Social Media Marketing World a look back over the years…
This was the 4th time attending #SMMW & each year is a little different. I spent time catching up with my ‘social friends' – some of which I met over the years attending this event, others I was meeting for the first time & some I know from home, Denver, CO.
However, this year was different for me – different in so many ways. The people I used to refer to as my ‘social friends' weren't that anymore – they were my ‘friend friends'. I was so excited to see many of them & spend time catching up, discovering what they are working on, learn how I can help or how we can potentially work together in partnership.
Everything was different this year – it wasn't about meeting new people – but it still was – I met plenty of amazing people – it wasn't about proving my myself or dealing with my “imposter syndrome” (yes, it's a thing) – it was about connecting with PEOPLE – having fun, learning, sharing, enjoying!
If you haven't been to a conference like this & want to learn I'm happy to share my SMMW experiences. Once you go – you ALWAYS go back – if you don't that's just weird! 😉
2018 was different all around
I wasn't the newbie at SMMW meeting people for the first time. They actually knew me, who I was & what I did & better yet what I've done in creating #SMDayDEN and this business, Socially Powered.
I WAS actually introducing people I thought for sure would know each other – WHAT? Who would have thought in 4 years time I'd be working with, taking selfies and telling the “stars” where to be & who to connect with?
The reason I'm writing this is share with you my #SMMW journey (yes, I did that on purpose! Click the link if you don't know what referencing) & to show you how you can easily create the same thing for yourself (if you desire). It's about showing up, making friends, giving of yourself, asking for help & an overall willingness to serve others.
Let's start with a short review of the SMMW's of years past.
2015 was the first year I attended this amazing conference. I had just started in the social space for business. I took a leap of faith & spent the money (which isn?t a small chunk of change) to attend. I was excited & nervous to go. I didn?t know anyone else attending & was excited to meet some of my online mentors in real life.?WOW! I had big goals!
Thankfully, I was a part of Andrea Vahl & Phyllis Khare?s Social Media Manager School program (launching in April…shameless plug) – so, I knew there would be some friendly faces. However, I expected to be alone the majority of the conference. That isn?t how it turned out. I ended up making friends on the very first night with my now, close friend, Sarah E. Summers. We connected right off the bat & ended up spending the majority of the conference together for lunches, dinners & such. (SIDE NOTE: If you read to the end Sarah & I have started something special to share #SMMW18 with you, but you have to tune on FB Live!)
MY GOAL:? Be a sponge – learn as much as I could from all the experts in the industry. Connect with other social media managers to learn from them regarding running a SMM business.
2016 was a completely different experience for me as I wasn?t a newbie anymore. I KNEW people at this point & was excited to see ALL my friends in San Diego! I took Andrea?s advice this year & didn?t spend as much time in sessions & more time in the halls. Stick with me here, I know this may not make sense, but this is where the magic happens. Networking plaza, lunch, and the parties are where you make the connections & start building relationships.
MY GOAL: Connecting & learning from others, but at this point, I was beginning to know what I was doing & the sessions were great, but I had already implemented most of what the speakers were discussing.
So, why am I here??
Great question, it's about building these relationships with amazing people doing inspirational & amazing things! I want to be near them & learn everything I can! YES! I'll be back next year!
I did a fun recap of what I learned from 2015 for other SMMW conference newbies here of what to know before attending SMMW.
I barely went to sessions – if I did it was to support my friends who were speaking. I dropped in on JLD, John ?Chocolate Johnny? Kapos, Joel Comm, Amy Porterfield, & more. (Now, I'll be honest, I got there early for Amy's sessions & sat in the front row & took copious notes & waited in line to get a picture as seen above…I'll admit, I may have fangirled a bit)
I spent more time talking to sponsors in 2017,? as I was in the process of planning my own event for Social Media Day Denver on June 30th, 2017 & thought it made sense to speak with potential sponsors for my own event. I spent time with the speakers building those relationships & many of them ended up speaking at my own event in Denver. Yay!
My GOAL: Find?sponsors & speakers for SMDayDEN! Guess what I did? Brought back an amazing line-up for a sell-out event in Denver for Social Media Day Denver! We brought the A-game with speakers Kim Garst, Joel Comm, Bryan & Courtney Smith Kramer, Mia Voss, Michael O'Neal, Andrea Vahl, John ‘Chocolate Johnny' Kapos, Vicki Fitch, Aaron Roth from @ArkonMounts (sponsor) and so many more! This goes beyond?who was that the event – we built relationships that weekend – with not only myself but everyone at the #SMDayDEN event. I'd be shocked to hear you didn't walk away with at least one new connection if you were trying to meet people.?
I thought I'd share this article with the Top 10 Items You Must Have for Every Event.
This is a great list to remind yourself what to pack before attending any conference.
This year was COMPLETELY different! In a good way! I spent months leading up to the event working with the Social Media Examiner team to bring something new to the audience – we held a LIVE Stage broadcast to Facebook Live throughout the two-day conference.
We kicked off the live stage with Joel Comm & Sunny Lenarduzzi joined by Candace Payne (AKA: Chewbacca Mom) on the Main Stage announcing what they would be doing throughout the conference. When the keynote finished up we were joined by many of the attendees at the Live Stage in Networking Plaza. We were off on an epic live stream journey.
We had been planning for months how this would go & really unsure as to if it would go off without a hitch. Of course, as any live streamer knows, you can plan, but you just never know what will happen. Fortunately, the worst of our issues were some technical problems with the live stream not being broadcast the first few hours, thankfully, it was recorded!
Here is the link to the Live Stream broadcast on the Social Media Examiner Facebook Page if you want to take a look at what we created.
In summary, I highly encourage you to get out there, go to events, set goals for yourself prior to attending with what you want to get out of the event & be open to opportunity & connections.
I also want to invite you to a weekly show I have created with my very first friend I met at SMMW15, Sarah E. Summers. Since we were unable to attend sessions this year but heard great things about the workshops and sessions we decided to watch them & share our key takeaways with you via Facebook Live.
You can join us on Thursday's at 1 PM MT to hear our thoughts from the keynotes, sessions & workshops. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode!
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