Drawbacks of The 2015 Edition of Social Media Week, Lagos.


Did they get anything right? Yes, but another question is, did the wrong outweigh the right? Maybe it did but it also depends on how you see things.

From the 23rd to 27th of February it was a week dedicated to the advancement and gathering of digital heads, industry players from both the mainstream online marketing sector and from the general purpose sectors ranging from banking to government.

Social Media Week 2015 was tagged “Upwardly Mobile - The Rise of the Connected Class”. The topic came timely and to me this is the most interesting theme ever selected in the history of the event. The venue was no doubt a great pick.

The Landmark Event Center had a spacious parking space sitting adjacent the Oniru Beach now reclaimed as part of the Eko Atlantic City.

Without wasting much time I’ll quickly start to highlight and elaborate on all that went wrong with the event.



-          SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK WASN’T SOCIAL MEDIA FRIENDLY

Being part of the support team that worked with the main organizers and the organizing partners “Dragon Africa” I expected that our support service should have included manning an uptight Webteam where Live Tweets, real-time postings, blogging, file sharing (Image & Short Video Clips) YouTube videos, live streaming and anything social media that seeks to promote, updates and inform the world about all that went down while they happen without a second delayed would be set in motion but in never happened, sake for This Presence House Church that ran a live stream of their session LIVE from their church and yet posted it on YouTube afterwards the case would have been worse.


If you had gone online during the last edition of Social Media Week 2015 in search of real-time updates, or by virtue of work or migration you couldn’t attend any of the sessions trust me you wouldn’t find online any valuable information or record of how the sessions went either then when it happened or post-SMW2015. Worse is that, SMW2015 did not even trend on twitter while the event lasted. My question now is, how social was Social Media Week 2015 when after the event I can’t access a single clip of any of the sessions on YouTube, a video sharing social media platform?




-          DETRIMENTAL EXCLUSIVITY

I work with non-arguable one of the biggest broadcast outfit in Lagos as a digital marketing strategist and severally I tried to hook up a media partnership with SMW2015. With eleven radio stations across Nigeria, two Television stations and a daily sport print outlet we are positioned as a powerhouse that could add a lot of impetus to the event but my overtures and that of my colleagues were turned down. And from all reports I got, this was the second time we were turned down by the organizers of Social Media Week.


After digging deep, I realized we were turned down twice because of an exclusive media right given to Beat FM, a right given based on friendship between the CEO of Dragon Africa owners of the SMW rights for Lagos and the CEO of Beat FM. This is a non-strategic friendship that’ll decrease the popularity of the SMW brand and identity.

To lack tact is to bring triviality into business and brand related issues. To limit the longevity of a brand is to first limit its channels of expression and these the organizers of Social Media Week are currently toying with reasons why public knowledge and media presence of Social Media Week is relatively zero.



-          THEORIES WITH NO PRACTICALS
It was a common fact that all that was said and done at the 2015 Social Media Week were all theory based. It was a talk, talk and talk affair… yea, some may argue that, that’s what it should be but giving some practical sense and direction to the Master-classes would have been so great. How about showing in real-time the master-class audiences how to create a Facebook pop-up on their personal blogs. Information’s like this and not just talking the talk all through makes the whole session gives back with direct benefits. DIY’s, “How to’s” and many more practical sessions in my opinion will boost the overall purview of the event.



-          UPWARDLY MOBILE OR…
I suspect this theme was picked with a huge intent to bring to fur the realities of the mobile sphere as it’s apparent in the globe. With HTML5 supporting both web and mobile and the endless capabilities of more recent mobile devices, I sure expected too much. But what about a situation where a bank sponsored session could not just talk about how their banks have enhanced mobile banking and the new sphere of social banking. All the topics and sessions actually drifted from the year’s theme.


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However, the event put together was a huge success by organizational standards but by definition of social media, theme and innovation it was a sincere mishap. I pray the organizers will rather see my article not as a witch-hunt but as an insider’s (industry) constructive criticism. 

In the coming editions, there must be an all encompassing media partnership; the theme must be well defined and dealt with to the later. Social media is the main focus and so must the theme and the week trend on all the platforms. Real-time engagements must be extra-ordinary.



Finally, I thank the organizers’ for the opportunity to volunteer and serve the social media community during the week. See y’all Next year…..