Tamar at the Social Media World Forum 2010
Yesterday, I visited SMWF and enjoyed a full day at the event. I spent my time attending the workshops which were focused on exploring social media and provided a holistic overview of the field. Presenters I saw included folks from the Facebook Developer Garage, representatives from LinkedIn, and experts from other social media agencies.
All in all, the event was interesting- it being my first foray into business conferences, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect but I left feeling like the experience was worthwhile. The speakers I saw were, for the most part, impressive and engaging. While some focused on more general usage of social media and were excited to show off unnecessarily colourful PowerPoint Presentations, most concentrated on solid insight about their fields. My favourite presentation explored the different ways Facebook’s free features/applications, such as Events, Photos, and Notes, can be used by companies as part of their social media strategy.
I found the diversity of SMWF’s attendants noteworthy. I tried to do some networking and ended up chatting with a director at an angel investing firm, a motivational speaker starting a company, industry reporters, and several agency representatives. Understandably, the comments I heard varied drastically depending on who you spoke to- social media beginners and novices enjoyed a look at the depth of social media as a business tool. More seasoned attendants found the talks “repetitive and uninspired,” as shown in the Twitter comments from the day. The mixed feedback is understandable- it’s difficult to host an event which caters to the needs of every type of attendant.
SMWF was a great opportunity to learn a little about the industry as a whole and get a good feel of the different parties involved. While the speakers I heard weren’t revolutionary by any means, they developed and helped explore some exciting concepts which I enjoyed hearing about. My main takeaways included fresh perspectives on Facebook social media campaigns and thoughts on the complexity of social media’s return on investment. I hope I’ll get to attend a few more UK social media conferences during my time at Tamar!