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The best events to attend at Social Media Week Chicago

Social Media Week Chicago
Courtesy Social Media Week Social Media Week Chicago

Social Media Week Chicago begins today, bringing us an onslaught of events that give insight into pretty much every angle of the current social media landscape. We’ve sifted through the lengthy lineup to narrow down the top events so you’ll get the skinny on blogging your brunch and how sports teams are taking to Twitter, plus hear from a panel of Onion writers on how satire sways politics.

Monday, November 16

Gender Equality in Tech Innovation and Entrepreneurship

MSNBC and NBC News anchor Richard Lui; Venkat Nagaswamy, CEO of Mariana; and founder of sittercity.com Genevieve Thiers address the gender problem within the quickly growing tech sector, where women represent less than five percent of payrolls. The speakers will hit on how to facilitate gender equality in the tech and entrepreneurial sector to open doors for women. (Merchandise Mart, 1871, floor 12, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 2–3pm) 

Tuesday, November 17

Chicago’s Professional Sports Teams Get Social

Hosted by the Chicago Cubs, this event features digital marketing managers for the Chicago Bulls, Cubs, Fire, Sky and White Sox, who will share how professional sports teams are using social media to promote their brands and engage with fans through content sharing strategies you can pocket and apply to grow your own social audience. (Merchandise Mart Main Stage 1, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 9–10am)

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at McDonald’s Biggest Social Media Campaign in History During Super Bowl XLIX

DDB Chicago’s CEO, Paul Gunning, gives the scoop on the advertising agency’s own “Super Bowl Tweet Up” initiative that showed some Lovin’ to Twitter followers by giving away every product advertised during Super Bowl XLIX, totaling 86 products, including eight cars, in real time. (Merchandise Mart Main Stage 2, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 11am–12pm)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Social Media Lessons from an Outspoken Activist

Activist Suey Park discusses the power of social media in shaping public perception and the negative outcomes of a social media conversation gone awry. The writer and activist who created hashtags like #NotYourAsianSideKick and #CancelColbert will share what she’s learned firsthand. (Merchandise Mart Main Stage 2, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 9:30–10:30am)

Social Best Practices from Top Brands in 2015

Speakers Beth England and Andrew Katz of Shareablee discuss how the best performing brands are engaging audiences through social content marketing and advertising. They’ll share how to foster customer loyalty, data-driven best practices and what types of content really perform best. (Merchandise Mart Masterclass Room 1, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 3–4pm)

Wednesday, November 18

Not Just #Foodporn: Social Media and Its Impact on the Way We Eat

This scrumptious talk looks at how social media plays a role in shaping what we put in our mouths and how we share what we eat with four women in the food biz who’ve discovered the perfect recipe for mixing food with blogging, Instagram and social media. (Merchandise Mart Main Stage 2, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 5–6pm)

Best Campaigns of the Year: WOMMY Winners

President of WOMMA Suzanne Fanning recaps the year’s best agencies, brands and people behind top social media and word of mouth (get it, WOM?) in 2015. Learn who outshined and out-tweeted the competition. (Merchandise Mart Masterclass Room 1, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 1:30–2:30pm)

Masterclass: #Socialgood, Online Engagement for Offline Mobilization

Skeptics may doubt the real-life impact of movements like #whyIstayed, #blacklivesmatter and The ALS Icebucket challenge, but this panel of top online strategists begs to differ. Learn about the power of social media and how engaging conversations can mobilize volunteers, advocates and donors at this empowering event. (Merchandise Mart Masterclass Room 1, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 4:30–5:30pm)

Thursday, November 19

Influence of Satirical News on Political Campaign and Elections

Learn how nontraditional news sources are influencing the public more than ever from the people who power America’s Finest (satirical) News Source. The Onion’s editor-in-chief Cole Bolton; staff writer Mike Gillis; and senior writer as well as sports editor Seena Vali discuss the power of satire in influencing elections. (Merchandise Mart Main Stage 2, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 4:30–5:30pm)

Blow Sh*t Up: Why Embracing Risk is the Key to Brand Survival

Havas Worldwide Chicago Group CCO Jason Peterson leads a discussion on how taking fierce risks stirs up more than temporary buzz and how bold campaigns break through the noise to increase a brand’s chances of outlasting the competition. (Merchandise Mart Main Stage 1, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, 9–9:30am)


Don’t miss Time Out Chicago’s own associate publisher, Erin Delahanty, as she talks about generating buzz through cultivating employees and users as effective brand ambassadors at the excellent panel event, Cultivating Brand Ambassadors: Aligning People, Organizations and Brand Values for Overall Success. (Merchandise Mart Main Stage 1, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Nov 17, 3–4pm) 

 

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