Hello,

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’ve seen tweets going around: we’re collecting your comments and will be sending them onto SixDegrees.

Ian, SixDegs’ Managing Director, has gotten in touch with us and we’ve decided to step up to the plate and be constructive about it.
Thank you to those of you who have already left they contribution on the original post , they will be taken into account.

We’re setting this one up just for you to vent (yes!) and contribute positively :

–> what were your expectations for smwf ?
–> how would you suggest SixDegrees deals with it at next year’s event ?

Hannah Keys, aka Hannarohi of Skimlinks and myself have joined forces to co-moderate.

The floor is yours, fire away !

Image source: SAUWS

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Comments
  1. I must confess not to have had a blogger pass as my visit to the event was literally last minute.

    I’d like to see more engagement with the backchannel instead of a half hearted “we will take questions via twitter” only type of engagement.

    How about exclusive content delivered via twitter in real time?

    Even though I enjoyed the event it still felt like “the boss said we must do a social media event, so lets go buy the books on how to do it”

    I think engaging the active social media community is a great first step. Hey maybe they were actually listening in on their own presentations.

    My take on the event can be found here http://bit.ly/smwf

  2. I don’t how to start, so I’ll just try do write it kind of chronologically:

    -If they’ve given me a bloggers pass, they can’t tell me at the check-in that I’m not entitled to the event-guide. How do they think that I’ll find out the time-line? With my clairvoyant abilities?! Even in the newsletter we’ve received days before conference, there’s no time-table. They haven’t even put it on their website! Completely unprofessional.

    -If that same mail says I’ll be able to attend shindig party and that I’ll be given red bracelet for it, I shouldn’t have to fight for it. Ppl attend those parties not for their free drinks but because of the great networking.

    -Do NOT turn social media conferences into fairs! (FAIR as agricultural or food ones.) When I saw all those little stands, I’ve almost expected to find those nice little grandma’s selling apple-pies and orange marmalades.

    -It’s not OK to take money from ppl for conference documentation and after the event some speakers put it online for free. Choose: it’ either free or it’s not (if not: then there’s no material online for free). And one more about this: THOSE PRICES?! Are you nuts?! 125£ one show/one day and 350£ all shows just for “documentation”!

    -It’s OK if you give 30 mins of speaking time to your sponsor, but don’t do it with 90% of the speakers.

    -Chose your speakers carefully: If they are successful business ppl it doesn’t make them good speakers.

    -As Petra Oseli said “I can read theory from books” and I’ll only add “I can read those slide-shows myself”.

    It’s late and I’m tired, and I simply can’t even start about the panels and those stuff… and lets not forget that “praised bloggers lounge with plugs and internet connection” – what a joke.. I had to do my “live-blogging” from Burger King! :/

    That’s it from me.

    I hope it helps. And I hope that next year someone will tweet me that the conference is great. Because, at this moment I don’t think I’m coming next time…

    • Hannah says:

      Hey Sanja,

      I hear you about the event guides – I couldn’t believe it when they didn’t give me one – I was constantly looking over other people’s shoulders just to find out what was on when. It was all kinds of crazy – the most basic thing you need at a conference is the schedule!

      The messaging for the Shindig was strange, they seemed to say everywhere that you wouldn’t be able to get in if you didn’t have a bracelet, but that wasn’t the case at all. I’m sure there would have been people who didn’t go because they thought they weren’t allowed to.

      I can’t believe how many of the sponsors had speaking slots – it seemed like there was no tier system; if you paid, then you got a full 30 minutes to waste. The sponsors speaking completely outweighed the actual experts and thought-leaders. Not a good look. I did think, however, that most of the speakers I heard were good speakers, so I don’t have an issue there. But it’s a shame there was a lack of interaction; just from the audience being a little shy, as per usual, I guess. Things are always better when you get a bit more discussion going, and most of the speakers were left hanging at the end of their presentations.

