NewComm Forum is coming. Will you be there?2010-02-02
Five years ago, I spoke at a little conference in Napa, California. Two social media enthusiasts put it together with a very specific goal: let people who are on top of social media get together. People with specific expertise would present to small groups, there’d be a couple of keynotes, but mostly it would be about gathering and sharing.
Out of that first NewComm Forum, the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) was born, and the Society and the Forum have been linked ever since. NewComm kept getting better and better. There are plenty of Social Media 101 conferences out there—it seems like one is taking place every day—and plenty of gatherings that are more social than educational. NewComm—along with SNCR’s annual one-day Research Symposium—stand out as the best social media learning opportunity of the year. At each one of these, I hear the same refrain from first-time attenders: “How come I’d never heard of this conference before? This is awesome”
Now, NewComm is affiliated with a company that has the resources to kick it up to another level. With Redwood Collaborative Media‘s backing, NewComm’s original co-founder Jen McClure (Elizabeth Albrycht was the other) and her team have put together a program that’s tough to top in terms of business-focused substance.
My FIR podcast co-host Neville Hobson is one of the keynoters, along with other well-known social media professionals Jackie Huba (co-author of “Citizen Marketers”), Scott Monty (who leads Ford Motor Company’s social media effort) and Tim Westergren (founder of the killer music service, Pandora. Also keynoting is Charles Holt, senior strategist for emerging media for the U.S. Department of Defense.
The list of breakout session presenters over the four days reads like a Who’s Who of business-focused social media. Here’s just a partial list:
More compelling, though, are session topics. In addition to the standard complement of introductory sessions for social media beginners, there are sessions like:
- Social Media and the New Purchase Process: New Frameworks for Marketing and Sales Planning
- B2B Video: Why a Corporate Video Channel Makes Sense
- Social Media Governance
- Social Media for Regulated Industries
Consider Brian Solis’ session, “The New Media Style Guide,” which “will focus on exercises and methodologies for establishing a brand personality cycle that effectively weds brand and representative.” It’s part of the “New Communications & Communities” track, one of five that also include “NewComm Essentials,” “Social CRM,” “Markets Are Conversations: Putting Theory into Practice,” and “Understanding the New Media Landscape.”
In other words, it’s not the same old “How to Get Twitter Followers” sessions so seem to characterize so many other conferences. This is meaty business content that you can use right away to help your organization use social media strategically to move the business needle.
And don’t forget, the sessions are just part of the attraction. The opportunity to get together and talk with others who are well-versed and serious about the business dimensions of social media and where’s going is unparalled at NewComm. It’s more than three montns away and I’m already getting stoked about it.
As for my involvement, I’m presenting a pre-conference session from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on April 20 on the characteristics of a networked organization and the steps required to get there. Then, I’m presenting a breakout session on April 21 titled “Stop Blocking” (sounds familar, doesn’t it?), which will cover the business advantages of unfettered employee access to social sites and the steps organizations can take to minimize risk.
The conference is in San Mateo this year, on the San Francisco peninsula. Don’t miss it.