Remember the good old days when you could just hang a shingle and, boom, you had a business? Yeah, me either (and what’s a shingle by the way?), but apparently those days did exist. However good those days might have been, they have faded into the past. In today’s connected world, if you’re not taking advantage of social media, you’re falling behind. However, it’s not just as simple setting up a Facebook page and voila…you’re “doing social media.” It’s a big world out there full of tweets, hashtags, pins, blogs, status updates, and “liking.” With so many social avenues, it can certainly be intimidating! And once your business is social, how do you maximize its visibility? Well, thankfully, Knoxville is host to a world class conference called Social Slam, or #soslam if you were following on Twitter that day. Speakers came from literally around the world to share their expertise about connecting with potential clients. I (Alan) was there to represent Finch Photo as one of the event’s sponsors to capture the day.
The day was emceed by master of ceremonies Amy Howell. Attendees were encouraged to tweet the hashtag #soslam throughout the day with prizes from Amy going to the best tweets. Being a Memphis native, one of her prizes was Memphis style bar-b-que sauce; too bad I was shooting instead of tweeting…that would’ve been mine no doubt!
Jason Falls got the event kicked off. According to him, he is suffering from a serious case of Stage 3 Clout. There is no doubt in my mind that I’m using this line in the future!
Jeff Bullas made the long drive up from Sydney Australia to be the day’s first keynote speaker. Jeff knows a thing or two about reaching people; his blog attracts more than 4 million viewers per year!
Next up was a fireside chat discussing social media and branding. Some big time names here; below, Rick Wion, who is the Director of Social Media for McDonald’s, goes over the delicate balance they have developed over social media with their customers
Much to the chagrin of John Morgan (below left), the fireside chat did not have an actual fire. Maybe next time… Below right, Xan Pearson, who is the the Chicago Bulls and Whitesox, discusses keeping the fans happy. I’m happy to report that I refrained from asking her for Derrick Rose’s autograph!
Look who was dead center of the sponsor list; as Ben would say, “Hey-oh!”
After the morning speakers, the audience was able to choose to attend one of three breakout sessions covering various topics. This allowed for a more interactive talk between speakers and attendees.
If only Dino Logan wasn’t so shy and reserved about social media. Oh wait…
Perhaps the only conference in the world where having a smart phone in your hand isn’t considered rude. In fact, it was encouraged!
Two screens are often better than one!
The SoSlam crew kept the day running smoothly.
Sponsor Bush’s Best absolutely rocked lunch! Can never go wrong with bar-b-que!
Everywhere you looked people were connecting and networking.
Following lunch, Gabrielle Laine-Peters gave a harrowing account of how she survived literally being in the middle of 9/11. You could literally hear a pin drop in a room filled with 500+.
Afternoon breakout sessions.
Below, SoSlam founder Mark Schaefer speaks with fellow panelists about how to maintain your personal brand.
50 ideas in 50 minutes…the highlight of the day for me. Experts in blogging, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and Facebook shared their inside tips.
Husband and wife team Tom and Tamsen Webster gave their first ever presentation as a team. They rocked it!
Due to better handwriting, Tamsen was chosen to make a list of audience ideas.
Closing out the day, John Jantsch spoke about the future of digital marketing.