5 Ways to Get Huge Value from Attending a Social Media Conference [Podcast]

 In Social Media Today

Over the last couple of years, I’ve featured multiple guests who were speakers at the Social Media Strategies Summit conferences. Today’s guest is the unsung hero behind the scenes of those conferences, Breanna Jacobs. Breanna is the VP of Conference Production at Global Strategic Management Institute (GSMI), a conference and training company.

Breanna works to plan, organize and put on The Social Media Strategies Summit conferences three times a year. They’re delivered in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Be sure to catch the 15% promo code Breanna provides at the end of this post.

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I’ve had the pleasure and honor of working with Breanna at seven Summits, both as an emcee and a speaker.

For this episode, I asked Breanna to share her insights into how to get huge value and ROI when you attend a conference. I can’t think of anyone more qualified than Breanna to share these insights considering how many conferences she puts on each year – not to mention that she personally arranges the speakers and talks with just about every conference attendee. 

5 Benefits of Attending a Social Media Conference

Let’s jump right into the five ways you can get benefit from attending a conference about social media.

1. Learn from your peers, as well as the speakers

Industry events are a great place to exchange ideas – and not only with speakers but with attending peers too. Having conversations with other attendees enables you to get a pulse on what others are thinking about. Conferences that attract people from various industries around a commonality, like the Social Media Strategies Summit, provide insights from others outside of your field that can serve as great sources of inspiration.

Breanna recommends that you don’t stick with the colleagues you attended with throughout the event. Take the opportunity to join social groups or networking activities organized by the conference. By sharing pain points and seeing what other marketers are struggling with, you can get a sense of validation, and maybe even discover a few new ways to address issues.

2. The rare opportunity to have a gathering of senior level executives all in one room

It’s special to have person-to-person interactions at a conference. Most people are very open and willing to be candid, often more so than they are online. If there’s a speaker you want to meet in person, reach out to them before the start of the conference. Most speakers are very receptive and open to meeting you.

Breanna also points out that some of the best conversations happen after the talks are over, during the Q & A segments.

3. Conferences are a great place to assess marketing technologies and get recommendations on tools and other resources

If you’re looking for a specific marketing solution, chatting with vendors and other attendees can spark ideas.

Other attendees can provide you with recommendations from their experiences on books or blogs to read, or even tools to use. Breanna says to come with questions regarding what you’re looking for and to ask around. Social media conferences are a great place to “shop” in a low-pressure environment.

4. Conferences are a great place for content ideas

Sitting through presentations can inspire you with new ideas.

Regardless of your marketing role, you’re probably in charge of creating some type of content. A couple of ideas for new content could be a recap about inspiration and learnings from a brand campaign or a post about pain points that you heard repeated from multiple marketers.

5. Conferences are a great way to improve your career

The education and networking elements of a conference are highly valuable, whether you’re an executive, individual contributor, or independent. Attendees are educated on best practices, the latest technologies, and other valuable insights that can help them to become a top performing marketer.

The speakers at Social Media Strategies Summit present a lot of case studies to show real life examples of social media in action.

Don’t miss this year’s Summit in New York City from October 17th -19th. Use the promo code SBENYC for a 15% discount when you register.

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This post was originally published on Social Media Today

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