By Jennifer Ballard
Are you wondering which marketing conferences you should attend?
Have you heard others talking about Social Media Marketing World, but you’re not sure if it’s right for you?
If you seek advanced social media knowledge, want to network with marketers just like you and you find San Diego, California an appealing springtime destination, then keep reading.
In this article I’ll share six unique reasons why attending Social Media Marketing World will likely be the best marketing conference you’ve ever experienced, all supported by people who’ve actually been there.
What Is Social Media Marketing World?
Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner, was frustrated by the lack of quality speakers and face-to-face engagement at other conferences, so in 2013 he decided to start his own. Each year the conference has grown by 50%.
Michael combined speaker recruitment (meaning every speaker is heavily vetted) with structured networking. Attendees have praised the experience. Lisa McManus said, “Outstanding job—this is one of the most well-executed, high-class conferences I have attended.”
Social Media Marketing World 2015 is the world’s largest social media marketing conference. By attending, you’ll make connections with more than 100 of the world’s top social media pros (plus 2500 of your peers from more than 40 countries) and you’ll discover amazing ideas that’ll transform your social media marketing.
The event takes place in San Diego, California on March 25, 26 and 27, 2015.
Watch this video to see how we combine networking, discovery and fun for a truly unique experience:
Here’s what 2014 attendees experienced.
But don’t just take our word for it. Check out these six reasons why you should attend Social Media Marketing World, backed by the strong endorsement of attendees.
#1: Enhance Your Professional Development
Are you looking to improve your social media marketing skills? Need to beef up your knowledge of a specific social network? Does proving ROI seem out of reach?
“The sessions provided actual usable knowledge, not a sales pitch or high-level fluff. That’s so unusual to find in a conference and is extraordinarily valuable,” said Holly Chessman.
Social Media Marketing World provides more than 100 expert-led sessions across seven tracks:
- Social Tactics Track: Find out the best and newest ways to market your business with social media. Pick up actionable tips to improve your marketing with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, visual marketing and SlideShare.
- Social Strategy Track: Discover new strategies that will draw ideal customers to your business. You’ll soak in sessions on social strategy, the psychology of social media and much more.
- Content Marketing Track: See how successful bloggers, podcasters and YouTubers build and maintain content that their customers love to share. You’ll discover how to leverage content to sell, how to move people to action and tips for excelling at blogging, podcasting and video marketing.
- Measurement Track: Discover how leading experts track, measure and analyze what really works with social media. You’ll finally be able to prove your social activities are working and find better ways to measure and calculate ROI.
- Corporate Social Track: Pick up actionable ways to deal with crisis management, employee advocacy, customer service and real-time marketing. You’ll understand how your peers manage the unique demands of the corporate world, while pushing the envelope with social media marketing.
- Small Biz Social Track: See how small businesses generate leads and sell with social media. You’ll also find out how your peers manage social media and the creative methods they use to grow.
- Social Future Track: Glance into the future as marketing pros show you how to employ mobile marketing and other emerging opportunities. You’ll discover the latest research and trends that could propel your business past the competition.
“I have pages and pages of notes with strong takeaways to put in place from the excellent speakers,” said Alexandra Briggs.
“The knowledge I gained will make the event pay for itself! I will BEG my boss to send me back next year,” explained Julie Lowe.
Come to Social Media Marketing World 2015 for unparalleled professional development.
#2: Absorb Relevant and Actionable Content
Whether you’re looking for strategic knowledge or in-the-trenches tactics, you’ll find what you need to at Social Media Marketing World 2015.
Ekaterina Walter explained, “Content, content, content. Mike [Stelzner] always picks the best of the best and he knows and stays on top of the trends. If you want to know and not be behind, but be ahead, this is the conference to come to.”
“The quality of the content and speakers was a huge draw. They gave practical tips that I can implement in my everyday work—not high-level theory,” said Ashley Levesque.
“I appreciate that the sessions dove into more advanced content, rather than basic or 101 material,” said Madeline Kronfeld.
“All of the sessions I attended were full of specific, useful content—NOT generic advice or mid-level admins giving their case studies (which I often see),” said Lindsay Nyquist.
Not only do you get more than 100 sessions to choose from, you’re also provided video recordings and downloadable MP3 audio files for further study. This means you can listen to the sessions you missed or revisit your favorites. You won’t have to clone yourself or worry about which session to choose!
“The sessions I went to were very relevant to me. I’m excited to go back and visit the ones I missed out on. It’s a good thing when you have trouble deciding which tracks to go see, since they all seemed sooo good,” said Katrena McGrigor.
#3: Make Valuable In-Person Connections With Your Peers
When asked about Social Media Marketing World, Ted Ruben said, “It’s kind of like stepping into your Facebook page.”
Social Media Marketing World brings the “social” in social media to life.
Whether it’s finally connecting face to face with friends you’ve known online, seeing social pros you’ve followed for years or meeting new people who share your interests, you’ll walk away enriched.
“You can start to build relationships on the web, but actually getting in the room with other marketers like yourself—that’s where the real learning happens,” said Susan Beebe.
Imagine being surrounded by people who “get” the challenges you’re going through and can celebrate your successes because they know exactly what it took to achieve them.
“I can’t talk about this stuff with people at home. I talk about it for like a minute and they’re bored. But here, I could go all night, and we do! And it’s just amazing. There isn’t another conference like this at all,” said Pat Flynn.
This is a place where you can share your story with people from different industries, marketers from huge corporations to startups and with people from around the world. It’s invigorating!
“I didn’t feel like I had anyone to talk to about this stuff before now. You literally changed the course of my career and life. How cool is that?!” said Julie Lowe.
