From September 20-24, 2010, we didn't necessarily dance in the streets during the week long social media conference but we had reason to! FREE panels, knowledgeable panelists, useful insights and information, and great locations through out the city of LA made for a fantastic week of networking and learning. Did I say FREE thanks to global brand sponsorship? Truly, that detail alone is worth learning how to "Dougie" because generally a conference like this costs hundreds of dollars to attend. And while we were hashtagging #SMW in the streets here in the US, conference goers were doing the same in other languages around the world in four other international cities.
From Beverly Hills, downtown LA, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood, Social Media Week Los Angeles kept conference goers busy visiting popular venues including the Paley Center and the House of Blues. Panelists and guests attending were some of the most notable people in social media including Brian Solis, author of Engage, a must read for social media marketers and enthusiasts, Hollywood big wigs and execs, and application developers.
Another great aspect of Social Media Week Los Angeles was its fund-raising platform, Twelethon. Using social media for social good is what it's all about. And through Social Media Week Los Angeles, Twelethon raised funds to support Inner City Arts, a much needed program that provides art programs to kids in a professional environment at no cost.
If you were a newbie to social media it all may have been a little intimidating, but for those of us not-so new, there was something for everyone from the technical to the creative to the business. Speaking of which the biggest question of the week in my opinion was how to measure social media success. The answer varied. The great debate between hard numbers (sales, fan page members) and valuable engagement continued. Personally, I believe it's a combination of the two and my clients are educated early to focus on engagement first, numbers second and why.
Other great panels I attended addressed location based marketing, Hollywood's social media make-over, story-telling and transmedia (Digital LA), how to improve user engagement, and how the music industry and artists value social media. You can see my live tweets from different panels on Twitter at SheerSocial. And yes, I do have two twitter profiles; the other is displayed to your right from @hollywoodlvwork.
Big Up to Kevin Winston and Digital LA for conducting great panels and networking events throughout the week AND hosting a screening of "Waiting for Superman" with a Q&A discussing how the film was marketed through social media. One of the best panels I wasn't able to attend but saw later online was Digital LA's "TV Going Social." Just play the vid below.
And lastly, huge thank you to Social Media Week founder and Executive Director, Toby Daniels, for bringing the conference to LA! Most social media conferences are on the east coast or mid west. It was great not having to travel far to attend. I'm truly eager to see what next year's event will bring.