**Updated Sept 19th :: Billy Dec and Rockit Ranch Productions Host Chicago’s Official Social Media Week Kick Off Party! Monday, 9/24 at Rockit Bar & Grill (22 W Hubbard) – 8pm Open to the public! Meet, greet and network w/Top Social Media Pros, CEO’s, Influencers, Movers & Shakers all night long!**
It’s almost September and you know what that means… it’s time for Social Media Week–the social media-centric conference that happens for a full week all around the world. This year’s keynote speakers at the Chicago edition include Rick Wion from McDonald’s corporation and Brad Keywell of lightbank. While I’m sure everyone is very excited about hearing a big brand like McDonald’s speak, I’m actually more excited to hear from Brad from lightbank.
If you’ve never heard of lightbank before, they’re the ones who are responsible for some of the best startups in Chicago including Belly, Boomerang, Toodalu, Contently, Sprout Social, SocialKaty, and they’re even partially responsible for the early successes of Groupon. It should be interesting to see what they have coming down the pipeline and what startups they’ve seen that they think will break out into the mainstream next.
Social Media Week panels go all week long and have a pretty wide range of subject matter with one of the most interesting ones being “Future Trends And Technology in Social Media” which is being given by the President + CEO of Flashpoint Academy, Howard Tullman. Take it from someone who has been to countless social media-related conferences–after you’ve been to a few, you’ve sort of heard it all. That’s why the panels that are always most fascinating to me are never about any one particular tool in general, but mostly about how to track current trends to predict what will be the next valuable social tool for your business.
I’ll never forget the day four years ago when I sat in the office of my CEO (for my old job) and he told me that people don’t/shouldn’t have time to do social media and that producing content as a brand was a waste of time. (This was after me doing a 10 minute pitch/presentation about how our company should start a blog, and start tweeting about what exactly it was that we did at our office.) This was before it was called social media, but that’s beside the point. I had been tweeting /writing blog posts for over a year and thought it would be cool if my company started doing the same to help build both culture within the office, but also to drive traffic and new leads our way. After being completely rejected by my old boss, (I quit two weeks later) I’ve since built a career on doing exactly what I pitched him on and I couldn’t be happier. This is why I always gravitate to the types of panels and presentations where it’s a topic that people maybe aren’t that familiar with yet—you never know which one is going to impact your career or business next.
Rockit Bar & Grill will also be hosting several panels during Social Media Week including:
Liz Strauss (Founder SOBCON) ME!!!!
Hosted by Jaime Black of Dynasty Podcasts with panelists:
Andrew Barber (@FakeShoreDrive)
Along with our Tuesday/Wednesday panels we’ll also be hosting the Social Media Week opening party for the second year in a row, as well as a book launch for “Pinterest For Business”.
Tags: 000: How To Build A Community From Scratch, @FakeShoreDrive, @Foodiechats, @monicadimperio, @SteveGoGreen, @themidwasteland, Andrew Barber, Belly, billy dec, book launch, Boomerang, Brad Keywell, ceo, chicago, conference, Contently, Drew Rose, Dynasty Podcasts, Flashpoint Academy, Founder SOBCON, groupon, Howard Tullman, Jaime Black, Katy Lynch, keynote speaker, Lightbank, Liz Strauss, mcdonalds, media, Monica Dimperio, Official Kick Off Party, online, Open to public, Pinterest For Business, president, rEvolutionWorld.com, rick wion, rockit bar & grill, September, social media week chicago, Social Media: You’re Doing It Wrong!!!!, SocialKaty, Sprout Social, start ups, steve green, Tim Toomey, Toodalu, World, “From 1-25, “Future Trends And Technology in Social Media”
Watch out! This summer GIRLS really will run the world! On June 9th at 8:30 a.m., 13,000 participants, 3,000 spectators and 500 volunteers will come out to Soldier Field for the Girls on the Run 5k run and walk.
Girls on the Run is a non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop confidence, character and healthy lifestyles through running. Girls on the Run-Chicago produces the largest girl-centered 5k races in the country- now there’s a whole lot of girl power! The 5k event is the culminating achievement for these girls who have participated in a 12-week after-school training program that takes place at more than 200 schools across Chicagoland. This program inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a curriculum which creatively integrates running. This year, more than 1,000 coaches will mentor these 7,000 girls.
I’m a volunteer coach at Dewey Elementary School in Evanston and I have to say that GOTR practice is the highlight of my week. The passion that these girls have come to show for the program, for representing their school, for each other, and for themselves is incredibly uplifting and gratifying. Each week we tackle issues stemming from the topics of body image, gossiping, confidence, community service and teamwork- then we get outside and run! The program includes girls of different ages and abilities, yet every runner walks away from practice feeling a sense of overwhelming accomplishment.
I can tell you, my runners can’t wait to show off everything they’ve learned- for them, the 5k event really is their chance to shine. So come out to Soldier Field and see what they’ve got! A pre-race rally that includes GOTR cheers, face painting and tiara decorating will take place as well as a finish line festival with great food, games and sponsor giveaways. American Girl Place will also be hosting a pre-5k dinner on Friday, June 8th at 7:30 p.m.
