You never know what you’re going to get at a social media conference. Sometimes you get fired up, excited, empowered. Other times, you end up feeling like you’re trapped in the echo chamber, hearing the same stuff, with itsy bitsy differences.
SocComm had a pleasant mix of the 101 sort of speakers and higher level, philosophical content. There were speakers that got us riled up (a la @garyvee), and there were speakers or panels that rehashed the usual topics on privacy, work/life separation, and the history of the ‘Net. Also, there were speakers looking at social media usage in sectors I hadn’t heard discussed before–social media for actors, legislation that may effect the industry (i.e. privacy law), and mobile social (a topic that people love to talk about but not usually in too much detail).
The best part of the conference, per usual at these types of events, was in the hallway. Aside from the bathroom signs, which were entertaining, the conversations where fantastic.
In the hallway, nursing a cup of joe, I met Jordan Epstein, founder of VolunteerBIG.com. An awesome idea, though not up and running yet, VolunteerBIG is (or will be) a collaboration network complete with tools to help organizations do more for the community.
Also, I ran into a man I knew from a past life, Larry Weinberg from Israel21C. When I was in college, I was heavily involved in the cause of the Israelis–still feel strongly about the issue, but I would say I’m less of an activist now (out of necessity). That said, I met Larry at a summit his organization put together to teach us college activists about positive discourse. “A Focus Beyond the Conflict” is their tagline and scope of work–there’s so much more to the entire area than war, violence and terror, and Israel21C really emphasizes bringing the positives to light. Great, powerful work.
Back in the theatre, @GaryVee energized the crowd. “If you’re not doing what you’re passionate about you’re an idiot,” he said, then dropped a few f-bombs for emphasis. Brilliant, hilarious and incite-ful. @GaryVee was certainly a highlight.
Can We Make it Better?
All in all it was a great event, but a few of us have some thoughts for next time:
- Move the basics to the front: establish a baseline for those who are newer and allow those who know what’s up to catch a few more Z’s.
- Get an egg-timer: the real challenge at an event like this is getting people to stop talking when their alloted time is up. An egg-timer says stop like no real person can. It’s simple and there’s no one to get mad at when the egg-timer says to stop talking.
- Make the cheerleaders the end caps: GaryVee and Chris Brogan got us pumped up and energized, but before there was time to digest there was already another presentation getting started. Put the heavy hitters before breaks and they’ll be the topic of conversation through lunch, coffee, snacks, etc.
With that said, I’m already looking forward to the next one! See you soon at the next #SocComm.