If you use Twitter and are based in Ireland I suspect that you have already been hearing about a new social media conference taking place for the first time in 2016.
The event is called the Social Media Summit and is taking place on the 1 and 2 March 2016 in Dublin.
As I know one of the organisers, Samantha Kelly, I thought I would invite her to share a little about the back story to the Social Media Summit – I hope you enjoy the insights!
Krishna: What gave you the inspiration to organise the Social Media Summit?
Samantha: I often go to events to learn more as things are constantly changing in business, especially in the social media space. And I often went away thinking ‘well that was one big advertisement’ for a brand or something.
I went to #bigsocial last year in Manchester and I loved it. I was contemplating going to San Diego for Social Media Marketing World and then I thought, hang on, why don’t I bring all of these thought leaders to Ireland.
Krishna: Why do you think now is the right time for such an event?
Samantha: I pitched the idea in October 2015 to people and then the news came out that The Web Summit was moving to Lisbon. So really there was a gap and I decided to go for it.
Krishna: You have attracted a number of people to speak from the UK and the US – how have you managed to attract them to an event that has never taken place, and especially as most of these people you have not met in real life?
Samantha: Well I have been very active on Twitter since August 2011 and I’ve worked really hard to build relationships with people and nurtured those relationships.
I also put on my vision board ‘bring Ted Rubin to Ireland’ so it was always a dream of mine. I have followed Ted for years as he speaks about a similar message and have watched many of his talks. Also when I started to use Blab, Ted did his first blab with me!
Krishna: This seems as though it is an event with big ambitions – for example you had a prestigious launch. What is your plan for the Social Media Summit in years to come and what do you hope it will become?
Samantha: Thank you. We have the support of Dublin City Council and they are very active in assisting us so it’s because of Peter Finnegan who is a real visionary and very helpful. He can see the potential of this to grow.
Also it’s the year of the centenary for the rising 1916 so this will be a big year for attracting people to Dublin and Ireland.
The Social Media Summit will be an annual event. Things are always changing in social media and online so there will always be plenty to talk about and to learn!
Krishna: Tell us a little about the team that is making this happen, as I am guessing you are not doing this on your own!
Samantha: My co founder is Tom Williams from Platinum Events and we also have Limelight PR and a wonderful team which includes Carol Faughnan who did our website, Sheila Harte who is very organized and keeps everyone on track at meetings etc and Maire Collins, Hannah Foley and Melanie Boylan who are all helping us out.
Krishna: How did you decide on the style of the Social Media Summit and what are your hopes for attendees?
Samantha: It is the type of event I would love to attend. I know what people want…we want to learn, be entertained, feel welcome, feel a part of things and we want to be inspired. We all want to succeed so this event will have everyone working together.
Plus there are no red ropes, everyone is accessible for a selfie or chat!
I want folk to leave feeling inspired, having had fun also and having learned something new that they can implement straight away.
Krishna: What is the one challenge you have been faced with that you had not anticipated as you lead into the Social Media Summit and how has your extensive online network supported you?
Samantha: Gosh….it’s a lot of work!!
My network have been amazing at spreading the word. You really need to tap into your network for events like this. And if you treat people right and assist others they will have no problem
helping you in return.
We have sponsorship opportunities and a special one day option available now due to a lot of queries about that. So we listen to our audience!
Krishna: Are you planning to live stream or record the summit for people who are not able to attend?
Samantha: We will have a videographer on the day but there will be plenty of live streaming going on especially with the likes of Ted Rubin and Brian Fanzo in the house (and me)!
Krishna: Tell us how people can learn more about the Social Media Summit.
Samantha: We have moved the venue to the AVIVA Stadium so this is really going to be a big exciting couple of days. I better start taking my vitamins!
So if you are a small business owner or a solopreneur looking for ideas and tips for using social media to market your business, make sure you book your ticket to the Social Media Summit taking place in less than a months time!