Over the last ten years I've had the pleasure of attending, hosting, and keynoting many events worldwide. Events in industries that range from cyber security to government to cloud computing, marketing, and social media - but never before have I presented before an audience as diverse, as talented, or as unique as that at the first ever Periscope Summit.
Attendee ages ranged from 64 to 14, including musicians, life coaches, lawyers and TV personalities. Summit attendees included people of all races and sexes and people from all over the world. So, what brought such a diverse group of people together in NYC for this event?
From the outside in it might appear that it was simply the app that each person had downloaded called Periscope. But the truth is, while the app was the platform that users leveraged, it was the community who decided to come together to celebrate each others' stories, lives and grow the relationships that had been developed online over a few short months.
A Community Event By The Community, For The Community
Originally the event was planned and marketed as "Periscope Summit". Twitter, who bought Periscope in January of 2015, wasn't ok with the use of the brand name, so it became "Periscope Community Summit."
As bummed as I might've been at the time, the name change could be the greatest thing to have happened to this event. Quickly turning a negative into a positive the four organizers Ryan A Bell, Cathy Hackel, Alexis Cardoza, Alice Chase and Randell Chase skillfully leveraged their knowledge to empower the community to rally together. The then hyper-engaged community came together to create what was, in my opinion, the best "first" annual event I'd ever attended.
I slide from my keynote... If Mother Teresa was alive and found out that 40 Million hours of Video are watched daily on Periscope she might change her quote to include the power of live streaming...
Who & What Was The Periscope Community Summit
The event kicked off Tuesday night at the Hudson Terrace - a night which I now refer to as the "HUG + Selfie + Live-Streaming Opening Event". This event meet-up set the stage for the next two days of more hugs and more celebrating.
The two days of keynotes and panels were kicked off Mr. 10X himself, Grant Cardone. Grant energized the crowd talking about the power of live streaming and although we had a little back-and-forth heckle while he was on stage (talking about Tom Brady), he set the stage for two days full of great presentations and panels.
The event was emceed by Mark Kaye and Africa Miranda who did a great job of keeping the 500+ attendees excited throughout the long days of conversations, debates, use-cases and thought provoking discussions.
The keynotes were all amazing and I couldn't possibly write about each one, although hearing what power user Alex Khan thinks about Periscope and how Tasmin, a seasoned TV broadcaster, has been able to experience things around the world thanks to Periscope, were two of my favorite keynotes. I also have to mention the awesome documentary that was premiered just before my closing keynote - the team at startbroadcastthemovie.com have done some amazing work. Check out the video and support their indiegogo campaign here.
We Live In A Great World With Talented Great People
The vibe of this event was unlike any I'd attended before. The opportunities to listen, learn and engage were plenty, like most events, but the difference was the collaborating. People who would've never met or known each other, because they had unique backgrounds and no common interests other than they'd both used Periscope to share their stories, were meeting and collaborating on projects and planning future connections.
I had a conversation with a blind teenager who told me that he listened and learned from my Periscopes nightly, and would re-listen to many of them so he could understand how to maximize his use of social media.
I was interviewed by Mario Armstrong, the founder of the Never Settle Club and technology host on the Today Show. I sat down with DanAndMoore from Australia who flew out with fellow Aussie Mitch Oates, a Periscoper that streams while surfing and who crowdfunded his way to the event.
I got to sit down with ex-porn star Bree Olson and discuss how she was leveraging her audience on Periscope to get donations of clothes for the homeless. I got to hear examples of live-streaming use cases from brands like SanDisk, Zappos, UFC, T-Mobile and Roker Labs.
I had my heart torn to pieces as I listened to a panel of scopers discussing the harassment and hate they sometimes see on their scopes - the discussion inspired me to stand-up while the panel was still going on and call on Periscope and the big names on the platform to come together and put the right technology and education in place to stop others from having to suffer the bullying that so many early adopters have (stay tuned for more information about this cause and signup for my newsletter ThinkLikeAFan.Video so you can help join the fight).
I had a chance to hear musicians of all types, and to watch my friend Jason Stolken do his first live stand-up comedy skit at the summit, while also meeting the man behind the famous sock, aka Sock Cop.
We also had the chance to get our stream on, as all the speakers and panelist took a private yacht trip on the Hudson River to view the amazing NYC skyline from the water as the capstone of the event.
Periscope live-streaming requires the streamer to look into their camera, tell their story, engage their community, provide value and, importantly, be themselves. This has led to some brands and thought leaders telling me that they see no value in live-streaming and have no plans to use Periscope because it's mostly utilized by self-centered, egotistical, arrogant jerks that just want to hear themselves speak. I won't say there aren't some of those people on there, but at all the events I've attended I've met plenty of people who aren't the same person offline as they are online. At this event, not only was the vibe all about the community, but 95% of the people I met for the first time were the same - or even more amazing - in person.
I've been to 100's of events many that were larger in size, had bigger budgets, were fully funded by sponsors and had world renowned speakers on stage. But never before have I been to an event that better represented what I believe is the power of social media and technology - it's about connecting GREAT people with GREAT people so they can then go on to do GREAT things.
Power of Community
I created a new keynote for this event, focusing not on technology or social media, but rather on inspiration and motivation - to remember that we aren't in competition with each other and we have to celebrate each others' wins by finding ways to show we care. Ultimately, I entered this event with high hopes because I believe in the power of live-streaming, I've shifted my business to allow me to evangelize mobile social streaming to the world. I can happily report that not only did this event blow me away but it represented everything I dreamed of when I titled my keynote.