Join Jason Falls in Kansas City and Wichita for “No BS Social Media Marketing”

We’re excited to announce two new events with our good friend Jason Falls. We’re also excited to be able to make these events highly affordable and accessible with registration at just $35, which even includes a copy of Jason’s brand new book.

You’ll be able to join Social: IRL and Jason Falls in Kansas City on October 4 or Wichita on January 31, for special events helping mark the launch of Jason’s new book, No BS Social Media – The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing.

Jason Falls is a nationally recognized leader in social media, public relations and communications known for his engaging style, wit and humor, brutal honesty and adding value to each audience’s experience. He is an educator, consultant and professional speaker and the name behind Social Media Explorer. You can find him on Twitter@JasonFalls.

Jason has also proved extremely popular in Social: IRL’s own conference series, as part of our Explore and Engage boot camp which he co-presents with Brian Solis.

For these special events in Kansas City and Wichita, Jason will spend the first hour delivering a presentation on “No BS Social Media Marketing” and will then take another hour or so to answer attendees social media questions and lead group discussion. We’ll then spend the final hour with a book signing and networking. Don’t miss this unique, fun, informal yet informative, presentation and networking event with Jason Falls.

Registration is just $35 and includes a copy of Jason’s brand new book, which publishes in September, 2011.

Kansas City details and registration

Wichita details and registration

We’re also offering very affordable sponsorship opportunities starting at just $250. Sponsorships each include event registrations and copies of Jason’s book, as well as valuable online and on-site branding plus direct engagement with both Jason and the attendees prior to and during the event.

Peter Shankman “social customer” boot camp – A quick recap

Attendees settling in for their day with Peter Shankman. Peter Shankman recently joined Social: IRL in Lawrence, KS, for a boot camp focused on relationships with customers in the social media age.

Attendees ranged from national brands to locally owned businesses and included marketing, PR and communications pros, banks and credit unions, retail and entertainment, higher education, non profits, media organizations, financial services, real estate, trade organizations, health care, automotive, agriculture, and more. A truly diverse group with all 120 available seats being filled by people anxious to learn from one of the most respected names in social marketing and customer service.
In addition to Peter Shankman, attendees also heard from a panel made of up Jason Gertzen from Sprint, Justin Meyer from Kansas City International Airport, and Matt Hyde from 715 Restaurant.
Jason, Justin and Matt provided valuable insights from national, regional and local perspectives on how social media had impacted relationships with their customers.
Over 2,000 tweets were generated by attendees during the day – a truly engaged audience.
After the event, a number of attendees posted recaps of what they learned:

We appreciated the support from attendees and from our sponsors of the event: Miller MeiersmBLASTManageFlitterKloutThe Lawrence Chamber of CommerceSmall Town #140conf, and Kansas Credit Union Association.

We were also extremely grateful for the on-site tech support provided by Dave Greenbaum of DoctorDave™ Computer Repair. Wifi has always been a real concern to us and can easily become an issue when a large group connect to a venue’s network. It’s something we always talk to venues about very specifically to ensure they are prepared, and sometimes despite the very best preparation the network still proves unable to cope once everyone connects. We’re very grateful to Dave for all his on-site support and for keeping us up and running. We’re also grateful to Knology of Kansas for the extra bandwidth and to Lawrence Freenet for going out of their way to step up and provide an entire backup network.

An unexpected lesson was also learned – at future events we’ll be asking attendees not to create Mifi hotspots. We found that Mifi signals competed with the onsite wifi and actually blocked the signal to the laptop Peter was presenting from. First time we’ve experienced that issue, though apparently it’s becoming more of an issue, even affecting Steve Jobs during his presentation at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Thanks again to everyone who attended and supported the event.  Next for Social: IRL:

Jason Falls, “No BS Social Media”, Kansas City, October 4, 2011

Peter Shankman, “Redefining Relationships in the Social Media Age”, Denver, October 11, 2011

The Jason Falls event in Kansas City is a very special opportunity – an evening event with a presentation, Q&A and networking all for just $35 if you act quickly. Attendees will even get a copy of Jason’s brand new book.

And for the Peter Shankman event in Denver, the first 50 to register get a special early bird $100 discount.

Join Peter Shankman in Lawrence KS, July 19, for a special boot camp event focused on the “social customer”

July 19, Social: IRL will offer a rare opportunity for businesses and organizations to learn from legendary online marketing expert Peter Shankman at a special boot camp event focused on the “social customer.”

