Monday, August 15, 2011
Social media conferences: How to find them
This is the first of two posts on how to find a social media conference and then having found one how to assess its merits. Full disclosure: I am an organizer of a conference at the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology on Sept. 29 called the Social Media and Communication Symposium. To avoid seeming self-serving I will not specifically reference that event here.
Keeping up with changes in social media and social media strategy can be daunting. So what better way to hear from some leaders in the field than at a social media conference?
But how do you find a conference that might meet your needs? Sadly there is no one catch-all place to find social media conferences.
One site that does list upcoming social media events is Mashable and its listing of upcoming events. But, as good as it can be it does not appear to be posted on a regular schedule.
So here is what I’m sure is an incomplete starter list of social media conferences. Please feel free to add others in the comments area below and I will update this post as I can:
140 Characters Conference: A yearly conference founded by Jeff Pulver that gathers leaders in the tech industry to discuss Twitter and the real-time Internet. In dozens of 10- to 20-minute addresses, conference speakers cover topics about how Twitter influences the world and Twitter's effects on various industries.
Blog World & New Media Expo: This event includes a Social Media Business Summit and claims it is the world’s largest social media business conference. It says it features social media thought leaders and corporate pros.
Corporate Social Media Summit: This event, organized by Useful Social Media offers "best practice examples and in-depth case studies from some of the leading companies using social media today – Adobe, Dell, SAP, AT&T, Best Buy, the Coca Cola Company." It also offers recordings for a fee.
Social Crush: A two-day, hands-on, interactive social media business conference with a lineup that changes by event, but has recently included speakers and trainers from Twitter, HubSpot, Foursquare, Edelman Digital, Hashable, SayItSocial and PRNewswire.
Social Fresh: A one-day social media conference for marketing professionals that features, according to its site, "case studies, group discussion and learning, instruction and drilling down on topics."
Social Media Plus: A one and one-half day, three-event conference featuring in-depth workshops and expo and 21 seminars led by "marketing directors, technology professionals and social media experts, telling you how they have used social media to build brand, interact with customers and generate revenue. "
Social Media Strategies Summit:
A three-day event where, according to the website: "Attendee’s will learn how to best utilize and integrate the myriad social media platforms to engage customers directly at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing. … Through presentations, case studies and workshops presenters will provide attendees with the skills needed to attract and engage quality customers."
Ragan Communications: This company offers numerous social media-related conferences and online learning opportunities (often with a public relations focus). As someone who has attended Ragan events I can only say that, although expensive, they are very much worth it in terms of the quality of the program and the speakers.
SXSW-Interactive: The “Big Kahuna” of social media events with literally too many venues and too many panels and presentations for one person to take in. Best attended by small teams who split their time and share what they learned. It should be every person in social media’s goal to attend this event at least once, if not every year!
Social Media Success Summit: This entirely online "conference" features 24 social media speakers and thinkers and runs over a three-week period. The sessions are live online and also available taped if the timing is not good for you. This may be a good solution if taking time away from your job or home is impractical.
So there it is. My incomplete, I’m pretty sure, and possibly biased short list of social media conferences. I hope it helps you chart your next learning opportunities in social media and social media strategy.
What did I leave out? Please comment below.
NEXT: How to evaluate a social media conference