This week, Tea Social dragged ourselves from our idyllic historic Kent surroundings and into the big city for Social Media World Forum Europe, an annual event pulling together social media and marketing types from across the world to share the latest and most exciting new developments in social media.
Lesson 1 Finding the event itself can prove rather more difficult than one might think, at least from our experience of initially arriving at the UCAS event in the hall next door. Clearly our punishment for not using the Google Maps app on our iPhones to guide us right to it. Which leads us to:
Lesson 2 If you’re not constantly staring at your iPhone, or iPad, or MacBook [sensing a trend here?], you seem to be doing it wrong. At other events, spending the entire time twittering away into your phone while speakers are doing presentations on stage would likely be frowned upon. Not true at SMWF, where it’s actively encouraged.
Lesson 3 Social media is here to stay, and will only get more important. This one might seem incredibly obvious, but it was really driven home here. While most of the participants already engage with their customers using it, we ran into a number of companies who had dispatched staff to learn how it all works because they feel they are missing out. Which of course, they are.
Lesson 4 There’s a huge number of start-ups out there that are attempting to gain their foothold. Among the most exciting to us were Memolane, a site that allows you to archive your entire social media footprint in one place, LikeOurselves, which allows people to spontaneously form groups in real life, and Planely, a welcome resource for frequent fliers that allows them to connect with others on their flight.
So all in all an invigorating event for us, and we can’t wait to visit again next year, as who knows how much things will have changed by then?