You’ll meet people at Social Media Marketing World who’ll become valuable professional connections and close personal friends. That’s why the networking is such a big deal at this conference.
“I have to say the people attending were the highlight for me. Everyone was open to sharing ideas, tools and experiences,” said Megan Palkert.
#4: Meet the Experts Live and In-Person
Are there any social media marketing celebrities you’d love to meet—people who teach and inspire you?
Social Media Examiner carefully recruits speakers who don’t disappear after their sessions, but instead love to mingle with attendees.
“Loved that the speakers weren’t hiding between sessions, but rather were networking and engaging with everyone,” said Brian Fanzo.
“The speakers were very accessible and approachable during the event. They didn’t just run off. You could go up and talk one on one with them. You ran into them in the halls and at networking events—even the hotel bar,” said Julie Lowe.
“It was exciting to see so many of the people whose advice I read on a daily basis. I have to say I was very impressed,” said Michelle Stute.
High-level social media experts lead every session, every keynote and every panel at Social Media Marketing World. These are pros from the social media industry and marketers from big brands who are getting it right.
“It’s crazy. It’s the who’s who. It’s famous people: authors, speakers, as well as brands,” explained Neal Schaffer.
All the biggest names will be there! Presenters include Guy Kawasaki, Mari Smith, Chris Brogan, Jay Baer, Ann Handley, Michael Stelzner, Michael Hyatt, Laura Fitton, Joe Pulizzi, Mark Schaefer, Cliff Ravenscraft, Nichole Kelly, Ted Rubin, Chalene Johnson, Darren Rowse, Joel Comm, Kim Garst, Martin Shervington, Marcus Sheridan, Gini Dietrich, Pat Flynn, John Jantsch, Andrea Vahl and Brian Clark—just to mention a few!
Michael Hyatt said, “For people who want to network and learn from the best of the best, this is the place to be.”
“This was by far one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended, based on the high level of speakers and sessions,” said Lindsay Nyquist.
“It’s just very, very conducive to networking, so I’ve been able to meet incredible people in between sessions or at lunch, whom most people just dream of meeting. And everybody’s very down to earth,” said Neal Schaffer.
#5: Have Fun With Marketers
Social media is serious business, but marketers like to have fun and there’s no better place than at Social Media Marketing World.
“Some conferences can be boring—not Social Media Marketing World,” explained Dave Woods.
Networking is built right into the schedule and even into some of the sessions. From early morning networking walks to the amazing evening events (like the opening-night party on an aircraft carrier), there’s plenty of opportunity to connect with fellow marketers.
“It’s fun. Love the heavy concentration on networking. Love the vibe. Yours is a wonderfully upbeat and sharing community. There are very few dull moments,” said Barry Feldman.
“The networking at this event has been incredible, again a testament to the organizers at creating many, many opportunities for attendees to actually network with each other,” said Lee Odden.
Social Media Marketing World has “the best people, amazing weather and fantastic events outside of the conference as well that you won’t see anywhere else,” explained Jessica Gioglio.
And San Diego is a city built for fun and known for great weather! The conference concludes on a Friday night. Why not bring the family and stay for the weekend?
#6: Excellent Service
We want Social Media Marketing World to be the best conference you’ve ever attended. Period.
Got a question or concern? We’re there to help—just look for someone in a white staff t-shirt.
“We’ve all been at those events where you can’t find the registration table, you have no idea where to go… Mike Stelzner will never let that happen. It is so organized and streamlined and most people really appreciate that,” explained Amy Porterfield.
“The staff was SO helpful—excellent and fun. Really looking forward to next year,” said Ashley Levesque.
“I love this! I think that there are so many moving parts that go into an event like this, that these guys have really just gotten it down,” said Ted Rubin.
“The attention to detail and quality is amazing and I will continue to recommend Social Media Marketing World as one of a handful of ‘must-attend’ events,” said Lee Odden.
Some Final Thoughts…
“If someone asked me if they could only go to one conference a year, which would it be? I would say it has to be Social Media Marketing World. Best self-investment you will ever make,” said Matthew David Smith.
“I learned more about social media in those two days than I have in the past two years! It inspired me to do more, and I can’t wait to get started,” said Kim Pekin.
If you’re a social media marketer, this conference is the place to be. You’ll acquire practical knowledge from the best in the field that will help improve your business and your professional development in this industry, where it can be hard to keep up with all the changes.
“If you have two days in the year you can spend for you own internal R&D on social, without a doubt, this is the place,” said Neal Schaffer.
You’ll meet people who speak the language of social media and will become helpful advisors and good friends long after you’ve returned home. And you’ll have a great time.
“What makes a great event obviously is the content, but as a lot of people say, it’s what happens outside of the classroom… And c’mon—it’s like freaking San Diego,” said Marcus Sheridan.
See you in March at Social Media Marketing World!
Click here to discover more about the event.
Get Your Virtual Ticket to Social Media Marketing World 2015
Is traveling to San Diego for Social Media Marketing World 2015 just not an option for you this year?
What if you could catch ALL the conference sessions at your convenience—without any travel expenses or the need to replicate yourself? The good news is now you can!
We’re happy to announce the Virtual Ticket to Social Media Marketing World 2015!
For a fraction of the cost of a regular ticket, you’ll get full access to the recording of EVERY session. Yes, every keynote, all the panels and each great session—the ones people travel thousands of miles to see—will be at your fingertips.
With your Virtual Ticket, you’ll have access to 100+ online recordings of everything. You can watch playbacks from your computer, tablet or smartphone at your leisure.
You’ll also be able to interact with your peers via our private LinkedIn networking group.
Note: Attendees of the physical conference get this at no added cost!