Oi logo bigThey say its always darkest before the dawn, and we certainly had a few dark moments along the way, but Oiconf is here!

Next Tuesday the 11th of June will once again see the social media and marketing community of South Wales and points beyond, come together in a celebration of learning and the sharing of information.

Eventbrite - Oi Conf Cardiff

Social Media is a very important idea in today’s world, and I believe, the use of its fundamentals allows us to at least glimpse a better future for ourselves, our businesses and for our businesses consumers.

It’s increasingly the case that your company is being talked about online. Increasingly the case that your customers decisions are being made outside of your direct awareness.

Not only that, but those decisions are massively impacted upon by what every other customer you’ve ever had through your door, both virtual and real world has had to say about the experience of buying from you too.

This a bad thing for bad businesses.

A dangerous thing as they fight an ultimately futile war to control information in the same way they have always done. These businesses seem to learn, to their cost, the power of the social web.

But listen, its an amazing thing for those businesses out there that are great.

Those that strive to do the right thing, and be the best they can be for their customers and the communities in which they live and trade.

And its this potential that I find so exciting about social media marketing.

Take Oiconf as a great example. I think its fair to say that this little social media get together started as a groundswell. A popular idea that took wing and resulted in some of the best thinkers in the industry coming together with one aim.

To teach.

Theres no sales pitch here. No one is hawking anything. Even the conference itself is unlikely to turn profit, its run for social media and marketing enthusiast BY social media and marketing enthusiasts.

The Online Influence Conference (Oiconf for short) was, and remains today, about learning. Learning how we as individuals and as brands can ensure our future through the incredible power that is the social web.

And once again the community has come together to support this brilliant aim.

In just about a week, at the Marriott Hotel in Cardiff city centre another jam-packed Oiconf will take place with almost 200 like minded people present.

That’s just incredible. Its blows my mind to think about it! And from such humble beginnings!

A real movement is being created.

And I like to think Oiconf is a good thing too, it’s not about money, it’s about helping, and its about learning about cool stuff.

Here’s a quick recap of what your money gets you:

Mark Schaefer in action

Mark Schaefer in action

Up first, the incredible Mark Schaefer. Without Mark this conference couldn’t happen.

Mark is the best selling author of The Tao of Twitter, and Return on Influence. He is also a sought after international speaker, just having returned back to the US from Japan, and is doing work in the US before flying over to us in the UK.

He is also a global blogging phenomenon and incredibly, on top of all that a university lecturer! Mark is doing amazing things for us during his half day social media marketing workshop.

Up and coming social star Ian Cleary

Up and coming social star Ian Cleary

Mark is followed by Ian Cleary (Good luck Ian!) Ian a real hot property in social media marketing these days. His blog has recently been voted in the top ten social media blogs by Mike Stelzner’s Social Media Examiner.

Not only is Ian a top bloke, and a terrific speaker, his talk is close to the heart of all of us that work in marketing and social media -TOOLS! What to use, and how to get the best out of the plethora of opportunities out there from everything from automation to analytics!

The brilliant Pippa Davies

The brilliant Pippa Davies

And completing this years trio of talent is the incredible Pippa Davies. If you’ve seen Pippa in action, you’ve already bought your ticket! If you haven’t  its really hard to describe what you’ll get. But I can tell you that you will laugh, probably cry and be amazed in equal measure. This lady rocks!

At the moment, there are only 50 tickets left to sell to make sure that the event actually covers its own costs. And going by previous sales, that should happen very soon.

So its time to once again thank everyone for their support  and thank everyone for talking about it, sharing the word and in some cases, outright evangelising about it!

Oh yes, and in many, many cases, thank you for buying your ticket.

Without you, this event would not be possible.

It’s an amazing event, delivered by amazing people, watched by the most amazing people of all, you, the audience for Oiconf!

I can’t wait to see you there.

Eventbrite - Oi Conf Cardiff

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