A Beginner’s Guide to SMW13



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.

The conversations are starting. The excitement is building. But if this is your first Social Media Week, there may be a few questions. We’re here to help break it all down for you. Before you know it, you’ll be a SMW pro.

What is Social Media Week?

Social Media Week is a worldwide event exploring the social, cultural and economic impact of social media. Our mission is to help people and organizations connect through collaboration, learning and the sharing of ideas and information. Social Media Week literally connects hundreds of thousands of people every year through learning experiences that aim to advance our understanding of social media’s role in society. We’re an unconference of sorts. And you’re just in time for our next series of activities- happening simultaneously in 10 cities around the globe this February 18-22, all powered by our global headline sponsor Nokia.

Last year Social Media Week saw more than 2000 individually organized events in 17 countries, 22 cities and spoken in more than 9 languages. With over 66,000 attendees and 2,400 speakers, including Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáe, Jalak Jobanputra, Caroline Drucker, Andreu Buenafuente, Larry King, Jermaine Dupri, Fat Joe, and Rachel Sterne, it proved to be our biggest year yet. We are looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings.

And the best part? Thanks to the generous support from our sponsors and partners, like this year’s returning global headline sponsor Nokia, more than 75% of events are free or significantly subsidized.

How Do I Take Part?

Attend In-Person

This is the quickest and best way to take part! If you’re in one of our 10 host cities, then we invite you to join us in-person. Registration is simple. You’ll need to begin by creating an account (or if you’re not so new, signing into your account). The quickest way to start is by clicking the Login/Register option at the top right of the Social Media Week site.

Fill out the form and you’re set! With more than 300 events already in the schedule and more being finalized, this is a great way to grow professionally, meet others and have fun! Covering every area from Culture to Advertising, there are many events to fit what you are looking for!

*Pro tip– sign up for the newsletters while you’re at it! We send out a global newsletter every other week throughout the year, and it’s full of important updates and news, like deadlines, special events or contests just for you! The option is at the bottom of the sign-up process.

Attend Virtually

Now, that you’ve created an account, you can register to attend events in person. If you’re not in one of our 10 host cities, don’t worry! You can still take part by joining us with SMW Live! We’ll be streaming many of our events, and these will be noted with a camera icon on the schedule. The livestream link will be updated in the event information as soon as we have it. So, save the event to your Favorites and come time for the event to begin, return to the event page and you’ll be able to go straight to the SMW Live link. What’s more is each SMW event has it’s own hashtag, so you can join the conversation on Twitter! You can find this on each event page (hint: each will begin with #SMW…) and don’t forget to stay posted by following #SMW13!

*Pro tip– you can watch SMW Live from our Official Social Media Week app. Download the updated version closer to SMW13 (we’ll let you know once it’s live!) and you’ll be able to save your Favorites for streaming there and watch wherever you go.


Want a deeper experience? Volunteer! Many of our cities rely upon volunteers to make SMW a reality. We want you! Volunteers help us from checking in attendees to making sure speakers and panelists have all they need to helping with Q&A at events. If you’re not sure what to expect, see what past volunteers Amelia Shroyer, Kelly Raeds, and Rachael Carmen Simpson have said about it.

How Do I Register for Events?

A La Carte Option

SMW requires that you register for EACH event that you want to attend during SMW13. We realize this takes some time, but it’s the best way to ensure that we manage each event space most appropriately. No one wants to an overly cramped room. However, we like making it simple for you. Event registration takes just one click. So, the process goes like this:

  • Login or Create an account
  • + Visit the Schedule page and find the events that you would like to attend.
  • + Click into an event that interests you, and click the “Attend” button. (A minority of our event partners choose to use 3rd-party technologies to process registration. If this is the case, the event page will clearly provide instructions on how to access the 3rd-party event registration page.)
  • + That’s it! You’re now officially registered to attend that event.

You should then receive an email confirmation for each event that you are attending. If you have not received one- don’t fret. It may be in your spam folder, and the vast majority of events do not require you to furnish this email notification to attend. Your name will be included on an attendee list at the front registration desk of whatever event that you have registered to attend. However, you can verify your registration for an event by going into your profile and selecting “My Events” or you can email the event organizer (the information is available on the event listing page). You can see all events for which you have registered here. Keep in mind that events will continue to be added until February- so keep checking back for new events that might interest you.

*Pro tip: Events produced by our local teams will be notated with “Official Event” on the schedule. In addition, events that may not be produced by our teams but are recommended are notated with “Featured Event.” Look for these two if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the schedule. In addition, we’ll be putting out curated guides to help you navigate the events.

Enhanced Options

For those of you that ascribe to the “Go big or go home” philosophy, we have just the SMW experience just for you! Many of our cities have incorporated content hubs, so for the ultimate SMW experience consider purchasing one of the hub or other passes. While not every city offers this, it is a great way to have the ultimate SMW experience in those that do. For example, in NYC, there are 3 pass options: Insider Pass, Hub Pass, or Global HQ.

The Insider Pass is the Ultimate VIP experience. You aren’t required to register for any Official Events, plus you get access to our VIP Opening and Closing Parties and special benefits and discounts.

Looking to centralize your experience? Then, our Hub Passes offer you the opportunity to bypass registration for events at that one Hub — even if the event is sold out! Just arrive early and you’re set! If you prefer to see the movers and shakers of the world and a wider array of content, then the Global HQ Pass is for you. With an experiential floor and a main stage area, you’ll get the full SMW experience.

*Pro tip: If you’re thinking about it, you’ll want to act quick. The NYC Passes are on sale with a discount until January 17th. After that, it’s full price until sold out- and they are going quick!

We’re looking forward to seeing you this February, whether in-person as an attendee or volunteer or virtually! But don’t miss out.

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