As we’ve mentioned before, here at Digimind, we love a good conference. In fact, the only thing we love more than a good conference is a good recap. So, naturally, here’s a recap of Social Media Marketing World—a really awesome conference.

It’s been particularly dreary in New York City the past few weeks, so we were especially excited to attend SMMW 2017 out in sunny San Diego.

As soon as they landed, our boys hit the ground running.

SMMW wasn’t all fun and games, though. From start to finish, there were amazing opportunities for global influencers to learn—beginning with the keynote session.

The opening session of the two day conference started with a bang as SMMW’s founder, Michael Stelzner declared social media marketing “the fastest changing industry on the planet.”

With that pace in mind, there was a lot to get through. Over the course of 45 minutes, Stelzner told the story of how and why he founded the publication Social Media Examiner, along with Social Media Marketing World. According to Stelzner, it all began around 2009.

During that time, marketers were panicking as their ad budgets were being gutted, and they had to rely on other resources—in comes Stelzner with a publication full of how-to articles, explaining the ways in which Facebook and Twitter can benefit these panicked marketers.

Also around that time, Vine was born, along with a swath of new stars famous for their ability to be funny in 6 seconds or less.

“Many of you might know who Zach King is,” Stelzer noted. “Zach is here at this conference. He got his fame on Vine.”

Fast forward to 2015, and on the first day of that year’s conference, Twitter introduced Periscope. “People were running all over the conference ‘scoping’…and we were all asking what is this phenomenon,” Stelzer recalled.

“Then, last year—2016—everyone was snapping.”

While certain platforms have come and gone, the founder of this global conference explained that “41% of marketers say visuals are the most important form of content”—perhaps making it the only constant within the ever changing space of social media.

Then, it was back to the sunshine.

The highlight of the next day was a presentation on Artificial Intelligence as it pertains to the future of social media marketing, featuring Sandy Carter of Ecosystems, Christopher Carfi of GoDaddy, Christopher Penn of SHIFT Communications, and Bryan Kramer of Pure Matter.

The biggest takeaway from this session was the fact that not only can A.I make life easier for consumers, which is always the end goal—embracing A.I can also make life easier for marketers, which facilitates the end goal.

“I’ve been a Chief Marketing Officer,” Carter explained, “and sometimes technology is a little scary. And I [feel] that with Artificial Intelligence…there are easier ways for marketers and intelligence experts to to get engaged that aren’t as scary and can help you do your job much more effectively and efficiently.”

Those were our favorite sessions, but check out what some of the friends we made at SMMW had to say about their favorite sessions.

Our time in San Diego with Social Media Marketing World may be over, but we’re super excited to continue our California road trip (it’s still freezing in New York) as we make our way to both Los Angeles and San Francisco for two Socialize events this week. Be sure to stay tuned for recaps of those events as well!

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Austin Williams
A New York based writer and pop culture enthusiast, Austin is your best bet if you ever want to know about the MTA or Love & Hip Hop.

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