Things I didn’t know I’d learn at Social Media Marketing World 2017

SMMW17 advice for future attendees

Michael Stelzner, founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, really brought it back home during one of his keynote openings at Social Media Marketing World 2017 (SMMW17) by telling the audience that we are pioneers in this industry. Social media as a business practice has only been around for about 10 years. Those of us who attended the conference are still at the forefront of this ever-changing industry. And that is truly exciting!

SMMW17, as stated by an industry-leading peer, is “the super bowl of social media conferences.” I knew coming to the conference that I would take away a lot of technical and actionable knowledge in the marketing industry back to my job. What I didn’t know I’d learn is how to really survive and thrive at a massive conference of over 3,000 attendees.

To go along with the theme of being pioneers in the social media industry, as Phil Mershon, director of events for Social Media Examiner, really played up, pick up these keys for survival and success at SMMW17 (or for future marketing conferences) so you can focus on learning, growing, and networking and not have to dwell on the moments you may not have been prepared for.

5 tips for Social Media Marketing World Conference survival

  • Coffee and tea, while complementary, separate the fierce and the faint in the crowd. Get there to the coffee stations promptly during breaks or you lose out. (And yes, there are a couple Starbucks onsite but when you drink plain, black coffee like me there’s not advantage to paying for premium.)
  • Standing out in the crowd is essential if you’re having someone you’ve never met before meet you. Yes, there are Twitter and LinkedIn photos to go off of if you’re lucky, but just like online dating sites, theses profile photos may not be reality. Find a bright accessory or do your hair… Pink was a theme (pink hair, pink blazer… you know who I’m talking about!)
  • Wear your FitBit because you’ll be getting in more steps than you’d think! The convention center is huge, and it’s a bit of a lovely walk from the hotels. This is not a complaint because most sessions are an hour long of a constant stream of sitting. So count your steps and let them motivate you to have that cocktail at the networking party; you earned it and it’ll loosen you up and let your guard down to meet more people.
  • Get to keynotes early if you want a good seat, but if you have sensitive ears sit toward the back… Music is not something the SMMW crew shies away from. So be on time and get ready for a show!
  • Planning your schedule the days before the conference will get you amped for learning, but don’t write it in concrete. Use the app, but know that something or someone else may convince you to try out new sessions, learn something outside of your comfort


Even if you didn’t attend SMMW17, use these tips to prepare for attending Social Media Marketing World in the future or even other conferences. Coming from a life-long Girl Scout, the better prepared you are, the more enjoyable experience you’ll have.

Note: For other, more topic-related highlights, check out my live tweets from #SMMW17.

Did you attend #SMMW17 and have other tips to add to this list? Share in the comments!

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