The Highlights You May Have Missed from September’s Edition of #SMW15
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Last week was the September edition of Social Media Week, which took place in four cities around the globe: London, Miami, Rotterdam, and São Paulo. With a total of 400 events and 600 speakers, we continued to explore our 2015 global theme, “Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of the Connected Class,” and more specifically, continued to think about the question we asked ourselves at the beginning of this year: “how can all humans achieve more in a connected world?”
On Twitter, there were 47,760 Tweets mentioning Social Media Week’s events, speakers, partners, and other related conversations. For individuals in London, Miami, Rotterdam, and São Paulo that attended #SMW15 in-person, they were among an exclusive group of attendees that not only experienced these forward-thinking discussions first-hand, but also played a pivotal role in them. These attendees help us advance the Social Media Week mission by sharing best ideas, innovations and insights from the week. 41.9% of Tweets came from the UK, 27% from the U.S., 9.9% from The Netherlands, 4.3% from Brazil, and 16.8% from other countries (data from Sysomos).
Whether you participated in #SMW15 for the first time online, or have been with us since the very beginning of Social Media Week, thank you for joining us as we explore our “Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of the Connected Class” global theme. Our community continues to grow, continues to reach new parts of the world, and continues to share new trends, innovations, and best practices in business and culture. Here are some highlights from each of our four September cities:
In London, “content marketing” was one of the key topics. There’s an increased level of noise and disconnect between brands and consumers, perhaps at its highest peak today, and several speakers shared their approach to bring meaning back to this relationship through valuable and emotional content delivery.
Beyond content, speakers identified the new technology entering the market at an ever increasing rate. We see deeper explorations into creating meaningful experiences through this technology, rather than the technology itself. Drones, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and image recognition: all of these can be very useful to enhance user experiences, and at SMW London, there were plenty of conversations around examples of drones and VR contributing to more shared and immersive stories. These technologies also impact how retail businesses can bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds via AR and connected objects, making the mundane decisions in everyday life an automated and efficient process.
2015’s edition of SMW London brought together leaders from different corners from the industry, including individuals from social networks including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter. Some of the most forward thinking media brands participated as well, such as BuzzFeed, Dazed, Reuters, and The Guardian. We also heard from John Lewis, TopShop, Nescafe, and other innovative brands, as well as leading agencies including Edelman, Huge, Poke, Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, and We Are Social. Forward-thinking firms including Accenture, Cisco, frog, Meltwater, and Sysomos directed the conversation on innovation and technology.
This year’s SMW Miami featured over 40 sponsors and partners, including the leading media company serving Hispanic America, Univision / Fusion, which came on board as the Official Media Partner for SMW Miami to provide coverage in Spanish for U.S. Hispanics and LATAM. To connect September’s cities further, two Consul Generals, Dave Prodger (UK) and Nathalie Olijslager Jaarsma (Netherlands), came together to talk about Connected Governments (eDiplomacy) at SMW Miami.
“The UK is also one of the world’s most developed online economies. In this context, the key challenge for Government is to meet our population’s growing digital demand for public services and information, while influencing the conversation on important issues of the day like extremism. The rise of social media provides an essential platform to engage in this dialogue. For this reason, the UK is committed to building not only the world’s most productive digital economy, but also one of its most connected societies.” ~ Dave Prodger (Her Majesty’s Consul General, British Consulate)
SMW Miami was also proud to welcome music artist and international superstar, Enrique Iglesias, to participate in Social Media Week. Mr. Iglesias recently joined Atlantico Rum as a partner, which was featured at this year’s #SMWMiami event. When asked about SMW Miami, Enrique said,
“I am very excited to be supporting Social Media Week Miami 2015 through my startup Atlantico Rum. The eyes of the tech and startup world have turned to Miami and together we can feature our home, not only as a tourist hot spot, but as a business startup destination through social media. As an entrepreneur supporting Social Media Week Miami, with the likes of Univision and influential South Florida startups such as LiveAnswer, we can utilize our combined social media influence to help push Miami to first place for startup activity in 2016.”
One of Rotterdam’s most spectacular venues, the city’s town hall, played host for SMW Rotterdam’s opening reception. Noah Zeeuw, a famous Dutch YouTube creator, kicked off the week by driving a custom made Rat Rod E-Bike through the hallways of Rotterdam town hall.
A popular session at SMW Rotterdam (video available here via SMW Rotterdam website) looked into a fascinating case study attempting to solve Denmark’s decreasing birthrate crisis, which was at a 27-year low. Research shows that Danes have 46% more sex on city holidays, and since more sex equals the chance of more kids, and more kids results in more family travel and vacations, Spies, a Danish travel agency, created and prescribed a romantic city holiday to save Denmark’s future. Among all else, it was reason enough to come up with a hilarious campaign. Attendees gained insight into how targeting the right audience can grow the ROI of your marketing campaigns, along with how Spies used social media as the driving force behind their humorous holiday in Denmark.
SMW Rotterdam also welcomed Twitter to the stage to lead a discussion on real-time conversations and public data. Marc de Vries, Country Manager Twitter Benelux, explained how society, governments and businesses can benefit from the piles of data coming from public conversations on Twitter. Social data extracted from billions of Tweets can save lives, deliver better and faster public service announcements, build smarter businesses, and so much more. You can re-watch this session here via the SMW Rotterdam website.
With more than 100 events and 150 speakers, SMW São Paulo returned last week for another incredible week of keynotes, masterclasses, and conversations. Nearly 4,000 unique individuals attended, with half of the audience new to SMW São Paulo in 2015. #SMWsp was, and continues to be, one of the largest, most open, and participative events in São Paulo each year.
18 million people live in São Paulo, the third largest city in the world, and millions of social media connoisseurs, technology innovators, urban-environmental pioneers, and business leaders call the city home. It’s exciting to say that Social Media Week São Paulo is one of the city’s largest and most important events each year. With a growing community of digital professionals looking to network, learn, and share their expertise, this year’s SMW São Paulo welcomed leaders from companies such as Microsoft, comScore, Meltwater, Uber, Getty Images, Mastercard, Oracle, Hootsuite, BlaBlaCar, and much more.
Thank you to our #SMW15 partners, and especially our global supporting sponsors: Sysomos and Meltwater. We look to our local communities in London, Miami, Rotterdam, and São Paulo to help shape the programming for the September conference, where hundreds of organizations in media, technology, advertising, entertainment, and publishing contribute to the events and sessions. Our global sponsors, Sysomos and Meltwater, share our global mission, and also play a pivotal role in helping us establish and reach the next level of SMW’s annual exploration.
What’s Next, and How You Can Join Us
Even though September’s edition of #SMW15 is complete, that doesn’t mean the conversation ends here. We invite you to join us online by connecting with Social Media Week on Twitter and Facebook for news, updates, opportunities, and information. You can also read SMW News every day, and throughout the year, our publishing site that features a broad range of news articles, trends, opinion pieces, interviews, product demos, and more.
You can also help us improve Social Media Week by completing our brief survey. If you attended in-person, followed the conversation online, or just want to help by providing feedback, please take a few minutes to help us make SMW even better.
Our next global conference is this November 16-20, in Chicago, Mumbai, and Santiago. If you would like to get involved with the November edition of #SMW15, we encourage you to submit an event, apply to speak, and become a sponsor for Social Media Week. We’re excited to return this November 16-20, and we hope you will continue to join us as we continue our global mission!
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