This is a guest post from She’s the First volunteer Andrea Bartz.
Last February, the non-profit She’s the First (STF) had the opportunity to host an event for Social Media Week, in the official Social Good hub. STF, a social media-loving organization that funds girls’ educations in the developing world, started with all of the usual event ideas: Should we do a presentation? A regular ol’ panel? A (snooze) Powerpoint presentation?
Thankfully, we were struck with the idea we could shake things up with a talk show-style event featuring the most genius talking heads in social good, a DJ, Twitter cupcakes, and the best live studio audience ever. The presentation was, literally, standing-room-only, and the campaign around our event landed us a spot in the top 10 moments of Social Media Week worldwide.
Here are the three ingredients that made the event, dubbed “The New Face of Social Good – How to Create Your Own Social Media Magic,” such a blast:
A solid theme
Call it a shtick if you must. Sticking to the talk show theme, we booked a live DJ, gifts for every attendee (one-week yoga passes and some free app downloads from AppTerrier), and delicious cupcakes courtesy of Sprinkles. The organizing principle turned an ordinary panel into a party.
A cool campaign to spread the word and—more importantly—do good
In one night, we changed an entire year in the life of Eli in Tanzania — we encouraged fans to tweet #SMWMagic, and for every tweet, The Think Cloud generously donated $1. Thanks to the magic of social media, we sponsored her senior year of high school—an example, in real time, of how She’s the First’s work can directly empower young women to become the first in their families to graduate.
A killer line-up
Mashable’s (@mashable) managing editor, Emily Banks, introduced four dynamic and charming guests—Tammy Tibbetts (@shesthefirst), She’s the First Founder and President; Adam Braun (@pencilsofpromis), Founder and Executive Director of Pencils of Promise; Mike Padparvar (@HOLSTEE), Co-Founder of HOLSTEE; and Susan McPherson (@susanmcp1), Global Marketing VP of CSR/Fenton Communications—who each shared little-known stories on how ONE social media status update created a spark or started a ripple effect that ultimately launched huge movements and programs, changed lives, and achieved meaningful social change. Attendees (online and in person) were encouraged to tweet in their questions using #stfmagic; they walked away with solid techniques and tips for creating their own social media miracles.
International fashion icon Alek Wek (@TheRealAlekWek), the legendary Sudanese supermodel who had just turned to Twitter and Skype to be a stronger advocate for refugees in Sudan, introduced the event. The star-studded speakers were insightful and passionate, and by casting a wide net, the event drew in journalists, social entrepreneurs, and techies of all stripes—even the ones with an interest in fashion!
Check out the Storify recap of the campaign and event here. See you at SMW again in February!
Andrea Bartz is a STF volunteer and a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Brooklyn and can be found on Twitter at @andibartz.