If you’ve been reading this blog over the last few weeks you’ll know something very exciting is happening in September. An  event at the Celtic Manor that started as an idea, became a conversation between a few friends, and morphed through tweets and RTs into a buzz, and now is starting to coalesce into a real life Gold  Standard social media event, in Wales for Wales, and in fact, the rest of the UK if they are interested too!

Mark Schaefer, a world recognised authority on social media, delivering a keynote on social influence and James Cridland, an acclaimed media expert and public speaker will be giving us insight into things we haven’t even begun to consider in terms of our social media marketing. And the guys that I am talking to who will take up the other speaker’s places are just as brilliant, and have just as much to offer us. I think in the end the reality will be that we will have five keynotes to relish.

But you’ll also know that I am keen that this event continues to reflect the wishes of you guys, the SME’s and ordinary members of the public that have an interest in this stuff. In other words you, the people who will really make it a success by turning up and taking part. So I want to tell you where we are

After a fantastically energetic and enthusiastic meeting with the Brains Trust today – The brilliant and glamorous Pippa Davies (@mrsmotivator), The branding guru Russell Britton (@brandnatter), Mr Joel ‘enthusiasm’ Hughes, who builds awesome websites by the way (@Joel_Hughes) and S.E Wales events supremo who looks nothing like his picture, Ben Cook (@Thisisbencook) – we have some real shape to the event.

So this is basically what we are looking at in terms of running order and content. What do you think?

8.30 am Meet for registration, and the commencement of what will be a social media clinic that will run throughout the day. Run by volunteer, practitioner, expert social marketers, they have no agenda other than to help you.

9.30 Intro to the day and the first speaker (TBA)

10.15 A break and chance to catch up with those social media ninja’s! They’ll help you defeat your social issues

10.35 The second speaker (TBA)

11.20 Another break, coffee and more chat with like-minded individuals and those experts you couldn’t get hold of earlier on

11.40 The third speaker (TBA)

12.15 Lunch – The book signing by Mark Schaefer – and further opportunity to learn about the fixes you need for your social media campaigns

1.00 James Cridland – On social media and the Summer riots, how the traditional media use social, and Google plus – its important after all! Who knew?

1.45 – The final break before the main event, and more chance to discuss digest and generally reinforce the days learning so far

2.00 Mark Schaefer Keynote, Mark will share insights from his latest smash hit social media book ‘Return on Influence’

We should finish around 3, and will immediately repair to the bar for some refreshments and even more chat and social media intervention from our Social Media Squad!

I want the event to have a ‘Ted Talks’ feel. It will be content heavy, with the emphasis on giving you the information, tools and insights you need to win in the social space this year.

You’ll enjoy it most if you already use social media to market you business or your blog or your video channel or whatever. You’ve set up your accounts, you may even have built or started to build your followers. The question you are asking now is: What next?

How do you use this stuff and get results? How do you make more money? What is content marketing? Inbound? What does that mean? How do you create content anyway? Or failing that how can you curate content? All those niggling questions you have. In the safety of an open, safe, learning focussed environment, with no one pitching anything at you.

This conference is about the message, not the media itself. It what to use social for, how to use it better, and what to expect in the immediate future. We’ll learn about whats happening on the ground, what they are talking about in the classrooms, in the boardrooms and marketing departments of the Mega Corporations. We’ll put this information in front of you to consume, help you understand it and then support you to use it for the best.

As mentioned, there will be a team of practitioner experts around all day to answer your questions, reflect with you on whats just been said, in between talks, in the breaks over coffee, or even on Twitter as you tweet them! They won’t be selling anything, there aren’t any courses to sign up to, or any products you’ll need to buy in order to understand what these guys are talking about. They are just like me and you. They run businesses or blogs or build websites or design brand IDs or produce content or are lecturers or whatever.

My intention is that once you have paid your entry fee, everything else is free, and you will be able to take as much as your mind can hold away from there. Oh, and a nice new shiny signed book by social media super star Mark Schaefer.

So what do you think? There are already more ideas than there is time in the day or spaces to speak. Have we got it right? There are probably already enough ideas to run three or four conferences, so something has to give, but is this something you are still excited about? Can you see yourself attending and getting what you need out of this format / event?

Please, as usual, leave a comment here, or tweet me @radiojaja or email me on [email protected]

And by the way – If you are one of the many kind souls that have offered support and help, then please be patient, I’ll be around to speak to you, and see if I can abuse your generosity as soon as I can!

Whats that? The fish? Oh, you’d best speak to Joel about that 😉

  1. thisisbencook
    thisisbencook says:

    Great write up Tony! Generating a buzz like that you should consider a career in radio! Still got 1, 2, 3 4 5, once I caught a fish alive stuck in my head! Great to be onboard!

  2. brandnatter
    brandnatter says:

    Excellent stuff Tony, it’s a pleasure just to be involved in what is shaping up to be an event to be proud of.

    I forgot to ask earlier if you could put on Level 42 for me on air!

  3. mrsmoti
    mrsmoti says:

    You’re all bonkers – this post is great and the conference focus is terrific – will be wearing ‘brilliant and glamorous’ t-shirt at it, in case others can’t see this… thank-you

  4. Malcolm Packer
    Malcolm Packer says:

    Looking very much like ‘THE’ social media event to be @ Tony, great job and looking forward to it very, very much!

    • Tony Dowling
      Tony Dowling says:

      Hi Esther, welcome to the blog. Stand by, there has been lots of work going on behind the scenes, and in next week or so I hope to have loads more details confirmed.