crowd at social media week, Peru
PHOTO: Brian Wallace

When Jessika Phillips, founder of NOW Marketing Group and host of Social Media Week Lima, went to a large social media conference she thought: here was a truly amazing and informative event — could she replicate it in her hometown of Lima, Ohio? Her goal was to bring hundreds of people to a similar event in the Midwest, and she pulled it off. People like Brian Fanzo, Bryan Kramer and more all participated and it was a huge hit in the social media world. Now in its seventh year, the attention to detail that goes into this conference is second to none, making it the premiere social media event of the Midwest.

It All Comes Down to Human Connections

The theme of this year’s event was “Creating Craveable Content.” Talks included “Captivate on Command: How to Motivate the Masses with Only Your Words” by Stephanie Liu, “Utilizing Emotional and Social Intelligence to Create Authentic and Craveable Content” by Tiffany Lanier, and many more great talks about how to engage with your audience like never before. There was also an hour long “Table Talks” session during which guests could shuffle from table to table listening to talks by different marketing industry veterans. My talk was about “Being Irresistible to the Media.”

The biggest takeaway from the conference was the importance of being human and of making human connections. Your message reads as more authentic when you are more human, and a little bit of empathy goes a long way in real human interactions. The lesson carried well past the sessions and into the hallways and interactions with other conference attendees.

Another major theme of the conference was to learn to “push the damn button” — stop waiting around for everything to be perfect before you get started.

The conference also had a lot of livestreaming taking place, not only of the conference events themselves, but also between colleagues on related topics including making those human connections. LinkedIn Live is a great way to drive engagement among your professional base of colleagues, but livestreaming of any kind is preferred by 80% of social media users over written posts and gets far greater engagement than other forms of social media posts. 

The added bonus of livestreaming? It makes you seem more relatable to your followers.

Related Article: Why LinkedIn Live Is a Big Deal

smaller group from social media week Lima, Peru

(L-R: unknown, Lauren Vanags Davis, Jennifer Brogee, Cortney Mumaugh, Ross Woods, Kiera Suffel, Ai Addyson-Zhang, Zavier Buzard, Barb Casey Flynn, Brian Wallace)

Passion and Authenticity Drive the Community 

This conference is a great place for marketers to connect with others in the field who are truly passionate about what they do.

"Going to SMWL is a breath of fresh air,” said Bryan Kramer, CEO at H2H Companies. “It's the most welcoming community of humans who appreciate getting to know each other and learning from each other at a deeper level than most."

Of course, the conference was designed to be just that.

“My personal mission is to help inspire others to love more, give more and do more within their personal and professional lives though the art of authentic relating,” said conference founder Phillips. “A conference like SMWL is a great place to build the foundation of relationship marketing and I believe people are ready for it — that’s why the event has grown each and every year with other like-minded people.”

Conference attendees and speakers alike appreciate the value of Social Media Week Lima as well as the attention and hard work that go into creating it.

“Add the best elements of a national industry conference to those of a local mastermind and the result is the Midwest’s premier social media marketing event, Social Media Week Lima,” said Livestream Universe Founder Ross Brand. “The event feels both big and small in good ways. Jessika Phillips recruited an A-list group of keynote speakers and panelists who fill the main hall at the UNOH convention center, while her team at NOW Marketing facilitates a great experience for each attendee with opportunities for learning, collaboration and relationship building, both one-on-one and in small groups.”

“SMWL19 is the quintessential example of how a well-connected team like NOW Marketing can leverage influential thought leaders from around the globe to bring world-class social media expertise to a local community,” said I Am Here, LLC CEO Chris Strub.

Strub gained notoriety when he became the first person to live stream in all 50 states, an experience which he turned into a book and later a movie, “50 States In 100 Days.” Strub premiered the movie at Social Media Week Lima on June 19.

This event was so well put together and so well received, that people are already committing to return next year for Social Media Week Lima 2020. The conference is a testimony to the value of getting together with your online community in person to build those human relationships.

social media week lima 2019
PHOTO: Sara Campbell and Brian Wallace
(L-R: unknown, Zavier Buzard, Brian Wallace, Charles Kroeger, ET, Mackenzie Ball, Philip Shaw, Lindsey Stahl)