A Look Back at NYC Social Media Week 2012: Part 1

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

—General Eric Shinseki, retired Chief of Staff, U. S. Army

Fashion week may have stolen the proverbial spotlight on the stage of the city’s cultural consciousness last week, but an event with more substance than style, was taking place inconspicuously alongside.  For some though, Social Media Week inspired mad dashes around the city to rival those of any diva or designer.

Social Media Week (SMW), for those who don’t know, is a big deal. Only three years old but now a biannual occurrence in over 21 cities worldwide. SMW’s presence in New York was robust to say the least. Dozens of events per day, over 300 in total, across 6 thematic hubs (Advertising & Marketing at JWT, Art & Culture at Hearst Magazines, etc) and several other specialty venues around Manhattan (I wasn’t kidding about the sprinting around).

Founded and helmed by Crowdcentric CEO Toby Daniels. In their own words,

“Reflecting the global impact of social media – and its role as a catalyst in driving cultural, economic, political and social change in developed and emerging markets – Social Media Week is one of the world’s most unique global platforms, offering a series of interconnected activities and conversations around the world on emerging trends in social and mobile media across all major industries.

In short, it’s the mecca for digital marketers, social agencies, and the advertisers and brands that have gotten with the program (and needless to say, of great interest to many others). Refer to the top quote. Now in all honesty, your humble writer is no social media expert, far from it. But I do see the wisdom in those words. As digital has pervaded and become ubiquitous, so too is social, its unstoppable manifestation.

But don’t take my word for it. Early last week, here at the Chocolate Factory, global CEO Miles Young introduced Ogilvy’s new unified social media practice, social@Ogilvy. The rhetoric behind it is that integrated social matters more. There’s logical sense and real business opportunity behind the concept. Ogilvy recognizes social’s continually expanding role in culture and commerce and the new practice is a means to better understand and harness it, transcending all levels and disciplines.

And the timing was very convenient… a perfect prologue to SMW.

“Social media is about consumers participating or owning the conversation rather than just being told what to say or what to watch.” Those are the words of Doug Scott, president of OgilvyEntertainment, and that’s our point of view on social media. With those words in mind, I kept my ears open for some of the best ideas and information from the week’s events. You can read all about it in upcoming posts, so stay tuned.

Tomorrow, we’ll have part 2 of Greg’s Social Media Week recap: Why Engagement Should Be Spelled A-T-T-E-N-T-I-O-N

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