Why I’m attending Free State Social, the forum for social media
At last week’s Social Media Club of Kansas City breakfast, the organizers of the Free State Social raffled off a ticket to one of the club members. The winner, Jenn Bailey, wanted to share her thoughts on why the Free State Social is an event worth attending.
My social media consulting biz, The Social Lites, has turned into more of a speaking/workshop providing/training thing. To continue to offer those kinds of services means I have know what’s going on in the quick-change world of social media and how it best applies to business.
Last year I went to Big Omaha, took in conferences and webinars and made it my “job” to educate myself as much as possible. I still educate myself, but this year there have been some unexpected expenses. Anyone else have teenage sons?
I’d resigned myself, most unwillingly, to having my Free State Social experience be a virtual one. I was gearing myself up to rely on the fantabulous reporting/blogging skills of the Lawrence Journal-World and buying coffees for such attendees as Mark Van Baale, Alexis Ceule and Steven Chau so I could mercilessly pick their brains. Well and good, but let’s face it. Nothing can beat sitting through sessions like Personal and Corporate Branding and Future Social Media Trends for yourself.
Chris Brogan is going to be there. Yeah. Him. My personal Trust Agent and fellow Bostonian. I’m just hoping I don’t go fan girl on him. Chris Brogan has been key to legitimizing social media to business, all the while insisting social media isn’t about business, but about relationships. And the smart businesses are listening. How does he do that? I plan to find out.
Zena Weist (below) is on a panel with three other locals. Zena and I were both on last year’s Chicks Who Click speaker’s list, but Zena is miles ahead of me and a voice of wisdom I’m always eager to hear. She doesn’t just theorize about social media capabilities for big business, she puts those ideas into concrete, measurable tactics and gets results. I’m hoping I just need to touch her to have some of that rub off.
Ramsey Mohsen will also be there. I’ve been to more places, events, and restaurants on Ramsey’s video blogs than I’ve been to in person. He doesn’t just visit social networks he lives there. How does he make it all look so effortless, and be so entertaining and accessible? Either he’s spilling the beans at the Free State Social or I’m tracking him down and drubbing him with my flip camera.
There’s a ton of other reasons I’m so jazzed about attending, but this is key. I’m a visual learner. I glean a lot from body language and audience reaction. I infer and I’m relational. My note taking is not just sparse and disjointed, but full of keywords and odd references that mean absolutely nothing to most people.
To me, however, these bits are triggers that cause the entire conference discussion to replay in my head. Depending on the circumstances, I can pull different lessons, different truisms, and different references from this day of education that will help with my current projects. I think a lot of people are like that. They truly need to be at events like Free State Social to get the most out of them. Now, thanks to Whitney Mathews and Ben Smith, I will be!
There is a discount for Silicon Prairie News readers for the Free State Social! A pair of tickets for $500 and each ticket includes a free T-shirt. Enter promo code SPNews on the registration page. If you purchase before April 15, you’re automatically entered to win a $250 VISA gift card, too!
Here are more pictures from the Social Media Club of Kansas City's recent gathering. Photos by FreeStateSocial via Flickr.com.