Race day registration opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 8:15 a.m.
Hopefully I’ll see you there!!
By: Lauren Neuschel
Tags: 5k, American Girl Place, billy dec, chicago, community service, Dewey Elementary School, District 65, Face painting, festival, food, Girls on the Run, Girls on the Run-Chicago, GOTR, healthy, mcdonalds, non-profit, participants, registration, run, Soldier Field, spectators, teamwork, volunteers, Walk, World
The National Restaurant Association (nra), founded in 1919, now comprising of 945,000 restaurant/foodservice outlets & a work force of nearly 13 million employees, has once again chosen chicago to be their home for the annual Restaurant, Hotel-Motel & International Wine, Spirits & Beer Show! Not only should we all be huge fans of the nra for the tremendous amount of income this show brings to our great city of chicago (and to the u.s. in general), attracting tens of thousands of attendees & visitors from all 50 states & 100+ countries, but also because it showcases more products, services, innovative ideas & growth opportunities than any other industry event, reinforcing once again that chicago is a world class leader in all things food, innovation, entertainment, creativity & hospitality!
As for me, I have been attending every year for as long as I can remember to enjoy, absorb, network, learn, and to be inspired. Last year, I was actually asked to speak on their opening panel! I have to admit, sitting up there between big dogs like mcdonald’s & dunkin donuts scared the heck out of me. But, sharing whatever I had, to help anyone that could benefit, was a wonderful feeling! So, when they asked that I come back this year, it was again an absolute honor & a no brainer! The coolest part was… this time, I was asked to be creative & make up a panel that I thought would be extremely exciting, desperately needed & all around different- so I did! And here it is…
First off, picking the subject of my panel session was easy. I am asked almost daily, by all kinds of people & businesses, how to communicate w/ the public when many forms of advertising, marketing & pr have not only been unaffordable in our current economic downturn, but more importantly are beginning to be considered “obsolete” due to the way the internet & social media has changed the game, so I will open up and share my successes, failures, strategy & grind on all that and whatever else I’m asked about. The nra apparently had been asked much about these issues as well, as they quickly green lighted the idea, and summed up what they thought I had to best offer, and thought most people wanted to hear of my strengths, by giving my panel the name of “Learn how to leverage your product or brand through personal relationships, traditional media, social networking & celebrity!”
Oddly enough, the surprise hard part for me was deciding who should be on my panel! There are so many amazing restaurant operators, managers, marketing consultants, publicists,.. in chicago, who I would be absolutely honored to share a table w/ at any time, but felt to explain my process of how I go about attacking the above issues, I needed to bring something to the table (literally) that is a true representation of the resources, stories, signs, processes,… that I tap into and consider when doing what I do. Which I guess to sort of some it all up, although will better explained in person, is that (1) I intensely listen to people, through their actions, reactions, story, and all around messaging about their thoughts, wants & needs, and (2) figure out the meaning of it all and use it to deliver value to them, even if not directly from me, through a mix of old & new tactics, that I will gladly share w/ my fellow panelists.
So! Long story short, I made a list of 20 people I thought would be fun & helpful in explaining what I mean by the above, and thankfully, the 1st three on my list quickly agreed to jump on board and it was a go! Of the 1st three, in no particular order, I picked Richard Roeper for his award winning 22 yrs of story about people, society, pop culture & more in the suntimes & beyond, along w/8 years of tv on “ebert & roeper” where in my opinion, like all other areas of his work, he intensely listens, analyzes & translates the stories the world is telling us, in this particular case obviously through film. I picked Alpana singh not only because I think the nra audience would love to interact w/the superstar who paved her own way to becoming the youngest person ever to achieve the rank of master sommelier, but because of her unique position as host of the award winning tv show “check please!” where she facilitates the discussion & expression of what consumers like & dislike about every aspect of the restaurant industry’s stories that are told in what they offer to their guests in products, services & experiences. And to even get closer to magic of delivering story about food experience specifically for the benefit of our nra guests, I chose 12 time beard award winner steve dolinsky, who has been at the top of the food media chain for as long as I can remember on abc tv, wbez-fm, and many other mass communication channels, really focusing on what story is trying to be told by the world through anything & everything related to food, and what all of it means to all of us…
Seems pretty cool & different huh?!? I promise you it will be entertaining & helpful in so many different ways…I know I am there to learn as much as anyone else… so the approach will be interesting… not only will we dive into all of the above, get to address any questions that any of you want, but of equal importance, I picked this crew so we can also get an in depth look at how they evolved (w/social media, interactive marketing,…) w/ their own brands, craft, outreach, routine, strategy,… as they too have faced the same challenges we all are experiencing, as what we are talking about really applies to everyone if you think about it! So join us! It would be an honor- noon on may 24th , 2010! For all info go to www.restaurant.org/show.
(btw, leave me whatever questions you want my fellow panelists and i to answer in the comment section below!)
Tags: alpana singh, beers, check please!, chicago convention, convention, dunkin donuts, ebert and roeper, entertainment, food service, hospitality, hotels, james beard, mcdonalds, motels, national restaurant association, nra, richard roeper, service industry, social media, speaking panel, spirits, steve dolinsky