A day at a social media conference

I spent most of my day today at the Advanced Learning Institute's Social Media Summit Canada where I was both a case study speaker, and had the opportunity to listen to some great presentations and meet some great people.

While the summit is a 4 day affair (full agenda), I was the lead off speaker for the first of the two main summit days.  Being the first speaker in the morning usually means people wandering in late, and still getting their first cup of coffee into them.  The group this morning were ready to go right at the start and had some great questions for both my session and the sessions that followed.

Right after my session the organizers did a quick speed networking session, which basically meant going around the room and having the 50+ attendees identify who they were, what they did, and what they hoped to get out the conference.  This not only helped to set the tone and the conversation for the rest of the day, but also helped identify people you may want to connect with.

As I mentioned, part of the value of these events is in the people that you meet and get to chat to.  There were a couple that I found particularly interesting today:

Carmine Porco, GM & VP at Prescient Digital Media was the chair for the day and kept everyone on track, as well as jumping in a few times to help out speakers with technical issues.

Eli Singer, Director of Social Media with Segal Communications.  I've had the chance to chat with Eli at a couple of these types of conferences and he is definitely a resource to connect with if you have the chance.

The team from Region of Waterloo.  As I live within the region of Waterloo, I was particularly interested to hear that there was a group at the conference from my part of the Southern Ontario.  I had the chance to chat with them over lunch and I think they have some great ideas to take back to the office.  As a resident, I can't wait to see what they come up with.

Preston Lewis, Director of Talent & Partnerships at Bonfire Communications.  As Preston is based in San Francisco we had great conversation about one of my past employers and one of his current customers.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to stick around to hear how my colleague David Crow did on the panel that Eli was hosting.  I'll keep an eye out for a blog post on that.

Overall, a fun day, and a great learning opportunity for those people looking to get a better understanding of social media and how they can start to incorporate it into their plans.

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