Friday the 16th of October saw Exeter welcome a new social media conference to the Westcountry – Like Minds. My company were lucky enough to be one of the local sponsors and our logo sat impressively on the big screen behind the speakers alongside the like of Magners and Starbucks – not bad exposure I say 🙂
The reason for this post is to try and reach a few more people and explain the power of using social media in your business. I’ve also been flying high on a wave of social media love since the conference on Friday and want to tell the world about it 🙂
A few facts first:
- The conference tackled the issue of ROI in Social Media
- There were over 200 people there
- Over 500 watched the conference on Ustream – A live stream of the event – still available here
- People interacted with the conference in real time from all over the world – Even Stephen Fry the Twitter God dropped in digitally to say ‘Hi’ to everyone there!
- The twitter fall, which was projected onto the screen while panelists were talking had thousands of tweets on it
- Two of the keynote speakers flew from America especially to talk at the conference
- Another keynote speaker – @darenBBC worked for the BBC for some time and was instrumental in putting Microsoft and IBM together as well as working on the iplayer!
- The last keynote speaker – @mazi is in charge of social media for SKY!
Now here’s the thing – The two guys in charge of this whole event @scottgould and @drewellis didn’t even know each other this time last year! They met on Twitter and through a building of trust using social media, became closer until they decided to launch likeminds together earlier in the year. Now take into account that every single one of the sponsors bought into the event and the organisers purely because of social media. None of us knew Scott or Drew this time last year but like they had done, we had met through our love of social media and innovative thinking. Amazing as this all sounds, its even more amazing to think that this WHOLE event was put on and organised using social media – not a single bit of traditional advertising was used – Scott interacted with and finally met @treypennington and @thebrandbuilder on twitter (our two American friends) and after a visit earlier in the year by Trey, they agreed to talk at the conference – Another victory for social media.
Now Exeter is not known for its conferences or foresight when it comes to technology so to get the numbers mentioned together in a room was a remarkable achievement. I’ve been working in Exeter for over 10 years now and never seen anything like it.
If you want to see the interest in the conference and everything it’s generated since, take a look at the hashtag #likeminds on twitter here. An amazing event experience.
Social media has the power to break down barriers like nothing I’ve experienced before, for example I sat next to one of my competitors all day as we tweeted and retweeted each other on the twitter fall. We then shared dinner that evening (with others I have to say ;)) and it just made me marvel at how important getting ‘like minded people’ together really is. We have undoubtedly become closer due to social media and I’m thankful for that. I also met a lot of fantastic new people at the conference and cemented relationships with others – I literally cant wait for the next one.
Likeminds in itself was a testimony to what social media can achieve if implemented correctly. The return on investment for all involved was huge.
If you’re not using Social Media in your business yet then I strongly suggest you start thinking about it. Of course, if you’re stuck, then Optix Solutions can give you a helping hand 🙂