashable listed its top social network as MySpace and noted Facebook and Bebo as hot up-and-comers. It is hard to predict where we will be in a year- let alone five.

To distill new ideas and new trends presented throughout SMWTO, we have organized the session Innovative Minds and Technology for the last day of SMWTO 2012. This showcase is our springboard to share what we have learned with the global community. From an unconference, to product demos that change the way we use Facebook, to panels on policy and governance, our day of innovation is a window into the next 12 months.

Nicky Yates

Director of Communications, Social Media Week

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