Let’s be honest for a second…

We’ve all been to rubbish business events.

You know the ones… the speakers are a bit dull, you get sold to every 3 seconds and you find yourself leaving halfway through.

You walk away feeling like you’ve wasted your time and received no value.

Which is why it’s so important to only attend great, proven events.

One of those events is Social Media Marketing World. I’m just back from sunny San Diego and wanted to share three key takeaways from the event.

Perhaps surprisingly, these aren’t lessons I learned from anyone or any session – but realisations that I had during my time there.

#1 Turning online relationships into offline relationships is not just fun, it’s important

Most of the connections I make nowadays are done online (I even met my girlfriend on Instagram!)

Social gives us a huge opportunity to connect with anyone anywhere in the world with the click of a button. This has allowed me and my business to make friends and work with clients across the globe (thank you, Zoom!)

One of the best things about Social Media Marketing World was meeting some of these online connections and turning them into offline friends.

You can meet all the people in the world over the internet, but nothing beats shaking a hand or giving a hug. That struck me big time over there.

I met so many people who I’d connected with before via email, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. Those connections became friends because we were able to hang out in person. Powerful.

#2 Watching HOW people communicate is just as important as watching WHAT they communicate

As a speaker, whenever I attend other speakers sessions, I no longer just listen to WHAT they’re saying…

I watch HOW they’re delivering it.

Once you do this, you start to see sessions and speakers in a completely different light. I look at things such as:

  • Body language
  • How they move about the stage – do they get into the crowd?
  • Do they speak, ask questions, tell jokes?
  • How do they engage and interact with the audience?

One of my favourite sessions for studying this was Duncan Wardle’s. He spoke about how to think differently and shared stories about his work at Disney.

It was an awesome session he shared some really interesting and powerful things.

But it wasn’t his content that I was watching. I was watching how he performed.

I watched as he had the crowd take part in lots of little exercises. I watched to see what jokes they laughed at. I watched as got off the stage and walked through the audience.

Even little things such as bringing someone on to the stage and asking the crowd to give them a round of applause – all these little things I noted down to improve my own performances on stage.

Next time you’re watching someone, try it 😉

#3 Business is fun and fun is business

I had an absolute blast in San Diego.

From doing a beer cycle with the team from Thinkific to surfing with the team from PromoRepublic… never mind the karaoke and 80’s party with fellow entrepreneurs, agency owners, speakers and marketers.

Business doesn’t have to be boring.

If it is, something is broken. Maybe you’re hanging around the wrong people, clients or have a bad company culture?

Hang around with the right people and the lines of business/life merge.

There’s no work/life balance. Only work/life harmony 🙂

Brief Context on Social Media Marketing World

Social Media Marketing World is the world’s largest social media marketing conference, run by Social Media Examiner in San Diego each year.

It’s a 3-day event with some of the world’s best speakers and attracts thousands of visitors from across the world each year.

If you’d like to watch my vlogs from SMMW, you can see episode 1 here and episode 2 here.

If you’re thinking about attending Social Media Marketing World, I’d highly recommend it. If you attended 2019 or another year, let me know in the comments your thoughts on the event 👇

See you there next year 😉

Gavin