While we have a lot to look forward to at SMT in the coming months, including the launch of new columns like The Social Insider (moves and promotions for social change agents) and The CMO of the Week (in-depth interviews with top CMOs), I wanted to recap some of the highlights from last month's conference.
More than 600 attendees and speakers from 300 companies converged at the W Hotel in Midtown Atlanta to discuss how social--and digital-- is transforming how we do business.
The event kicked off with a conversation about the future of social business with Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group and SMT CEO Robin Carey:
Other keynotes included Bryan Kramer's talk about what makes something crowdworthy, Jeremiah Owyang's presentation about the collaborative economy, and Baratunde Thurston's hilarious talk about how to make digital storytelling fun.
During the keynotes, Ludic Creatives, sponsored by EY, created real-time illustrations of the speakers and their topics.
Attendees got to choose from 40 breakout sessions during the two-day event. Some of the most popular panels were:
Retail: Why Shop When You Can Experience?
Data and Creativity: Defining Your Data-Driven Social Campaign
From Real-Time Analysis to Story-Telling: A Coca-Cola Case Study
Find Me a Van Gogh: Marketing with Visuals
Entertainment and Sports: How to Listen and Engage with Fans
Social Business Leadership Lessons Learned from a Game with Sandy Carter
We also polled our attendees to see what they liked about the Shake-Up and the results were encouraging.
Eighty-six of the attendees rated the relevance of the presentations as "good to excellent"; 89% of respondents rated the overall networking value of the conference as "good to excellent"; and 85% of them said the educational value of the conference was "good to excellent."
When asked what was their favorite part about the conference, the responses ranged from the content to the accommodations. "I loved meeting fabulous people. I also loved that there were so many great breakouts that I couldn't decide between them all!," wrote on attendee. "I enjoyed hearing so many different perspective about current trends and what the future holds," wrote another. And another attendee wrote, "I struggle to get social buy-in at my company, and I can't explain how refreshing and re-motivating it was to be surrounded by passionate people who believe in the true change social can bring. Thank you!"
We'd love to hear your thoughts and comments about the conference so we can continue to improve our content and better serve you.
And if you weren't able to attend this year's The Social Shake-Up, mark your calendar for June 2015. We hope you can join us then!