This March, I attended and was delighted to be involved with the inaugural Social Media Summit 2016, run over 2 days in Dublin. Rare is it that I am blown away by events. However, this gem left me feeling both exhausted and refreshed, a contradicSocial Media Summit logotion in terms, true none the less. It was informative, enjoyable, and a positive networking event where there was real-time connectivity happening and not just online. It was spilling offline, which, is as it should be.

Aviva SMS 16The Social Media Summit 2016, brainchild of Samantha Kelly, (The Tweeting Goddess) was hosted at the Aviva Stadium (great venue by the way) did just that, it married the importance of keeping your finger on the pulse online with the connectivity offline.

We live in an age of technological progress and ever expanding new social media platforms. In the midst of this, I have always believed that it is essential that we do not lose sight of the offline and face to face piece. People will do business with people and we need to apply this to both the online space and retain the same offline. Eventually we need to take the online business relationship offline.

One thing I must say is that there was a tangible positive and relaxed atmosphere where you looked around the rooms and you just knew real connections were being made. The mood was open, it was positive. Pinnacle and bofin

The Speakers at the summit including the worlds’ leading social media strategists who travelled to Ireland to inform and update us on our online opportunity and platforms. They were all very much focused also on the offline element and continued networking.

Myself & TedKeynote speaker, Ted Rubin spoke about return on relationship and some may say this is an ideal, I say it is a reality and one which, we need to relax about, build the relationship, offer to help other business, connect, converse and build business. It is as simple as that. No fuss, connections and business done. I have always believed this and never quite knew how to verbalise it, now I do and I have one of the top 3 strategists in the world to refer to and have connected with the man I now refer to as “The Sock Man”. Ted keeps it real, what you see is what you get. He dosn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk.

Other speakers included Jenny Brennan, our homegrown social media strategist whose own story resonated with many who were in attendance. Jenny is an expert on Facebook ads among other platforms and her energy was infectious. Jill Holtz spoke about the value of social media to her business and how she uses it for the greater good. Melonie Dodaro taught us all about the maze that is Linkedin and the real business opportunities associated with it. There were close to 30 speakers. These are only some of the great speakers who attended, workshops on pinterest, snapchat, youtube, facebook, twitter and much more were available and filled. The energy of speakers who are passionate about their chosen subject matter is always a good thing and that is what this event had in spades; speakers who had energy and were equally passionate.

All the speakers made themselves so available to those who attended the event, their positive openness spread throughout, they were gracious with their time, their knowledge and their willingness to connect, to converse and to help businesses. It wasn’t forced, it was relaxed and natural. We need more of this.

Businesses, regardless of sector neeFanzo & Ted pic speciald to be aware that social media power is increasing. More business connectivity is happening online, more revenue is being grown online and the offline business relationships are still part of the final mix, being very much affected by the growth of social media.

The future is digitised business. We will continue to do business with people and the face to face element of business and of life will continue to be an important piece. We will need to be ready to up the ante online, to be present.

Preparations are commencing for Social Media Summit 2017 and I predict that there will be new platforms and social media pieces on stream and I cannot wait. In line with this, we need to continue to nurture offline opportunities and relationships in tandem.

Wishing you all a good working week.

Mags @ Bofin Consultancy.  Email mags@bofinconsultancy.com