The Future of Social Media Events – Inspired by FutureMidwest 2011

FutureMidwestThis past week I attended another great social media event, FutureMidwest. I definitely see the community has been effectively establishing itself to become a hub of digital and local innovation. Even folks from a Chicago-based company, Manifest Digital, commented that, “Detroit is better situated than Chicago to entrepreneurship and startups.” FutureMidwest also brought me to imagining what the future social media events will be like in the next 5 years.
  • User-generated topics

    FutureMidwest covers many trendy topics such as privacy (“Hyper Relevant Communities”  by Bobby Ghoshal @ghoshal ; “The Future of Provacy ” by David Norris), content curating (“The Third Frontier of the Web” by Olver Starr @owstarr), API (“The New Digital World Order”  by Roque Versace @RoqueV), social and strategies (“Activate & Motivate” by Matt Kates & Sara Kowal @sekowal ; “Marketing Across the Digital Divide” by Scott Meyer @MrScottMeyer and John Meyer @JohnTMeyer), and the digital revolution (“The New Architects” by Jeff Leitner @insightlabs, Jim Jacoby, Carolyn Chandler @chanan, Bryan Campen @cyrusbryan, and Tanarra Schneider @saltysweetgirl). But if in the future social events can incorporate attendees’ preference with topics offered (whether via public voting or funneled from local Tweetea-style discussion). The experience will certainly be more relevant on a personal level.      

  • Geo-location, social suggestion, and daily deals

    Even though the privacy and geo-location topics in FutureMidwest freaked out some attendees, the practical way many companies are embracing is “to be where their customers are” (from the session “Activation & Motivation”) and to utilize API data (from “The New Digital World order”) to segment customer preference. Groupon’s success has been mentioned several times during the conference, and that gets me wondering what future events can do to bundle geo-location and the sense of community (per Josh Gunkel’s @JoshGunkel presentation “Turning Foresights into Action,”  that “people are emotionally connected in a deeper level.”). What if your Foursquare or Gowalla tells you which friends of yours is also going to the event and the system automatically sends out discounted pricing for you and your friends? What if future events can incorporate daily deals providing discounted accommodation, transportation, or even local restaurant recommendations?

  •  How to move from ideas & excitement to implementation & methodologies 

    I believe the majority of people left FutureMidwest with smiles on their faces and a determination to make a difference in their workplace. But how many will actually develop an action plan? The I.D.E.A (identify, disparage, elevator, action) concept is great, but how would you write a campaign proposal based on your own market & industry? (Read more “From ideas to Reality“)
    Imagine future social-media events followed by local discussion groups about implementation case studies and experience sharing. After all, the digital revolution is a perpetual process.
What’s your takeaway from FutureMidwest? 


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