Some weeks ago I walked into the hotel lobby in my conference guise to pick up my name tag. It was in San Diego.
Ian Cleary greeted me from afar.
He is the founder of Razorsocial.com. We knew each other online as he wrote about our tool on his blog several times.
He told me that he was excited about his session and that I could meet his wife as she was somewhere there.
Meeting him face to face felt so much better than talking online. I could see him instead of reading his lines. We had a real conversation.
Face To Face Is The Real Social
What if we take out the “media” layer form social media?
No intermediary, no blog, images, podcasts or videos.
This is when you meet face to face. And these were the best experiences of the people I asked.
The Social Media Marketing World conference was the world’s largest event with the most respected experts in the industry.
Were you at the conference?
The people I met would have loved to meet you too. Because they are social too.
So here are the takeaways in their own words.
Meeting Super Smart People
Chris Brogan – CEO and President at Human Business Works
I really didn’t get to attend any sessions.
I spent a lot of time in the hallway meeting up with super smart people. It was a great job.
Spontaneous Talks and New Relationships
Jillian Vorce – Chief Hand Shaker at TheJillianGroup.com
SMMW attracted some of the brightest and most progressive and creative marketing minds from around the globe.
Another, more fundamental takeaway was the level of energy and engagement on the part of attendees, speakers and staff. I felt we are a true community.
In a short few days, countless seeds of new relationships were planted, and that is more than worth the price of admission.[facebookpost https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152279077329383&set=a.10152270254069383.1073741836.272796339382&type=1]
Jillian was one of the organizers of the networking opportunities of the conference. This photo was taken at a networking walk at 6 o’clock in the morning.
How To Do Better What I Am Already Doing
Debbie Miller – Writer and Social Media Marketing Strategist at Social Hospitality
Some conferences tend to be very beginner-oriented since many attendees are just starting out.
At SMMW I could attend several more advanced sessions and appreciated walking away with takeaways on how to better what I’m already doing and what I already know.
I really enjoyed the sessions on taking blogging to the next level, both in sessions like Michael Hyatt’s which focused more on the content side as well as Andy Crestodina’s that highlighted tips on the analytics side.
Rivka Kawano – Marketing Coach and Consultant, Co-Owner at New Media Design Studios
Many of my biggest wins at the conference were from connections I had started nurturing before the conference even started.
Planning ahead is what made the conference a true success for me.
Connecting on social media, planning a get-together before the conference, and knowing my goals were all important.
The Nudge To Start Podcasting
Joshua Parkinson – Founder & CEO at Post Planner
Conferences are more about people than about sessions. I had the best conference ever and I only attended about 5 sessions.
The time spent networking at the hotel bar, lunches and especially evening events made the conference for me. (And it always helps to have a good wingman – like my homie, Emeric Ernoult!)
Donna Moritz’s visual social media session was amazing. Ian Cleary’s social tools session also rocked (especially his HUGE mention of Post Planner!).
But for me personally, the most inspiring session was the podcasting panel with John Lee Dumas and Lewis Howes.
Don’t be surprised if I start a podcast this year. ;)
Josh builds a remote company. He has never met his co-founder in person. He said that working remotely lets you get things done, but he goes to the major conferences every year.
Processing Information Takes Time. Devote Time To Process Information!
Travis Campbell – Business Growth Expert at MarketingProfessor.com
If you are anything like me, I found there was too much content to consume in the time given for the sessions attended, let alone the ones missed!
As with most things in life and business, execution of ideas separates the winners from non-winners, and it’s important to make room for inspiration and fresh ideas.
Travis listed here his key takeaways. If you read his post you can also get some understanding of the sessions!
Creativity Is The King!
Andrew Ford – Brand Director at Social Star
“Content is still the King” – in 1996 Bill Gates coined the now famous phrase. Today it is a mantra for all the superstars of social media.
My takeaway from SMMW14 is that creativity is the king.
Mass content with no spark and no freshness just doesn’t cut it anymore.
To be noticed in a noisy world, to quote Michael Hyatt, “you need to access your true creative spirit which can only come from an authentic powerful brand”. Creativity is king![facebookpost https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152277437209383&set=a.10152270254069383.1073741836.272796339382&type=1]
Andrew backs up what he says with action. Everyone remembers him as he was a … hashtag hero with Christina Canters!
Google Might Be The Major Social Network
Christian Karasiewicz – Social Media Consultant at CKK Enterprises
My greatest takeaway from Social Media Marketing World was how much a role Google+ is going to play moving into 2014.
A lot of people went in thinking Facebook would continue to be the major social network, but I also heard more people talking about Google+ over Facebook.
A second takeaway from SMMW is to be sure to network. I met a lot of people I had conversed with online or whose blogs I read. It was great to finally get to meet them in-person.
Most of the individuals were so approachable and friendly!
I have read some posts that I wanted to include here because I liked their approach.
- Stanford Smith wrote an energetic post about how meeting great people changed the way he thinks about business.
- Donna Moritz summed up the latest trends in seven points. Notice how many times it’s about being human, telling your stories and building relationships.
- Steve Woodruff sums up here why being is San Diego was a great experience, collecting posts from other bloggers and sharing the photos he took with the attendees.
Let People Know You
Meeting these people was a great experience. And now reading their takeaways made me a bit emotional. My takeaway from theirs is this:
Show the real YOU.
Don’t hide behind your social profiles and post only the best food you eat, your happiest moments and visiting the best places.
I am still on my way to figuring this one out, but there are very good examples.
Chris Brogan posts sweaty, tired-energetic workout selfies. He is a transparent proud freak. (His words.)
Lewis Howes made a huge step when he wrote about being raped as a child. It must have been an enormous work to digest and share.
Face to face meetings, transparency and vulnerability is an asset to build trust.
Meet friends and customers.