What we hope to learn from Social Media Marketing World 15

This week David and I will be representing the Visual Creatives team at Social Media Marketing World 15, the largest conference on social media in the country. We are excited to have the opportunity to network with and learn from some of the best in the business. Flying from Florida to San Diego, arranging our client schedules and making the commitment to be at the conference represents a substantial investment of time, finances and energy for us.

Why do we do it? We could have bought a virtual pass and stayed home. Or, we could have skipped the conference altogether and continued working. After all, we’re already getting some amazing results for our clients. Why bother to do this?

Commitment to be Excellent Inbound Marketers

There are so many aspects to inbound marketing, from content creation through distribution and client relations. We want to keep building our expertise in all of the facets of our industry. In addition, we know that narrowing your focus too much — go to the same conferences every year, read the same authors — can result in missed opportunities for ourselves and our clients. So while we will be unbelievably amped about Inbound 15, we also wanted to search out some alternative perspectives this year.

Laser Focus

Taking the next few days to dive deeply into the social media component of marketing will yield new strategies and insight. Some people learn well in a broad overview mode. Others do well with a laser-like focus on one subject at a time. This week we get to put everything else aside and sharpen one particular area of our knowledge base.

Learning is a Core Value of our Culture

We take learning pretty seriously at Visual Creatives. One of the aspects we enjoy the most about our company is the insatiable curiosity of our team members. We all have outside interests that we pursue passionately, and many times those passions bleed into our work. It gives us perspective and depth. Expanding our viewpoint by rubbing shoulders with marketers from around the globe yields incredible value.

Networking, of Course

Why reinvent the wheel if your colleague has just started wheel production? David and I love to meet experts who have a different take on old challenges. In our industry, it is difficult to differentiate yourself from the crowd, but the experts on stage at #SMMW15 have done just that. When you find a true expert, drop everything and listen.

In addition, we want to gather a community of fellow marketers around us who are doing the day to day work and telling great stories. We have noticed that there are some marketers who are competitive and don’t want to join forces to share knowledge, but the vast majority we have met are passionate about creating community and companionship in the journey. Going to events like this one helps us find those open-hearted colleagues. The people we have “collected” along the way are priceless and make the journey a whole lot more fun.

Trend Forecasting

Brains are amazing things: we are constantly synthesizing information. We can’t hardly stop doing. So while we are investigating the latest trends in social media, our minds will jump to our clients and our prospects. We’ll be gathering new campaign ideas and different initiatives to present when we return. We are excited to hear what is coming down the social media pipeline.

So here we are in San Diego getting ready to drink from the proverbial firehose. Stay tuned for the results!

Read our Day 1 Key Takeaways from Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, John DiJulius and more!