Please join me on June 1 in Doylestown, PA for Chuck Hall’s SOCIAL: MEDIA, BUSINESS & LIFE conference where I’ll be talking to entrepreneurs and small business owners about the ways they can use social media tools to raise their visibility, grow their market share, or dominate their zip code.
I had a chance to talk with Chuck about the SoMeBizLife conference, and asked him to share a little about the beginning of his own journey into the world of Social Media.
Me: Tell me about your thinking behind the name of the conference – Social: Media, Business & Life Conference.
Chuck: Everybody is talking about “social media” today. But when we think about it, the “social” revolution is changing so much more than media. It is changing how businesses operate and how people relate to businesses today. And it is changing our lives. This conference takes a deeper look at how we live, work and interact with others as we rely on social media. SoMeBizLife is a shortened version of SocialMediaBusinessLife.
Me: Who should attend?
Chuck: Business owners, corporate managers and leaders, marketing and communication professionals, nonprofit organization staff members, educators, and government employees should all attend the conference. SoMeBizLife has something for everyone — from novices wondering if they should be going social, to experienced professionals who are using social every day. The program opens with a general session that will have broad appeal. Then we have 20 breakout options in four sessions. Participants can choose which breakout sessions to attend based on their interests and needs. We’ll close with a panel discussion of media professionals sharing how social changes the way we experience “the news” in our communities.
Me: How would you suggest attendees prepare for a beneficial conference experience?
Chuck: The conference website, SoMeBizLife.com is set up as a WordPress blog so that everyone interested in SoMeBizLife can begin interacting with each other right away. Each speaker has a page on the site so that people can begin discussing the speaker’s topic — today. There are also links to share content out through many social platforms, such as Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and others. When we get to the June 1 conference day, it will not be an isolated event — but rather a high point in the relationships we’re developing before, during and after the conference.
Me: When did you connect to your first online social community, and how long did it take for you to grasp the potential benefits?
Chuck: I first started with online communities in the early ’90s with AOL, CompuServe and prodigy. As a communication and marketing professional I immediately saw the potential, but it took a long time for technology and the world to be ready for it. The early efforts were so primitive compared to what we have today, but they teased us with the potential to interact with others as a way to deepen our face-to-face relationships. I dabbled in social until the mid 2000s, when things really started to heat up. From my perspective, people can now jump in and start reaping benefits right away.
Me: Anything else you’d like to mention?
Chuck: Every conference is only as good as the speakers and the attendees who come together to make it happen. When I look at the lineup of speakers for this program I am amazed at the talent that will be present. We have some very senior people with Ph.D.s and masters degrees, we have people well-educated in the school of life, we have young professionals in their 20s and 30s who are accomplishing amazing things, and we have people from diverse businesses and industries. I’m now watching every minute of the day to see who is going to attend — who is going to become part of the SoMeBizLife community. I’m looking forward to welcoming them in.