I have a story with Social Media Week Berlin. And now it is time for some confessions.
The first time I ever heard about Social Media Week was via the Andarín Gallardo. He was in Bogotá just on time for SMW there and I thought, wow, how lucky. During that week in 2011, I was mostly at work. I spend quite some time in the office nowadays and back then, I used to spend even more. But my job, even if it was as a Community Manager already, was not so focused on the offline connections. Or maybe I was still a bit shy.
I remember spending the whole week seeing my Twitter stream full of #SMW this and that. I was fascinated how I could more or less follow the event through Twitter, but most of all, I was disappointed I couldn't attend, because I felt there was no good reason to skip work to spend the week *only* exploring the new trends on Social Media. Yes, I could have asked for holidays, but it was too late. Or I could have streamed the events, but I also had to work. Now I call these excuses, but you get the situation.
So the week went on and my feeling of having missed out grew. From September 2011 to January 2012 couple of things changed, mostly my job. I joined Roomsurfer as their first employee and now the offline connections were vital. So there I was, networking my face off and getting to know amazing people doing amazing things in the Berlin startup scene.
By April, I got some cool new contacts, one of them being Ben from Jetstream. In one of our talks, he mentioned he had met Sofie, who was in charge of Social Media Week in Berlin and he wanted to put up together an event focused on the travel industry.
Both Roomsurfer and Jetstream have a vision for connecting travelers with locals so the best tips of the city you visit get unlocked. Couple of months after, we presented the "Social traveling: where off and online networks meet" panel, together with Waymate, StartupStay (now Bizpora) and Smaracuja. As I argued before in this blog, the travel industry is getting every time more and more social media focused, bloggers are getting quite some attention as the perfect fit for Social Media strategies and new business are tapping into the social graph to deliver better experiences to customers. That we discussed in the panel, many people attended and enjoyed both the topic and the debate.
SMW 2012 was great. I got to meet Ploonge and the team for their first Startup Pizza ever and the parties were fantastic. It was really great to be part of it all knowing that only a year before, I had to look from the distance via Twitter. That year, it all went from observing to flirting between me and Social Media Week Berlin.
Well, this year SMW and I are getting serious: I am part of its Berlin Advisory Board.
The team of SMW is excellent and they aim to always bring to stage new faces in Social Media with lots to say. Also, to expand beyond marketing and discover what social media means to all other aspects of our lives: politics, economy, human rights, entertainment, education and well, everything that's part of our daily routines.
Which of course appeals to me. I am a curious soul and there's so many topics I love to explore. For that reason, this year I'm organising 3 events during SMW as a team member of Zoobe, another 1 as part of the SMW Berlin Board, I am collaborating with the awesome Berlin Geekettes and Digital Media Women Berlin for a full day of women talking Communications and, on top, I'll be involved in probably the wildest event of the week.
But it is not only about me: other Berlin startups are collaborating to make these events possible and will be talking about highly interesting stuff. Here's the full list of events, speakers and companies involved:
Being a Community Manager is not easy and it does require being a new type of employee. You might know something about it or completely disagree with me. In any case, I invite you to meet a selection of Berlin CMs who will discuss what does it take to be a great CM and what are the biggest challenges of the job.
I want to thank Sophie Hechinger from StartupBootcamp, Svenja Goebel from MotorTalk, Silvia Foglia from Twago, Moritz Vieweg from Uber and Severin Matusek from EyeEm for taking time from their busy schedules to be on stage!
Working at Zoobe means knowing it all about mobile messaging apps. It took a bit to catch up, but now I can tell you about some surprising facts about how this apps are monetising around the world and how they are becoming the next option after quite some social media overload. If you love apps or if you want to discover a new trend in personal communications, don't miss this event!
As part of the Digital Media Women Berlin and Berlin Geekettes 360° of Communications Day, I will be talking about what Community Managers do, don't do and how to kickstart, build and empower a community. Tricky and broad subject (I could be talking about this for days), but the one I am more passionate about. I will be addressing the most common doubts about Community Management, giving useful tips, naming the best tools I've discovered so far and answering as many questions as possible. I'm really thankful to be part of this amazing initiative!
Berlin is full of entrepreneurs embracing mobile who want to conquer the world. Even if the latest years have been full of praise to Social, Mobile and Local services, Berlin has good examples of companies wanting to achieve success through the Social, Mobile and Global formula. We will discuss this strategy and its challenges with Francesco Baschieri from Spreaker, Stefanie Hoffmann from Gabi, Luís-Daniel Alegría from Vamos and Lenard F. Krawinkel from Zoobe. Again, thank you for going up on stage to share your experiences with the Social Media Week attendees!
There's nothing I love more than trying some new service out and receiving a welcome email from the CEO to thank me for joining. All customers want to talk to the boss, and giving me the opportunity to do so anytime works wonders on my perception of a company. In this workshop I will argue why a social CEO can be the key to a company success, explain how a Community Manager can work with a Social CEO strategy and show the best examples of social CEOs to learn from. Joining the discussion will be Jonas Piela from Avuba: thanks Jonas for your time!
The wildest event of the week
Not announced yet (it's that good!). But probably during the closing party you will be able to join ;)
The end of this love letter: Social Media won't tear us apart
So from outsider to board member in 2 years. That makes me very proud but as well hopeful to make this love story last long enough. I am working my ass off here to live up to the expectations of SMW attendees and of course to the trust that my beloved SMW is giving me. I am committed to bring on stage talented speakers and give the best insights on the topics I am presenting. I also vow to upload all presentation online for you to enjoy! This is true love, can you see that? <3
All this to say: don't lose another second! Check the exciting full schedule of SMW Berlin events, pick all those you can join and if you are still stuck at work for whatever reason, don't miss the opportunity to sneak a bit and stream some events. Also follow the Twitter feeds whether you are away or attending the events, there's the official one (#SMWBerlin), the one I will use (#SMWB13) and then a dedicated hashtag for each event. Checking them is a fantastic way to connect with other attendees, believe me!
But most importantly, if you are passionate about a topic and if you love Social Media: plan ahead and in six months or next year submit an event, workshop, session, panel of your own to the nearest SMW. Then book some days off and enjoy to be around people who understand why are you so passionate about SM. Make connections and be social.
It's a love story worth living, I promise.