3 Quick Ways to Prepare for Smart Social Summit

...before you even check in

Here’s the good news: No matter how you plan to spend your time in Austin next week, you’ll come out of Summit with valuable insights to take back to your company. However, among all that there is to learn, there are certain sessions that might be more relevant to your role or current business needs. With that in mind, you might wonder how you should begin to craft your perfect Smart Social Summit experience.

We know your time leading up to Summit is valuable, so we mapped out three quick and easy steps to creating a Summit schedule that benefits you the best. Plant the seeds in your head now, then take a few minutes to work through them during your ride to the airport.

1. Pause. Think about how you want to grow as a social marketer.

If you’ve already found your way to the Summit’s schedule page on our website, close that window for now. Instead, look internally for a second. What does your company need from you this month—and what will they need from you as you begin your 2018 planning? What aspect of social media marketing, management, or data do you wish you knew more about? Let these answers guide you when you’re deciding which sessions to attend.

For example, let’s say you’ve seen some promising case studies about using bots for customer care, but don’t know where to begin. You might want to check out our panel on the relationship between bots and agents. Or if your focus is content, you could set yourself up a content mini track, and attend sessions like one of four Content 2.0 workshops, Tradition, Interrupted, featuring content and brand leads from huge brands like Bumble and Airbnb, and Mastering and Monetizing Video (because we know that content king is not at risk of being dethroned anytime soon).

2. Ask yourself: How do you like to learn?

Everyone takes in information differently, so we’re offering four different types of sessions to accommodate for that, and to allow for flexibility if you prefer to switch it up.

Our workshops are meant to be collaborative and hands-on, and lend themselves well to people who learn by doing.

The keynotes bring in some of the brightest minds in the industry and allow you to learn by osmosis. No other sessions take place during keynotes, so prepare to bask yourself in some tweet-worthy insights. But remember: we’ll recap the most noteworthy things said right here on the blog, so don’t worry about documenting everything if it hinders you from living in the moment.

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Thought leadership sessions combine the best of workshops and keynotes. In a panel environment, you watch collaboration play out with experts on each session’s topic. The smaller setting (in comparison to the keynotes) allows for a thorough dive into the content. You have the opportunity to ask questions at the end, but you also can just sit back and watch the conversation flow. Not all thought leadership sessions are designed like panels—some are back-to-back presentations—but they will all include a Q&A period.

Finally, solution spotlights let you get your hands dirty with some of our newest solutions. You’ll take it a step beyond learning our product by understanding how it can meet your strategic needs. Like workshops, solution spotlights focus on learning while doing, but differ in the sense that you’ll be working in a more technical setting.

3. Use the scheduler to plan your Summit before you even land in Austin.

You won’t need highlighters and pens to map out your ultimate Summit experience. Bookmark our mobile web app to sign up for sessions, and keep your visual clutter at a minimum. Once you’ve decided your schedule, download it to your Apple iCal, Outlook, or Google calendar for offline access. The app also acts as a networking tool. You can take a peek at who’s signed up to attend every session in hopes of finding one of the minds behind your brand Twitter inspo. Oh, and of course, don’t be afraid to do a little LinkedIn stalking while you’re at it.

While you’re planning for Summit, you might as well look into what you should explore after hours. Check out CultureMap Austin’s guide to the city, where you can find everything from bars and restaurants to live music venues.

Stay tuned for our tips on how you can advance your career at Summit. And in the mean time, sink your teeth into some of our proprietary social data research—our latest Smart Social Report, on the power of beauty influencers—and micro-influencers in general—on Instagram.

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Jaime Netzer is Spredfast's Senior Content Marketing Manager, leading content operations. A Lawrence, Kansas native, she traded seasons for breakfast tacos seven years ago and hasn't looked back since. Also a fiction writer and journalist, Jaime tweets semi-regularly and reads constantly.