It’s only 18 sleeps until Social Media World Forum Europe 2013 (#SMWF) and I’m lucky enough to be attending for my third year. I love going to conferences, there’s such a great buzz and it’s good to be in a room with a bunch of other social media geeks for a couple of days. And of course you learn so much at these events, my head is always buzzing with ideas when I leave. But if that’s not enough for you here’s the other 5 top reasons to go to #SMWF this year
A lot of people who work in digital marketing, like myself, spend more time in front of a computer than we do in front of flesh and blood people. We are great networkers, it’s part of our job. We talk to people online, communicate via Tweets and interact with two dimensional images via Google+ hangouts and Skype but nothing beats getting together with a group of like minded people for a chat. That’s one of the reasons that Tweet Ups are always so popular, if we get a chance we love to be sociable in real life.
What’s great about #SMWF is that speed networking is part of the schedule, it’s a great way to break the ice and you’ll have the opportunity to follow up those conversations in the coffee breaks.
To really benefit from an event like #SMWF you want to come away feeling that you were a part of it in some way. Tweeting whilst you are there, networking and blogging about the event will all help but there are some interesting group discussions and workshops in this year’s schedule that will really get delegates involved. I’m particularly looking forward to the ‘Social Learning Lab’ on day two that involves working in groups to devise marketing strategies. It will be interesting to hear ideas and experiences from others as well as having the opportunity to share my own.
The speaker line up for this year’s conference as in previous years is great. We are going to be able to learn from the experiences of some big brands. I’m most excited about seeing Karlijn Vogel-Meijer from KLM on day two. KLM have been incredibly creative with their use of social media in the past, I’m sure you must remember their scheme to allow people to choose via Linkedin profiles who they would sit next to on a flight? Or maybe you remember their ‘Surprise’ random act of kindness campaign?
See the full speaker lineup and agenda here.
For me this is the big one. I go to conferences to be inspired. I’d be unhappy just ticking away day by day doing the same thing. Part of what I love about my job is finding new creative ways to use social media for marketing. Most of my clients wouldn’t have the budget to pull off anything as elaborate as KLM but businesses of all sizes can be inspired to be more creative by them. I know I will come home full of ideas that I can use myself or pass on to my clients.
5. It’s In London
Although not exclusive to #SMWF if you can find a good excuse to go to London you should take it. I know my English friends may disagree and maybe it’s the nostalgia that only comes when you live in another country but my heart always leaps when I emerge from a tube station in central London and see black cabs and red buses. Although obviously Dublin has a special place in my heart I love going back to London and feeling at home again for a few days.
For more info on #SMWF, the speakers and tickets visit the website. Let me know if you’re planning on attending, maybe we can network!