CASE Brighton 2017 Highlights
Social and digital media teams from all over UK and Europe descended on Brighton for the annual CASE Social Media and Community Conference (CASE SMC) and it did not disappoint! The chat on #CASEsmc was easily the most important thing in my life for two days. Here are the highlights:
The Brighton Pier was deserted but on the plus side we got some key team building time. We arrived on Wednesday which allowed us to explore Brighton before the jam packed conference Thursday and Friday.
When I saw that Eric Stoller was a return speaker this year I knew we were in for a good one. Last year Eric's talk was brilliant and this year was even better. The unofficial theme of the conference came out of Eric's presentation and we couldn't agree with it more... BE BOLD! Here are Eric's speaker deck slides if you missed it.
One of the best things about CASE SMC is co-chair Dave Musson's Un-Conference. The most valuable insights at CASE are often from the interaction and conversations with peers in your own field. In an Un-Conference any topics relating to CASE SMC can be chosen by the whole group and then it breaks off into smaller groups who are interested in having an informal chat. This year the UofG team talked about student ambassadors, but there were lots of different groups who talked about topics such as paid social media, graduation, there was even a group that just shared 'cool and interesting' ideas... just to name a few. The best thing about this year was un-conferencing on the beach!
The hashtag, yes the wonderful glorious hashtag. Comments, quotes, photos and lots and lots of GIFs. This year's hashtag was on point and it was the best way to find out what people were REALLY interested in and their honest opinion on topics. Following someone on twitter from the case hashtag is the new form of business card swap. Our co-chairs Dave Musson and Marie-Rose also ran a caption comp and a few others to kick us off. Great to see people that weren't able to attend the conference this year interacting with #casesmc too.
PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE
Whenever the word 'networking' comes up at conferences it gives me cold sweats. Not here! This is easily one of the most important parts of CASE SMC. Everyone was friendly and open to chat, and it's always nice to put faces to the names... name tags help too. Trying to subtly look at someones name tag without them noticing is an art form. The key take away from this year's conference was the diversity of creativity within social and digital media teams. We really have to embrace the jack of all trades title to create good content. It was also great to see how different team structures worked for different Universities, with the one overarching challenge of needing more people! A big shout out to the strong representation from Wales this year.
After a nice smooth ride up a couple hundred feet in the BA I360 (nice touch this year), hours of conferencing we settled in for dinner with a couple bottles of wine, plus some of the empty table bottles of wine (not my idea...promise). Important topics from table 3:
- Swansea's Dr Ben Evans valentine's was the Bloodhound
- Eric Stoller has headphones with a kevlar cord
- Don't get between Richard and his food
- Net Natives... and their new head of digital content
- The real meaning of Stella
- Nickleback isn't really all that bad
- Slipknot are just normal looking guys under their masks (Dave)
- Our challenges are the same as other people - group therapy session
AND THAT'S ALL...
Well not really, Emma and I had a brilliant time speaking on our new Social Media Student Ambassador programme. Thanks to our wonderful audience, we gained lots of great ideas from the 20 minute Q&A as well as during the un-conference sessions. I also really enjoyed Emma Leech's (recently CIPR award nominated) #Lboro2Rio talk - awesome to see how much can be accomplished in-house with good planning and a team that is motivated and willing to try things outside of their comfort zone.