Attendees will learn how social media can be used to engage customers and prospects, build relationships, earn trust and credibility, gain referrals, deliver amazing customer service, and create brand advocates.

The unique workshop like environment and limited registrations give attendees the opportunity to go well beyond the typical conference and experience a day of highly engaged and interactive learning.

The event is also very focused on connecting and networking. We actively encourage attendees to connect both online and offline and to stay connected and keep learning from each other well after the boot camp has ended.

The quality of attendees at Social: IRL events has been a key to their success. We’re excited to bring this next event back home to Lawrence KS, and to joined by a mix of both new and returning attendees, local and regional busiensses and national brands. So far, participants include:

  • H&R Block
  • Sprint
  • Children International
  • AMC Theatres
  • The World Company
  • Garmin International
  • 715 Restaurant
  • Kansas Credit Union Association
  • Douglas County Bank
  • Stephens Real Estate
  • Ameristar Casinos
  • UMB Financial Corp
  • Colliers International – Lawrence
  • American Red Cross Blood Services
  • Spiral16
  • Sports Turf Managers Association
  • Kansas City Aviation Department
  • Kuhn & Wittenborn Advertising
  • KU Libraries
  • Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP
  • Lawrence Public Library
  • Mainstreet Credit Union
  • Kauffman Foundation UEP
  • Cerner
  • Shay Chic Events & Design
  • Miller Meiers Communication Arts Boutique
  • Weavers Auto Center
  • 66 Federal Credit Union
  • University of Kansas Information Technology
  • Lawrence Chamber of Commerce
  • Treanor Architects
  • emfluence
  • DoctorDave
  • Lawrence Habitat for Humanity
  • City of Lawrence
  • NIC eGovernment Solutions
  • Kantar Health
  • Landplan Engineering
  • KU School of Business
  • Agenda: USA
  • Kris Schindler, APR
  • Quest Credit Union
  • Tallgrass Studios
  • University of Kansas Center for Auditing Research and Advanced Technology
  • Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association
  • Intouch Solutions
  • Theatre Lawrence
  • Pearson TalentLens
  • Mid America Credit Union
  • Purple Wave, Inc
  • A-S-K Associates, Inc
  • MaggieMoo’s Gladstone
  • Small Biz Survival
  • TCK – The Trust Company of Kansas
  • Envista Credit Union
  • Mediaphormedia: Ellington
  • TECU Credit Union
  • BrightEHR
  • K-State Federal Credit Union
  • The Brainzooming Group
  • The Gazette (Colorado Springs)
  • Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center
  • Social Focus by CG
  • The Conlee Group
  • Pawsh Wash and Pet Health Market
  • Aaron Butell, Business Analyst
  • Rejuvene Spa
  • Central Kansas Credit Union
  • Pet DeFence, Inc
  • Kern Marketing Group
  • Educational Credit Union
  • 23rd Street Brewery
  • Drs. Dobbins & Letourneau, O.D
  • Phoenix Gallery
  • Arcademics
  • Midland Farm Store

This list only includes registrations that opted to be part of the public attendee list. Some of the businesses registered multiple attendees.

Current event sponsors include:

  • Miller Meiers Communication Arts Boutique
  • Klout
  • mBlast
  • ManageFlitter
  • Lawrence Chamber of Commerce
  • 140 Characters Conference: Small Town
  • Kansas Credit Union Association
  • DoctorDave Computer Repair (tech support)

There’s still time to be part of this very special event, but registration is limited to just 120 attendees so you’ll need to act quickly!

Explore and Engage takes place in Denver June 14 – A look at who’s participating:

Explore and Engage offers a rare opportunity for those in public relations, marketing, communications, or anyone using the social web to engage customers or community, to learn direct from two of the most respected social and new media professionals in the nation: Jason Falls and Brian Solis.

The unique workshop like environment and limited registrations give attendees the opportunity to well beyond the typical conference and experience a day of interactive learning.

It also gives attendees a chance to connect. Not just with our speakers, but with each other.

We encourage networking between attendees both online and offline, to stay connected and keep learning well after Explore and Engage has ended.

