There's a big social media conference coming to the UK this year, and it's called.... wait for it... The Big Social Media Conference! Basically, it is what it says "on the tin"! I can't tell you how excited I am about it- not just because it's happening in my home town or because I am speaking at it (although I am so excited about both those reasons). There are actually many reasons why I am so looking forward to it, and why I think you should be excited about it too.
Winners of the Big Social Media Conference Competition
I was given the opportunity to give away two 2-day tickets to the conference. I can now announce the winners...
And now, to the reasons why I think you should attend a social media conference, and in particular, the Big Social Media Conference....
#1 To boost your knowledge
I suppose this is the same with most areas, but when it comes to technology and social media there are always new things to learn. Social media may have in a sense been around for thousands of years, but the platforms, tools, networks and best practices are constantly changing. There are always new features, new tools, new networks, new techniques. It's difficult for most of us to keep on top of social media, and there is nothing better than attending a conference such as the Big Social Media Conference in Manchester. There will be some great speakers including Mari Smith, Melonie Dodaro, Lilach Bullock, Ian Brodie and Jenny Brennan speaking and sharing their knowledge. I'm looking forward to boosting my knowledge of Pinterest marketing, social selling, improving my social strategy, Facebook & Twitter marketing, online reviews, omni channel marketing, Influencer marketing and big data and predictive analytics. Wow, that's a lot of stuff and I know my head is going to explode afterwards. The great thing is that it's not just going to be a case of sitting there and listening, we'll be able to talk and discuss too, which brings me on to...
#2 To share ideas
One thing that I've always enjoyed about most social media conferences I've attended such as OiConf and Social Media Marketing World are the discussions with other marketers, small business owners and other professionals. The best conferences provoke these discussions and I've always had interesting debates such as "why bother with Google+", "do you always need a social strategy", "how can you work out the return on investment of social" and so on. It's often through chatting with speakers, business owners and people in the marketing or social media industry that you can work out solutions to a problem or gain a new insight.
It was through a couple of conversations I had with people at Social Media Marketing World this year that I changed my focus and have moved my business on for the better. I am so looking forward to doing a similar thing at the Big Social Media Conference.
#3 Because you're an introvert (or an extrovert)
Would you describe yourself as an introvert and extrovert? Well, it doesn't matter, but I still think it's an important question. Conferences can appear only compatible with extroverts due to the number of people attending and the networking set ups. Well, I have news for you- almost all the people I have spoken to at previous social media conferences are introverts. I am an introvert too. Us introverts tend to be deep thinkers, prefer smaller company, dislike small talk and get our energy from being on our own or small groups. However, conferences such as the Big Social Media Conference are wonderful for introverts and extroverts alike. You might describe yourself as shy, but the good news is that there will be common interest amongst the attendees. Everyone is there to learn more and to talk about social media. So, you'll definitely have something to talk about.
I was a little concerned about the networking side of Social Media Marketing World because I've never been a fan of traditional networking. But, the networking opportunities at Social Media Marketing World and the Big Social Media Conference are just great conversation opportunities where you can build existing and new relationships which can potentially turn into leads and partnerships.
#4 You'll get to Visit Manchester!
The Big Social Media Conference is going to be held in Manchester, UK. Yes, I know, it's hard to compete with sunny San Diego. But, I'm so excited that this conference is happening in my city and Manchester is a great city. I know it rains a lot here, but it's buzzing and vibrant- a great place to be involved with technology, marketing and social media.
#5 Create connections and make friends
I love to learn more through the talks but building new connections and relationships is probably the best bit of any conference. I met so many great people at social media marketing world that have become awesome friends that attending it has certainly been worth it. From a business point of view, I've built connections that have helped move my business forwards. I know the same will be the case with the Big Social Media Conference. Some great friends will be there and I'd love to introduce you to them. I also know I'm going to get to meet some new people and I am very excited about that and the opportunities that can result.
#6 Have fun!
There will be a lot to take in, lots of talking, lots of note taking and deep conversations. All of that is fun of course, but there will be other opportunites to let your hair down. Opportunities to have a chat and a drink or go out for a meal or have lunch together. Some of the best conversations at conferences have happened at those less formal times. I'm looking at having a bit of fun, being myself and getting to know people on a more social level.
#7 I'll get to meet you!
I am definitely excited about speaking at the event (as well as being a bit nervous too). I get to speak about a subject I am passionate about, and despite being scared about it, I do love teaching and presenting. I did train as a musician and professional singer after all! But, I am excited about potentially meeting you. I know it won't be possible for all of you reading this to come to Manchester, but I hope that some of you might be able to pluck up the courage to come. And if you can- I'd LOVE to meet you! Please do come along and say hi!
Whether you can or can't come to this or any other social media conference at the moment, do let me know your thoughts on social media conferences. Have you attended one in the past? What did you get out of it? Was it worth it? Let me know in the comments below!