Sunday, May 1, 2016

6 Reasons Why I Love Social Media Week

My favourite click from Social Media Week, February 2015
The year was 2014. I was looking for something interesting to do. The virtual world caught my attention and I sat up to notice its overarching presence. That piqued my interest and I went on a reading spree online to uncover its uses for my profession.  The world of social media, for a novice, can be quite intimidating! But luckily I stumbled onto some tweets about Social Media Week and started reading up more about it. Voila! I found a week long event that covered every aspect of social media - something I was scouring the web for! And since then I have been a part of three such week long celebrations - including one as volunteer of the social team team in February 2015 and a participant in November 2015.

There is definitely something about this event that has me going back every time. And when I pondered over it, I realized a few things that make it the pioneer in the social media space. Here they are:

1. A sound organizing team: It’s impossible to pull off a mega event like this year after year unless the foundations are strong. The talented team behind SMW has a solid comprehension of social media and all its important components. The event is painstakingly put together and the perfection of its execution vouches for it. Having been a part of the team last year, I have been witness to the frenetic activity that goes on back stage to make it the roaring success that it is. 

2. Relevant themes: The biggest challenge in recurring events is to maintain the novelty of content and relevance for the audience. Social Media Week has a new theme each year which is not just topical but also relevant to the times. I have seen discussions around being upwardly mobile - since that is the buzzword today to celebrating the invisible hand of technology in the forthcoming event this year. 

3. Carefully curated content: Social media is a sea of information. It is hard to put it onto categorised buckets and examine each bit separately. But Social Media Week does this to perfection. The schedule for the event spreads across a few pages feel free to choose the ones that interests you. In fact, most often there is a tie and one needs to choose which good ones to let go! Social media basics to analytics, brand stories to start up case studies - there is something for everyone. This is a unique repository of knowledge on social media which has something new to offer every time I attend it. 

4. Expert Speakers: The experts at the event speak volumes about the repute of Social Media Week. They are the best in their fields with proven track record. This makes for insightful talks engaging discussions between the speakers and the audience. For me, Suhel Seth stood out the last two times with his eloquence and inimitable sense of humour. 

5. Variety of content: Not fond of presentations? Join in for the group discussions. The event has various interesting formats to present content. Q and A sessions, talks, discussions, master classes, workshops - the one on creative writing last year is still fresh in my memory.  

6. Great for networking: I not just made great friends as part of the social media team, but also get to catch up with people I know online. It’s a great place to network with people from the industry and your own social media circle. It’s the best confluence of online meeting the offline. 

And as the next Social Media Week is just round the corner, I can feel the adrenaline rush as the content curation is on and the first list of speakers is out! Although, I am not a part of the official team, I sure have my eyes peeled for what's coming up. Check out their handle on Twitter for discounts and other updates on the upcoming event in June. 

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