Mike Stelzner, Founder & CEO of Social Media Examiner, is back for his second appearance on the podcast. Social Media Examiner is the largest online magazine focused on social media marketing with more than 1 million visitors per month. In this episode, you’re going to learn why Mike launched a physical conference called Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) and how it has grown to be – THE mega conference in social media. Tune in to discover five compelling reasons to attend SMMW 2017 which is taking place March 22 to 24, 2017, in beautiful San Diego, California.
History of Social Media Examiner & SMMW
Social Media Examiner started seven years ago and has grown to be the biggest online magazine on social media marketing. In addition to the extensive content delivered through their multi-author website, Mike hosts a weekly podcast called Social Media Marketing and holds a live video show on Fridays at 8 am U.S. PT (11 am ET).
Five years ago Mike came to the realization that there wasn’t a big conference for social media marketing, so he launched Social Media Marketing World. The event is built on three pillars, networking, discovery, and fun. Structured networking is mixed with fun and organized by category (i.e. blogging, podcasting, SEO, Facebook, Twitter, B2B, analytics, etc.). Pre-conference networking starts through Slack groups organized by topic. The discovery pillar is all about learning the newest trending strategies, tips and hacks in social media marketing to boost your results and your career. And the fun, is everywhere starting with the opening night party on an aircraft carrier. On the second night there’s karaoke on a huge yacht. There are morning walks/runs every day of the conference at 6am. There’s even a chorus performance comprised of musically inclined conference attendees, and so much more. This year’s event is expected to attract 4,000 attendees.
What to Expect
The event is laid out in a track format, where one ticket provides access to all of the tracks. Twelve sessions on a variety of different topics will run simultaneously throughout SMMW 2017. This year Mike and his team have added a creator series track for anyone who creates content. The will be 40 sessions within the creator series with 10 each for bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers and live video producers. Each ticket also includes recordings of all the sessions! On the first day, SMMW offers 90-minute workshops that are included in the ticket price too! The workshops cover everything from networking for introverts to opening an agency.
Customer service at Social Media Marketing World is top notch. Mike set out to create a Disneyland-like experience anchored in service. Look for “the white shirts” people if you need any help at the conference. Don’t be surprised when the person you approach walks with you to help you get exactly where you’re going and leaves you smiling.
Selecting speakers for Social Media Marketing World is different than most events. There is no application process. All of the speakers have a relationship with Social Media Examiner and are hand-recruited to speak on their topic of expertise. Mike and his team are constantly working to improve and diversify their lineup of speakers by pulling from different industries and backgrounds. Mike is the opening keynote speaker, where he will reveal the findings from their State of Social Media Marketing report, as he has in years past.
Mike’s own networking experiences at other events had a significant impact on how SMMW is structured. He wanted to take networking to a new level at his conference. Before the event even begins, the networking starts. Last year there were 78 Slack groups that attendees could join by topic of interest before the event. There is also a LinkedIn group that allows for pre-event networking.
SMMW also provides stickers that serve as a conversation starter. Attendees pick a few stickers displaying various interests that they attach to their name badge. For example, stickers are available for areas such as blogger, Facebook, podcaster, B2B, corporate, freelance and others. This way when you walk up to someone you can look at their name badge and see if you have any commonalities before even speaking. Another clever way SMMW fosters networking is at the opening night party where Bingo cards are distributed to everyone. Guests fill the spots in with Twitter handles of people that fit each space in response to the topic called for in each space. It’s a fun experience that takes networking to a new level.
“I wanted to build an event unlike any other by taking networking to an entirely new level.” @Mike_Stelzner #sbeshow
This will be my third year attending SMMW, and I’ll be leading a panel. The title of my panel session is: How to Get Your Employees to Engage in Social Media. I’ll be joined by three brands who will discuss how their employees engage in their social media activities, and the benefits they enjoy as a result.
Attending SMMW17 will empower you to boost your social media marketing results and boost your career. If you need help convincing your boss to let you attend the event, download their convince the boss letter. I hope to see you there!!
Featured On This Episode:
- Mike Stelzner or LinkedIn and Twitter
- Social Media Examiner’s website
- Learn More About Social Media Marketing World 2017
- Join our Social Business Engine community
- Write a review of this podcast in iTunes
- Social Business Engine on Twitter: @bernieborges
- Vengreso YouTube Channel | YouTube channel
There are TWO WAYS you can listen to this podcast with Mike Stelzner.
P.S. Our next podcast episode features Ed Terpening, Industry Analyst of Altimeter, a Prophet Company.