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My Second Social Slam a Splendid Success

My Second Social Slam a Splendid Success

Yes, my blog title confirms that I remain cursed by my attraction to alliteration. However, I had a great time at Social Slam, and I needed a catchy title to reflect it. I do plan on following up this more personal blog post with a more detailed analysis courtesy of Pulse Analytics (we even sponsored the event this year).

Last year was my first visit to beautiful Knoxville to attend Social Slam. It was my first “marketing/social media” conference, since I’ve been a software developer and data architect for most of my career, so I had not met most of the people I “knew” going to the conference. Sean McGinnis and Gini Dietrich made me feel welcome on Thursday night, Stacey Hood got in his first banter jabs, and I was on my way to strengthening these online business relationships. Throw in some great times with Jayme Soulati, Jon Moss – and my favorite heckler Margie Clayman – and I knew I wanted to attend the event again in 2013!

Last year was about the nod and a handshake that comes with “weak relationships”…this year was a smile and a hug borne of mutual respect and genuine friendship!

Here are some of the highlights of my Social Slam 2013 experience – in no particular order:

Hecklers' Hangout, Social Slam, SoSlam

The show goes on – doing a Hecklers’ Hangout from the Social Slam Tweetup. Photo courtesy of Jayme Soulati.

  • My Twitter feed lit up a lot earlier this year. Part of that might have been because of my grousing about my 6am flight! It should never still be dark for a morning flight!
  • By the time I got to my hotel, the activity was heating up as folks tried to plan when they were hitting the Tweetup…and what we were doing afterwards!
  • Got to meet Chuck Kent, Adam Toporek, Shonali Burke, Jason Konopinski, Randy Bowden, and Laura Click in person for the first time.
  • Credit Stacey Hood for coming up with a new chaotic idea for me to bring to Hecklers’ Hangout to freak out my co-host Margie Clayman – run back to my hotel, grab my computer, and host the Hecklers’ Hangout from the Tweetup. Margie and Geoff Livingston were then able to “see their friends” as an unexpected bonus. Thanks to Geoff Livingston for being a great sport with the changed venue and distracting background. We need to make the marketing automation discussion a regular topic on our show, and I look forward to your “301 Level” approach to xPotomac.
  • Social Slam, SoSlam

    Social Slam Tweetup – saw Jayme and Jon for 2nd time…met Jason IRL for first time. Picture courtesy of Jayme Soulati.

  • David Schwartz and Brad Miller thought I had not gone through enough sleep deprivation, so they dragged me out for coffee entirely too early on Friday morning.
  • Jason Falls did a great “kickoff” to Social Slam, and Amy Howell proved adept at keeping the conference on-schedule while still finding time to hand out some Memphis SWAG. The speakers and panel members were well prepared. Each one provided nuggets of wisdom. I especially liked the Tom & Tamsen Webster duo. I really appreciate how their minds work as they outlined why our first question should always be “Why” – followed by “annoying 5 year old” frequency of continuing to ask “why” – versus the more easier “Who” and “What”. It will take me days to get back to saying “qualitative” versus “koalatative”. Thanks, Tom.
  • Jennifer Kane had me chuckling the most with her Facebook tips. She is a very clever speaker.
  • Social Slam, #SoSlam

    Had a great pre- Social Slam breakfast with David Schwartz and Brad Miller

  • My favorite quote came courtesy of Gabrielle Laine-Peters“Power of the crowd, power of the few, power of the one – you are all the center of your network.”
  • Thought provoking “funny tweet” from Eric Pratum“If your brand were a torture device, which would it be?” Umm…
  • John Jantsch  stressed the importance of Integrated Marketing – across channels (old and new) and devices.
  • Shonali knows how to sing. If she can harmonize with me, she can harmonize with anybody! And Xan Pearson can pull off the “brooding mustache” look.
  • Mark Schaefer and Jeff Bullas are great company for a Rocky Mountain National Park hike. The weather was beautiful, and the conversation was both broad and intelligent…and caring for both our industry and the world around us.
  • Jeff and I continued that “broad topic” conversation while enjoying Knoxville’s Dogwood Arts Festival. The Crown and Goose Royal Stout is outstanding.
  • 6am is still too early for a flight – especially with the NCAA Final 4 on TV the previous night…what was I thinking?!?

Every blog post should leave you with a call-to-action, so here are my suggestions after reading this post:

  • Follow and engage with the people I’ve linked above. I respect these people for their expertise and soft skills.
  • Read more of the Social Slam blog posts, so you understand why you want to book a trip to Knoxville next April.
  • Engage with me and shake my hand when you get to Social Slam next year.
  • Never…EVER…book a 6am flight. What, are you crazy?


