The world’s largest social media marketing conference kicked off on March 26 this year in San Diego, CA. Social Media Marketing World 2014 is hosted by the popular blog, Social Media Examiner. The event boasts a mélange of networking, discovery, and fun, but that designation doesn’t promote the caliber of the attending brands. Names like Wal-Mart, LinkedIn, Adobe, and Tyson Foods are present for attendees to rub elbows with and potentially absorb some social media marketing tactics from the cream of the crop. What follows is our roundup of the first two days at this behemoth networking jam.

Day 1
Opening Night Ceremony

People engaged through the first two days with #smmw14 and other variations of the hashtag. We’ll follow the event’s agenda with related social media posts.

First, Social Media Marketing World was inaugurated with a networking party hosted on the historic USS Midway- the world’s largest ship until 1955.

 

In true social media marketer form, the Twittersphere lit up with tips for optimizing the experience at Social Media Marketing World. Social media contains as deep or as shallow a palate as the marketer using it, and many attendees seized the opportunity to showcase their experience and wisdom- or to take it one step further with posts like the one tweeted below.

 

#Swag mounted rapidly.

 

More than 2,000 people collected on the ship to chat, clink glasses, and exchange information, with a twinkling San Diego night in the background across the expanse of water. The ship lazily made its rounds about the bay as the marketers made their rounds among each other, connecting physically with people we typically only encounter in the digital space.

Day 2

Day 2 of Social Media Marketing World was a series of speakers, seminars, and networking sessions. The opening keynote speech was delivered by Social Media Examiner founder Michael Stelzner, a celebrity in the social media marketing space, who was then joined by Larry Benet to prep the crowd for the ultimate networking experience.

 

Throughout the day, marketers set themselves apart from the crowd by repurposing the messages they’d learned into digestible morsels- this is the essence of social media marketing, isn’t it?

 

 

The ensuing speeches covered a great many marketing topics, including the following: “How Brands Are Benefitting from LinkedIn,” “How to Build a Social Marketing Content Strategy That Works,” and “How Brands Use Pinterest to Gain Loyal Customers.”There were 65 talks on Day 2.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a social media conference without selfies. In our monitoring, we noticed an influx of selfies as the night grew long. Coincidence? Probably not.

All told, engagement was huge.

 

Speaker sessions on the second day generated more than 21,600 Tweets, actually.

To cap off the first full day of Social Media Marketing World 2014, there was another networking party on the USS Midway. People appear to have gotten a bit more comfortable by the end of Day 2.

The first two days of Social Media Marketing World 2014 appear to have successfully delivered “networking, discovery, and fun” as promised. The social media marketing space changes so rapidly that it’s nice to consolidate it into concrete moments from time to time- something the conference appears to have done for its happy attendees. We hope they’re getting the things they came for and more. Stay tuned for updates on Day 3!

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