I got the “#” symbol shaved into my head.
It’s my personal homage to the eight Social Media Week conferences that are taking place in cities around the world this week—including London, which is where I’ll be thanks to the generous support of the SMW Travel Award. I’m about to take the leap from online to offline, so what not a better way to do that than to buzz a hashtag symbol onto me?
The initial plan was to fly to India for SMW Mumbai, but I couldn’t get my conference visa squared away in time; I decided to do what any entrepreneurial problem solver would do and worked with the SMW team to change my flight to England for SMW London. I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity.
Shifting through SMW London’s schedule (there are more than 250 events to choose from), I was able to narrow down a solid weeklong itinerary. Since the earliest flight into London doesn’t touch down until Tuesday morning, I’ll live-stream Monday’s #SMWLdn sessions (and do an interactive, creative project) at the Washington D.C. airport.
Once I touch ground at SMW London, I’ll spend the week interviewing social media pioneers, blogging about sessions, hosting #SMWChats on Twitter, taking photos and videos of the conference on my Nokia Lumia 1020, and immersing myself in the experience. My goals are to leave London with new and authentic friendships with other participants, and to learn and share with everyone I meet.
Until we meet in-person or online again, I’ll leave you with a list of sessions at SMW London that I am most excited for (you can also check out SMW Founder Toby Daniels’ list here):
Brands as Publishers – from Vice to Topshot to Virgin (Monday morning), hosted by Virgin
Social Success Mic-Up: What Can Businesses Learn From Charities and Their Use of Social Media to Impact Change? (Tuesday night), hosted by Salesforce
Digital Music Trends: Looking Forward to The Next 5 Years (Wednesday morning), hosted by SoundCloud
From Search to Social: The Big Power Shift in Media (Wednesday afternoon), hosted by BuzzFeed
Democratised Storytelling (Thursday afternoon), hosted by Fieldcraft
Pop-up Power: Growing a Business by Word of Mouth (Thursday evening), hosted by Eventbrite
Is Data Killing Creativity? The Big Debate (Friday morning), hosted by Collective London
This post was written by Scott Shigeoka, a 2013 Social Media Week Travel Award winner. Click here for more of Scott’s writing on SMW.