Social Slam Group Photo

The photo may be grainy, but it captures the camaraderie at Social Slam that comes with mutual respect and friendship. Picture courtesy of Shonali Burke Consulting

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Brian Vickery

I love my Vickery Girls - and grandsons! My career has blessed me to the point I was able to start a new consultancy in 2018: Analytic Integrity. I look to provide analytic experience, and business integrity, to an Analytics world while helping data-driven organizations mature. I enjoy teaching and coaching, watching football and basketball, and playing tennis. I graduated UT-Austin.

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  1. Sorry I missed it, especially since every picture of you has a drink in your hand…even the breakfast one. Fortunately I have been able to meet Shonali, Adam, Gini & Dino in person but would love to round it out and meet the rest at an event like this. 
    I have to get past my  wife thinking it is frivolous and she doesn’t want me spending any money on it. Obviously she doesn’t know how big I am in here, huh?

    • @bdorman264 Hey, tell your wife that Bill Dorman is a big deal! It was great fun at the event and the evening shenanigans. The singing and dancing were a little unexpected…as was that 4:15am wake-up call!!

  2. Good of you to round up the day. I too think this is the only one to attend.

    • @BillDelaney Thanks, Billy. It would have been great to have you there. Perhaps next year, my friend.

  3. So great to meet you at Social Slam, Brian! How did we not meet last year?!? Anyway, I’m glad we connected this year – it was a total blast!

    • @lauraclick Surprised we didn’t meet last year, Laura…but we corrected that little shortcoming this year. It was a great time, and it was great to finally meet you in person.

  4. Sounds absolutely phenomenal. I hope I get to attend in the future, or at least meet you and all these great people in person at another meetup.  It helps that Knoxville is right down 81 from where I grew up in Southwestern Virginia, though!
    The only thing more painful than a 6am flight is a red-eye!

    • @dwaynealicie You beat me…red-eyes do suck more!
      Catch the gang at the next Social Slam, Dwayne.

  5. Great to finally meet you in person Brian. Great event and even better people. Until the next time, pal.

    • @1ad_dad It was great to finally meet in person after getting to know each other on Twitter and Facebook. The breakfast might have been early, but it was great (and had COFFEE). The evening festivities were a blast – always cool to get so many people just wandering in pockets of 2-3 and chatting it up.

  6. I love love LOVED meeting you IRL – like we said in our emails (yes, people, we are emailing each other, don’t take it personally), there was an instant connection. And singing together? OMG, never would I have planned to do that, but how much fun it was, even for those brief 30 seconds or so! I can’t remember the last time I spontaneously harmonized with someone I’d just met, and I used to sing ALL the time. What a fabulous time it was. Thank you for capturing some of the most delicious moments of the event!

    • @Shonali Thanks, Shonali – it would have been about three times as long if I had captured even more of the quotes from speakers/panelists. And I’m enjoying the pictures that are streaming in from everyone who went out those two nights.
      The event is great, but those evening get togethers are frequently where the memories are made and friendships are built.
      Yeah, I never would have put “singing” on my expected activities…but we acquitted ourselves pretty well.

  7. Looks like you had great fun! I’ve found that EVERY TIME I meet a virtual friend in real life, not only am I NOT disappointed, I’m thrilled – that certainly applied to when I met you with the exception of our time on the tennis court! LOL…

    • BruceSallan That was great time on the tennis court, and on the deck afterwards grilling and having a beer!
      I’m headed to San Jose this next week, so Savannah can check out Santa Clara. Albert is taking us around for a personal tour.

  8. Buddy, you were listening large! Impressive roundup! I think I was tweeting and FB’ing most of the day and I shoulda stole your notes.  Thanks for the love, the shouts, the photos, and the cab ride forgetting your laptop in the restaurant.

    • Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Could have gone without my near laptop/iPad giveaway! ;) I was busy tweeting/FB’ing…throwing a couple Pulse Analytics screenshots out there to show the Tweeting/Instagram leaderboard…and trading insults with Stacey (coming from a foundation of GREAT mutual respect ;))

  9. Brian, it was a great pleasure to meet you IRL. The #SoSlam is a wonderful
    ’social’ event and the power of the connections have been extremely
    affirming. Your kind open heart revealed your understanding of the importance of the real life exchanges. Thank
    you for your warm welcome and looking forward to the next time!

    • bowden2bowden Hah, we did have some excellent “real life exchanges”. Great to live life. Sometimes, it’s great to survive life – because then it makes for great storytelling afterwards!

  10. It was so great to see you again Brian! It felt like we spent more time together last year, but I guess that was OK as we both spent time forging new friendships! Awesome finds awesome, my friend! So glad you were able to make the event (even if it was a 6 Am flight)

    • Sean McGinnis I agree, Sean – we did not get as much time to hang out together even though we were in the same rooms/restaurants/bars a lot of the time.
      Still great to see you in person, and I’d love to hit a 312 Digital class one day!


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