Social Media Week London Brainstorm: Ideas & Inspiration for 2012

BRAIN HUE Collection by Emilio Garcia

Two heads are better than one. So, 35 must be exponentially better, right?

At Chinwag, we're big fans of building things collaboratively, so we thought we'd really push the boat out for the initial planning of Social Media Week London 2012 (SMWLDN), 13-17th Feb, in case you're wondering.

On Tuesday evening, after an open invite, 35 people gathered at Ketchum PR's offices in Shoreditch to ruminate, dream and scheme on the themes for next year's SMWLDN. Analysing last year's event and taking informal soundings, the group started to explore five starting points:

  1. Business & Marketing
  2. Consumer: Music, Fashion, Sport, Food, Family
  3. Social For Good
  4. Technology
  5. B2B / Internal Comms

The aim was to end up with lots of scribblings that would help us as a group to:

  • explore themes, test the words, meanings of the subjects
  • Brainstorm topics and ideas for events, whether general or specific
  • Identify the audience, their interest and level of knowledge

Lauren painstakingly photographed and uploaded all of the flipcharts and uploaded them to Flickr and Facebook for your delectation...hope they're useful in inspiring events and collaborations:

The aim of the evening was to generate ideas and hopefully create some inspiration. If some events came out of it directly, all the better. As it turned out there were lots of post-brainstorming chats between people looking to collaborate which was marvellous.

For me, it highlighted just how powerful a room full of smart, enthusiatic people can be. With so many events, they're only as good as the audience, for this brainstorm it couldn't have been more true. Seeing people from diverse backgrounds talk passionately about their pet topics, competitors collaborating and ideas collaboratively built was inspiring. I just wish we had enough time to run put in place a fraction of the ideas that came up.

Which is where you come in...have a look through the flipcharts above and check out the Get Involved section of the Social Media Week London website to find out more. We'll publish notes on running events during the week in the next couple of days if you fancy running your own session as well as publishing dates/times of office hours when we'll have bookable slots to chat through events in more detail.

It's can be much more fun (and easier!) working on events with groups of friends and colleagues, so it's worth reaching out using #smwldn on Twitter, or the SMWLDN Facebook page if you're looking for collaborators.

For what it's worth, here's a couple of my favourites - feel free to add yours or variations in the comments below:

  • 'Pimp Yo Social Profile' - how to pimp your social media profile
  • Learning Zone/Social Media 101 - a series of short sessions designed to help intro the wonders (and pitfalls) of getting social online
  • Social Media Sports Day - possibly real, possibly virtual - my take: a tweet-powered race around the Olympic stadium (a guy can dream!)
  • Public Form UX Hackathon - take the dullest, error-prone, difficult forms and apply the best UX minds to stream-line and improve everyone's experience - think doctors, council forms, etc.

The experiment worked well, so we're thinking about using this format again to further explore the consumer side of social media, tackling: sports, music, fashion, food, gaming and families. Keep your eyes peeled, we should have news up in the next couple of days about this event.

With 14 events already published, SMWLDN 2012 looks like it's going to be a fantastic year. We're already (arguably over) excited. Feel free to drop us a line, but do bear in mind we're standing underneath a waterfall of email, so bear with us if it takes a little while to respond.

Thanks to Kate Matlock, Tom Cornish and Alastair Sibley for being our generous hosts at Ketchum Pleon and props to Jemima Gibbons, Charlotte Beckett, Kate Matlock, Claire Robinson, Kathryn Corrick and Charlie Lyons for capturing the brain waves on paper.

Photo (cc) Emilio Garcia.


Social Media & Food

Nice work Sam.  As mentioned at Tweetcamp when we also had a SMW Brainstorm, we'd definitiely be interested in helping out or getting more involved in a Social Media & Food Day.  If anyone wants to help out with a Brainstorming session we'd be hapy to host at TechHub so give us a shout