What happens when you host more than 900 events in eight cities? You get one incredible week that was Social Media Week. Each year, we love seeing what our communities pull together to reveal how technology is meeting humanity in their culture. More than 25,000 of you joined us physically to experience SMW14 this February — and we love what we all saw.
We connected in unique ways and dove deep into myriad topics, ranging from entrepreneurship to crowdsourcing real estate to wearable tech and sex. We hosted numerous parties, including SMW Lagos’ beach party and SMW NYC’s epic VIP Closing Party with Nokia MixRadio. Our Social Traveler biked more than 330 kilometers from Hamburg to Copenhagen, and New York created a new immersive Campus for their attendees. In Milan and New York, Cindy Gallop had us blushing and getting introspective over our sex lives and relationships.
The role of women was a frequent topic, especially with our Gender 50/50 initiative. Bangalore screened the film Girl Rising and looked at how we can empower more young females and create change through it, and Hamburg explored what makes for successful women-led startups. Milan showcased Necomimi, bringing in Neurowear from Japan to discuss wearable fashion, and New York hosted our first Wearable Tech Fashion Show. Poetry met Twitter in Barcelona with Haikurts, and we loved seeing startups battle it out in Lagos and New York. Copenhagen launched The Socialis Project, a competition to discover what social media meant to people with the best 140 tweets being compiled into a book. Fabien Cousteau launched his project, Mission 31 with Nokia, an endeavor to live and work underwater for 31 days.
Journalists like Anita Zielina in Hamburg took to the stage to showcase how social is changing news. BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti keynoted in New York, and the company expounded on their distribution and curation models. Upworthy made a big announcement that their audience would now help choose what they see, and Percolate launched their new employee app. The Smart City was a major theme in Milan, and Prodigy Network announced New York’s first crowdsourced designed hotel. Lagos really examining what a connected Africa looks like. Banking and business was a major focus in Copenhagen, with the CEO of SAP and Karsten Henriksen, Global Head of Business for Saxo Bank keynoting. Music was a dominant theme in all cities, from Tokyo to Lagos. And both Milan and New York brought in talented short-form artists to teach tricks and techniques for creating better content at Nokia’s NOW Studio.
Finally, we announced our first book, On! The Future of Now: Making Sense of Our Always On, Always Connected World. But we have to say, our favorite part was seeing you connected to us in new ways. We heard attendees got new jobs; new friendships were formed; and people were inspired to chase their startup dreams. That’s at the heart of why Social Media Week exists. Thank you for making it what it is — and special thanks to our Global Headline Sponsor Nokia and Global Supporting Sponsors Spotify and Prodigy Network for making it all possible.