      And while I did find the bean bags comfy for a few minutes, they suddenly became impossible as I actually tried to type on my computer. Just a chair and a table would do me fine I think!

  3. Adventurebaby says:

    I think I’ve said it all here – Big Mouth Strikes – The Day In The Life Of A Social Media Conference http://bit.ly/d9FrAE

  4. Hannah says:

    I agree with you Nichola, in reality, they can’t really have expected any of their invited bloggers to produce quality content on the event in those conditions.

    Sure, we were uncomfortable for a couple of days (if we could manage a full two days), but they’ve really only hurt themselves. They’ve annoyed the wrong people, quite simply.

    The organisers should really take a cue from other conferences to improve theirs, and give the opinion-formers the TLC they need.

  5. twankers says:

    How do. Format needs to change. Not just at #SMWF but all forums and conferences. However, this is especially so when there is a digital/social media savvy crew in attendance. Speakers will have there own expertise, but the collective in the audience will be wiser. So, I believe format needs to be more collaborative as opposed to a one way “presentation”; and there are social web tools now available to support this format. Of course, a big element of “control” will be lost, but if we can get over that, and facilitate the “wisdom of the crowd” it can only be to the benefit of everyone. I hope that makes sense…and not too jargonised. More here if you’d care to read; it has other people’s viewpoints (including speakers) and has been retweeted 50+ times. So it sort of resonated. http://twankers.co.uk/2010/03/16/the-problem-with-social-media-events-is-smwf/ Thank you. Tommy.

    • Liva Judic says:

      Yes ! Totally. I also thought that the format lacked interactive sessions. The first note I’d jotted down on my pad as I walked out of the first conference was “No Q & A ??. No interaction ??”. So yes, definitely something they’ll have to think about and come up with a solution. Streaming sessions would be good too.
      Thanks Tommy !

  6. Liva Judic says:

    From James Poulter in Soho, London UK via Twitter @jamespoulter
    (bio: Digital Director @ Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster…)

    @merrybubbles how about complimentary coffee And lunch for “VIP BLOGGERS” pass holders? @sixdegs #smwf

  7. Liva Judic says:

    From Raquel Martínez in London, UK via Twitter @ramafon
    (bio: Digital marketeer keen on SEO, SEM and making usable websites)

    @merrybubbles: I personally expected more expositors. I enjoyed some of the workshops, (those not only selling but spreading info) #SMWF

  8. Liva Judic says:

    Below is Nichola Stott’s contribution (copied from Bloggers’ De-Light post below)

    Hi Liva,

    First off, I’d like to say thanks to SixDegrees, who obviously had a bit of a tough gig with so, so many attendees packed into that conference area. I hold my hands up and apologise for contributing to the wireless “tweets of rage” once or twice. Not exactly constructive, but I’d like to stress such reactions are born out of extreme frustration. As a search and social media professional working in the industry day in and day out, having poor wireless, power cuts and uncomfortable surroundings are tantamount to being gagged. For me the entire objective was nullified.

    In the interests of being more constructive I’ll give a real comparison.

    I recently liveblogged SES London. The wireless was okay, but we also had front row reserved for media (note, no distinction between bloggers and journalists – the search community are quite forward thinking like that) in that front row, we had tables and power points for laptops. There was also a private comfortable press room, away from the main exhibition.

    What this meant, was that I was able to produce 10 pieces on the show, eight of which were liveblogged, plus two video interviews with speakers. In terms of distributing this content, the decent wireless and power situation meant I was able to employ the tools of our trade, and Sphinn, digg, tweet and generally broadcast this content to those who were explicitly monitoring it.

    In terms of coverage, as followed up by Search Engine Watch and measured using Bit.ly we managed to secure 21% of coverage second only to Microsoft http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/100224-121501

    At #SMWF however, I managed to get out one liveblog, one round up, one “best in show” post. I didn’t attend day 2, as I have a company to run and simply couldn’t justify my time there.

    One final point… why treat bloggers differently to press at a social media conference? #FAIL

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