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With over 185 sessions to choose from, in only four days, it has been a tough time figuring out my schedule while at Social Media Week Chicago. With only one more day of sessions to go, thus far I’ve only encountered one session which felt too basic or simple for this kind of focused and skilled group of attendees. I’ve learned quite a bit and am excited to sit down and see how I can take the lessons from this week and begin implementing the concepts and ideas into my own strategies.

Some of the big topics across sessions which are coming out of the Q&A portions are:

  • Tooling- what do you (the presenter and presumed SME) use to do your monitoring/posting/analysis/etc.?
  • Data– Always be gathering data. And then use that data to support your changes (not drive your strategies).
  • Humanism– The return to one-to-one conversation (not marketing) and less of the broadcast model.

These three concepts/topics/whatever you want to label them, all permeated every session I sat in regardless of the session’s title and focus. They all came down to these three bits. And really, I’m not overly surprised by this, as it is the same three things the industry has struggled with since the inception of the concept of social business. Well, that and defining the Holy Grail: ROI (what IS the ROI of pants anyway?)

Tomorrow is my last day of sessions, and from the ones I have scheduled, it looks to be another jam-packed and content rich day… combined with more exercise running from location to location within the loop of downtown Chicago. I expect to absorb even more knowledge tomorrow and still see the same three concepts above supported and addressed in even more ways.


*As a side note to the image above: the oval building houses the IBM Chicago offices. Wicked cool, inside and out!