What to Know Before #SMMW (Insights from a First Timer)

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After returning from one of the largest #SocialMedia Conferences around, Social Media Marketing World (#SMMW15). This was the first year I attended such an event & thought I should share my experience. I have attended other conferences, meetings, tradeshows, etc in my past life.

WOW, what a difference & I mean this in the very best way possible!

Here's me with some of my #socialmedia heroes!

Here’s me with some of my #socialmedia heroes!

Mike Stelzner, Founder of Social Media Examiner (SME), and his team really know how to put together an amazing event! The moment you hit “submit” to confirm your ticket purchase you begin to receive important information & details about what to expect at the event. Leading up to the event the team posted videos, held Google hangouts for “newbies”, started LinkedIn groups, & encouraged you to connect with speakers & other attendees. SME provided an app to guide you around the venue, select which sessions to attend (remind you when & where), and best of all connect with other attendees.

In addition, to the pre-conference information, SME provided excellent opportunities for networking, including:

  • Opening Night Beach Party
  • Morning Networking Walks
  • Social Beach Networking Party
  • Join the Chorus
  • Lunchtime Networking
  • Networking Ambassadors

What does all these networking events include, you ask?

SME provided ample opportunity for you to meet people. The Lunchtime networking had tables where you could seek out your interest areas (Industry, content, small biz, regulated, agency, higher ed) & table talks (measurement, social tactics, platforms, strategy, future, & customer care). You choose what you most want to discuss.

In addition, if you weren’t finding what you wanted from the provided networking opportunities they had a table you go to & they would help connect you!

Here is a list of things you should consider doing prior to attending #SMMW16 or another major conference:

  • Set Goals!
    • Who do you want to meet?
      • Speakers
      • Social Media peeps
      • Potential Clients
      • Potential Employers
      • Brand Ambassadors
    • What types of sessions do you want to attend?
      • Strategy
      • Tools & Tips
      • How-to
      • Panels
  • Do Your Research!
    • Study who will be speaking
    • Determine who best fits your goals
    • Connect & engage with them online prior to event
    • Have questions prepared
  • Network!
    • Put on your best SMILE!
    • Go to every event
    • Say “Hello” to everyone & anyone
    • Find a way to stand out & be memorable

There were so many “Social Media Superstars” at #SMMW15. You know, the people you admire, those that have a huge following online, consistent engagement, & interaction with their followers! Best of all, they are exactly who they say they are online. It all boils down to being your true, authentic self. BE YOU!

Good luck & I hope these tips help at your next conference!

About the Author

Erin Cell

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Erin Cell, is the Founder & CEO of Socially Powered, LLC. I have been helping business owners “Power Up” their online presence since 2012. Socially Powered understands every business is unique & has different social media needs. We work together as a team to create & establish a social media strategy that works for your business.