28 Jan Attendee Tips for Planning Your Social Media Week Schedule
Many of your fine social media-savvy folks are likely aware that today marks the official “opening of the floodgates” for Social Media Week 2012 registration on a global scale. As a resident New Yorker, I’ll be hitting the pavement hard in the NYC boroughs, blitzing innumerable SMWNYC 2012 events for the second consecutive year. As a returning attendee, I figured it apropos to offer up some helpful suggestions to newbie attendees when mapping out your Social Media Week schedule. So, without further delay, here are my attendee tips for planning your Social Media Week visit…
- Reserve space in as many sessions as you possibly can. From a cost perspective, it’s totally okay if your sessions overlap, because they are largely FREE…hence, there’s zero cost if you can’t make one! That said, extend the courtesy to other attendees and event planners by not signing up if you really have no interest in the session. Nevertheless, spaces do fill up as the days get closer to the week kick-off; so, if you’re on the fence, better to reserve now and cancel later when your schedule becomes more clear.
- Don’t worry if your sessions overlap and, as a result, that you can’t get to one on-time. While I don’t recommend getting to a session late (as seats typically come at a premium at many of these venues, it’s always an awkward-turtle and distracting move to waltz in late…) you can DEFINITELY leave sessions a few minutes early (just snag a seat near the exit…always my strategy!) in order to get to the next one. As Jay-Z astutely once rhymed…”on to the next one.” Typically, the sessions almost never run the full length as they are allotted for – as far as content goes at least – due to buffer time built into the schedule allowing for question-and-answer with the speakers/panel and then a few minutes of networking with them after.
- Don’t fret if your schedule looks kind of sparse right now. Specifically on Tuesday, you may realize that your schedule is a bit gap-laden and empty. I myself – as an overzealous, overenthusiastic attendee – only have 4 events for the Tuesday date thus far. But have no fear…there are TONS of last minute events that are going to get added in the next days (deadline for adding events is Jan 31, but will be likely extended if Social Media Week gets a stellar company – like YouTube last year – step up to the plate with a session idea). Which leads me to my next tip…
- Check back on the site often for spaces opening up. Already there are a few sessions that are “sold out” – aka the Obama campaign team session on Friday and one other networking event that I’m keen on attending. Nevertheless, these sessions WILL open up more seats, so check back daily to see if they’ve released more spots. Social Media Week planners typically will also e-mail you when they’ve added a litany of new events and have opened up more seating available to secure.
- Be sure to actually register for the events you want to go to. So often last year nieve attendees thought that just because SMWNYC events were costless, they could just walk in…NOT TRUE. Planners are understandably pretty fussy about having your registration with you, so again – erre on the side of caution and just make the reservation…after all, it’s quick, painless and FREE! Finally…
- Be sure to vary your schedule with “different” kinds of events YOU are into. While obviously every event is centered around social and digital media, it’s really important that you keep your schedule of events during the week varied and diverse with events that you personally are into. Trust me: there’s nothing worse than being obsessed about the B2B/B2C implications of the space and hearing, for the fourth time, about social marketing best practices for engaging your brand with the consumer. So, be bold and sign up for some events that are related to your true personal passions…music, fashion, the arts – whatever it may be! Because, the great thing about this week is that it brings ALL kinds of worlds together to speak about social, so there really is a tremendous depth and breadth to the schedule for attendees to enjoy! It’s totally worth it, for both your mental stamina and just sheer happiness.
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