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Most Innovative Meetings 2014: #8 Social Media Marketing World

Still in its infancy, the conference is attracting attention for providing opportunities for both formal and informal education among attendees and a notable roster of speakers.

By Mitra Sorrells December 9, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

At the opening-night party, organizers helped attendees meet one another by having them play “Networking Bingo.” Guests had to gather Twitter handles of fellow attendees that met the criteria indicated in the 16 boxes on the card.

Photo: Courtesy of Social Media Marketing World

In just its second year, Social Media Marketing World has created a buzz as one of the must-attend events within its industry. More than 1,700 people attended the three-day conference in March this year in San Diego hosted by Social Media Examiner, and organizers are expecting more than 2,500 at the 2015 event. The main attraction is the opportunity to interact with more than 100 leading social media marketing experts such as Ted Rubin, Chris Brogan, and Mari Smith, as well as brands such as Walmart, Dell, Sony, LinkedIn, and Marriott.

To facilitate interaction at this year’s event, organizers created a variety of networking opportunities, including many that also involved gaming strategies. At the event’s opening-night party aboard an aircraft carrier, attendees played a game that challenged them to collect Twitter handles from 16 people on a bingo-style card. The conference also had a staff of networking ambassadors dedicated to helping attendees and speakers make meaningful connections at the event.

Before the conference began, the ambassadors hosted Google Hangouts for attendees, and at the event they led walks around the venue that incorporated strategic conversation starters. The conference’s ultra-connected attendees also contributed to the event’s massive reach on social media: there were more than 52,000 tweets and retweets that reached more than 44 million people.

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