Ok, first off… as someone who started a business based on running social media conferences, I might be a tiny bit biased (but keep reading, ok?).
Have you ever tried to balance eggs during an earthquake? Me neither. But I imagine it to be quite a tough task.
I liken trying to focus while working in social media to that kind of task. Focusing on a few key points of information within the earthquake that is social media is more difficult than most of us admit.
Luckily, we all have bosses and/or bottom lines that smack us back into reality once and while. “Yes, I promise this cat video on Youtube is relevant to our upcoming new user campaign.”
So how can a social media conference help?
[Insert cheesy PSA voiceover]
I’m glad you asked! Let’s have a look…
1. Networking With Peers
Getting together with a bunch of people that do the same thing you do can do wonders for your social media marketing efforts. Compare notes, get your competitive juices flowing, discover best practices and common mistakes.
Attending a conference always results in new professional relationships. From the discussions you have in between sessions to the longer relationships you form with peers that can help out as a sounding board down the road. Offline relationships within your industry can save your sanity and help you advance your career or business.
Since our first conference Social Fresh, we have built in networking space (this includes time spaces and physical spaces). In between sessions we have more time than most. Our exhibitor space is a lounge. There is no designated lunch space to encourage groups to form.
And at our next conference in Charlotte in a month we have even more networking opportunities. When we talk to peers we learn more. It is that simple.
2. Immersive Environment
We can all take a few moments here and there to watch a webinar or read the latest social media research report. But that next meeting or call is always a few moments away holding our attention. Take a day or two at a conference and focus on refreshing your social media skills, and the value of that training increases.
We learn better in serene environments. Where there is a lack of noise. Noise is something social media is really good at creating. A conference can separate you from the distractions of work and the industry long enough for the information to better sink in.
3. Access To Unique Info
Conferences act as a stage for some of the smartest people in the industry. It is a chance for speakers to show off their smarts, vendors to show off their data and tools, and companies like Social Fresh to show off their access to all these wonderful resources. I would say that pulling this type of content together on your own from free webinars and books and blog posts is not even possible.
A lot of the content we ask our speakers to present on are things they may have tweeted about or blogged about. But they have rarely sat down and asked “how do I teach this to others?” That step in itself is a big help to making content more valuable for Social Fresh attendees.
4. Community Affect
Brining together a bunch of smart speakers, top vendors and agencies, leading brands, eager attendees, and a focused/smart curriculum is not easy. But the work is well worth it. All these stakeholders contribute to a learning community at a conference. Each dishing out insights and experiences from the hallway to the stage to the lunch table.
Having this group of people together, in one room, for 2 days, creates an opportunity where learning thrives. Whether you need to learn a few tactical steps to augment some success you are already seeing or maybe you need to a completely new direction to take your marketing in, you will learn better in a community.
Have you benefitted from attending a social media conference? What made it so helpful for you?