Was thrilled to attend Social Media Breakfast Syracuse for the first time on Thursday morning, at LoFo in Armory Square. Having so many of the most active, innovative and dedicated social media marketing professionals in Central New York in one location generated a kind of excited buzz and kinship among those of us who all speak the same language that seems so foreign to many colleagues.
The event, hashtagged #smbsyr, resembled 90 minutes of friendly frenzied networking chaos. Some found it unusual the event had no speaker or program, but I loved that it instead emphasized connecting — which is, after all, a crucial component of social media. I finally met wonderful people face to face I’ve had conversations on Twitter with for years, caught up with some real-life friends I haven’t seen in far too long and met plenty of amazing new people. Attendees included higher education and news media, corporations and creative agencies, small business owners and students. The marvelous mix just added to the merriment.
LoFo put out a great spread and about the only drawback was that the huge turnout, which seemed to exceed even the volunteer organizers’ ambitious goals, really packed the space. The event sold out in advance, and if it hadn’t I would have invited more folks from our college. As it was, Oswego had a nice showing of five folks from campus, all of us pleased with being part of such an exciting event.
Next meeting will take place Thursday, March 21, in the Hank Sauer Room of Alliance Bank Stadium, home of the Syracuse Chiefs. It will include a panel discussion on “Social Media and Sports,” and thus more structure than this month’s event, but should draw another great crowd in terms of quality and quantity. Like the Social Media Breakfast Syracuse Facebook page to stay up to date.
While the event keyed on social media, worth noting that I almost never pulled my iPhone from my pocket to check on what was happening on Facebook or Twitter. Why? Because despite all that we love about social, its ability to connect us with fascinating folks face to face is one of its strongest appeals. We’re reminded that social media is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.