Oi logo bigThe excitement is really building! If you’ve been following Mark Schaefers blog or Facebook posts, you’ll know he is speaking in Japan. This guy is seriously in demand around the world  and its hard to believe in two short weeks he will be in little old Cardiff delivering a social media marketing workshop for a entire half day!

Social media marketing, or content marketing, or even digital marketing, call it what you will, continues to dominate the debate. Rarely has there been media of the power of a Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn and its entirely understandable that businesses are keen to try and leverage some of this power for their own marketing agenda.

And why not? I wrote a recent article asking why advertising isn’t considered content marketing, and I still think that at its best, that’s exactly what it is. Great content.

But aside from that, what can we do, as marketers, business people, or even just good old fashioned sellers, to maximise on the opportunity social media represents?

Mark Schaefer in action

Mark Schaefer in action

Mark Schaefer is at the forefront of thinking in this area. His book ‘The Tao of Twitter’ introduced me to social media marketing, and to Mark himself.

He went on to make the nascent field of sentiment analysis and social scoring more understandable in Return on Influence – a book detailing the rise of the idea of ‘on line influence’ as a tangible asset that the individual can cash in on.

But Mark Schaefer excels in the class room. It is perhaps as a university lecturer that he is most happy. Teaching. Teaching people about these new fields and ideas. He is a great speaker  of that there is no doubt. Last years hour or so in his company at the original Oiconf was inspiring.

A half day workshop with a globally recognised marketing expert is always going to be of the utmost value. Make that workshop about some of the hottest digital marketing topics on the planet and we are off the scale! (More details of the workshop here)

This workshop is a UK exclusive as this stuff has not been seen this side of the Atlantic before. And I also understand that these workshops are priced at $300 in the US, yet another reason to make sure you have your ticket!

Seriously BIG corporations like IBM are paying this man to teach them about this stuff, and we get him to ourselves on the 11th June for the grand price of £99! Its tremendous value.

And if that isn’t enough, Mark will be followed that same day by:

The brilliant Pippa Davies

The brilliant Pippa Davies

Pippa Davies is a web editor, ebook and traditional publisher in her own right and marketing consultant to some of the biggest names on the UK High Street. She famously helped John Lewis get online! And as well as that, she is a talented business psychologist to boot.

If this lady cannot bring your creativity out into the open and fan the flames into an inferno of content production then there is no hope for you!

Pippa has also come up with an entirely new piece of work for this years Oiconf, and I understand we will be the first people to see it. It’s called Want, need, feel, and there are details here. 

And rounding off the role call of speakers is a new addition to the Oiconf, Ian Cleary.

Up and coming social star Ian Cleary

Up and coming social star Ian Cleary

Ian is a real up and comer as they say. His blog over at Razor Social has been voted one of the top ten blogs of 2013 by the highly respected Social Media Examiner. Ian is really carving out a niche for himself as a social media tools expert. Here are some of the recent articles he has had published on some of the biggest marketing blogs out there:

Social Media Examiner – 3 Social Media Tools that Improve the Sales Cycle. Jeff Bullas – 21 Social Media Tool and Technology Tips that will Make Your Day. Convine and Convert – 9 social Media Tools to Increase Productivity. Businesses Grow – 5 Social Media Tools to Kickstart Your Business.

As you can see, Ian is going to be able to supercharge your business by ensuring you are making use of every tool that you should be!

Last year, I was really conscious that by the time we got to the end, there had been an enormous amount of information generated. There was a ton of content flying around as people tweeted, posted and ‘instagrammed’ their way through proceedings. At one point in the morning Oiconf was trending number three on the UK’s Twitter stream!

I wondered what would be the best way to make sure everyone was getting as much from the event as possible. And that’s why we are putting the speakers back up on stage to round the event off with a panel discussion of the days topics.

Its not a new idea, but I hope we’ll have an interesting spin on things. As well as being able to interrogate each of the speakers that you’ve just seen, we will be serving up some special local talent too.

Joel Hughes is a top notch web developer from Newport who knows a thing or two about running conferences himself.

Paul Sheppard runs Coup Media, a social media agency in Cardiff and London, and as well as being the major supporter of Oiconf this year is at the forefront of what South Wales is doing in the social space.

Julie Kissick is a senior lecturer in at the University of South Wales in the Atrium in Cardiff. She lectures on Radio, TV and Social Media and blogs here. Julie is an ex News Editor for BBC Radio Wales and always has a valuable perspective on all things social and media.

And finally, at least for now, Karen Strunks is another social media entrepreneur of some renown  As well as running her own social media consultancy in the West Midlands, she also organises the social media cafe in Birmingham.

A ton of work has gone into this again this year, and I am really proud to say I think its bigger and better than ever! The response from the South Wales social media crowd has been amazing. Its going to be an incredible event.

Look forward to meeting you there!

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