I’m writing and publishing this from the desert of New Mexico, making an epic cross-country trek to Social Media Mecca. Also known as Social Media Marketing World. My excitement at driving through gorgeous stretches of Americana is exceeded only by my anticipation for this conference. The largest social media event in the world, taking place over the next few days in sunny San Diego. To quote Ann Handley, “These are my people!” In honor of my first year attending, I thought I’d share why I’m attending, and why I’ve been looking forward to this for 6 months.
1. To Pass On Learning
First and foremost, I love attending events like this because of the impact it will have on my writing, and the benefits which will be passed on to you. Last Fall I attended Content Marketing World in Cleveland and it was amazing. There’s no doubt that the incredible speakers delivered amazing insights that were, in turn, melded into my own writing and messaging. From Joe Pulizzi’s prediction on the future of content, to Jay Baer’s perspective on the shift in social customer service, the seeds were planted. I can’t wait to see how SMMW, both the speakers and the event overall, has a similar impact on the coming weeks and months.
2. Sharpen The Axe
Of course many of the lessons I’ll be passing on to you are ones I’ll be taking to heart. Will Joel Comm finally sell me on SnapChat? What great tools will I be introduced to? What new ideas and techniques? Rest assured, I’ll be taking lots of notes!
3. Meet Incredible People
Beyond the education, SMMW stands as one of the premiere networking events in the social media marketing industry. From speakers to panels to attendees, it’s a very real Who’s Who of social, and it’s going to be a blast. Whether in between sessions or at one of the evening gatherings, opportunities abound to meet new people – and perhaps more importantly, meet people face to face whom you’ve only known online! This year I couldn’t be more thrilled to see Jeff Sieh, Peg Fitzpatrick, Rebekah Radice, Martin Shervington and Dustin Stout. They’ve been tremendous friends and supporters of me personally. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
4. Renewed Friendships
Then there are the wonderful folks I’ve already met and now got the opportunity see again and renew that friendship. People like Stephanie Liu, Jenn Herman, Amanda Robinson, Ian Anderson Gray, Ian Cleary, Heidi Cohen, Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi and of course Michael Stelzer, the mastermind behind the whole event.
5. San Diego
I would be lying if I said the location had nothing to do with SMMW’s appeal. Because it does. Big time. Southern California is gorgeous, and for my family and I, it’s a first time. So we’re looking forward to spending the whole week there! So needless to say, Social Media Marketing World represents a life-altering experience, both personally and professionally. I’ll look forward to sharing more with you soon.
Interested in meeting me there? Learn more here.