The quality of attendees at Social: IRL events has been a key to their success. We’re looking forward to connecting with another great group in Denver. So far, participants include:

  • mBlast
  • Spiral16
  • Philosophy Communications
  • Pure Brand Communications
  • Expion
  • Sevans Strategy
  • Qwest / CenturyLink
  • The Gazette
  • The Denver Post
  • Faction Media
  • InTouch Public Relations
  • Johnston Wells Public Relations
  • Hip Chameleon
  • Linhart PR
  • 20/20 Strategy
  • Bagnulo Communications
  • PRSA Colorado
  • Kris Schindler APR
  • Exempla Healthcare
  • TiE Rockies
  • NavPress
  • Blue Marble Enterprises
  • Freedom Communications
  • Swenson Communications
  • Millennium Marketing
  • Cutter Communications
  • Focus on the Family
  • Yelp Denver
  • Rosalba Consulting LLC
  • Biblica
  • Cohn Marketing
  • Stefanie Jones Public Relations
  • FourthSegment
  • Admired Marketing
  • Aegean Communications
  • PR Newswire
  • The North Highland Company
  • Webb PR
  • ServiceMagic
  • Clear Path Writer
  • SJPR Inc
  • SAIC
  • Keeton PR
  • Denver Business Journal
  • Hands-On Labs Inc.
  • Plug & Play Colorado
  • SwagLove
  • Life Quality Institute
  • M Squared PR & Marketing
  • LCI
  • SnapEngage

This list only includes registrations that opted to be part of the public attendee list. Some of the businesses registered multiple attendees.

There’s still time to be part of Explore and Engage and connect with this great group of attendees. Registration is still open, but will close at noon on Monday, June 13.

See you in Denver!

New Class being offered in Lawrence: Social Media for Small Business & Community Organizations

At Social: IRL we regularly provide in-house training for clients. We also host a nationwide conference series that takes some of the most respected names in social and new media and goes beyond the typical conference experience to provide highly engaged interactive learning in a boot camp type environment.

Educating and empowering is a key focus of what we do. A business should not simply hire a consultant, or contract out management of social media accounts without any real investment on their own part beyond paying fees. There are certainly times when that type of support is needed and properly given, but at a local level it is typically more effective when the business or community organization can handle social media themselves. We believe in an integrated approach, that social media should be part of what you do, not handled as some separate entity.

Ultimately social media is about relationships. This is especially evident at a local community level. It requires authenticity and should present an online personality that accurately reflects the offline personality of the business or individual.

Many business get that social media is important, but are put off simply because they are confused, intimidated, overwhelmed or afraid of time or cost commitments.

That is why we are offering this four part class, Social Media for Small Business & Community Organizations.

The class is designed to help educate and empower small businesses, community organizations, and anyone else interested in using social media as a positive and productive tool.  A goal of the class is to focus on effectively using social media to connect with the local community, reach prospects, build relationships,  provide customer service, and help drive sales.

Each week we’ll progress to a new level, at all times combining teaching with practical hands on assistance to help get you up and running.

We’ll start with the very basics to help you understand what social media is beyond the typical talk about Facebook and Twitter. We’ll look at key social networks, help with account setup and branding, how to use each network. We’ll cover best practices, promoting your new accounts, finding the right people to connect with and what to say. We’ll also look at developing a basic strategy that helps you integrate social media with existing marketing and customer service efforts, and look at creating an effective content plan. We’ll also cover location based service such as Foursquare, listening to conversations and monitoring specific keywords, using video and photo services, blogs, and tools and techniques to help with managing your account in an effective and time efficient manner. We’ll set goals, review progress, and compare results.

We’ll look at why social media is not a “magic solution” or stand-alone solution, but needs to integrate with existing marketing, customer service and outreach efforts. One of the goals of this class is to help you understand and achieve that integration. Another goal is to empower you to feel confident running these efforts on your own, not contracting out and paying someone to run accounts for you.

Each class will include two hours of teaching time plus one hour of Q&A and practical support. We have sought to make the class as affordable and accessible as possible and will be offering a total of 12 hours of class time for a flat rate of $250 per attendee.

Our first class will take place in four parts:

Part One – Friday, June 17, 9:00am to Noon

Part Two – Thursday, June 23, 9:00am to Noon

Part Three – Thursday, June 30, 9:00am to Noon

Part Four – Friday, July 8, 9:00am to Noon

Classes will take place in the Media Room at The Oread Hotel in Lawrence.

For additional information and to sign up visit our event registration page, or contact us with any questions.

Disaster Recovery Can Help You Sail Safely in the Cloud

Guest post by Maureen Griffith, Communications Specialist for Codero, a leading provider of optimized hosting infrastructure who creates scalable solutions using dedicated, managed and cloud hosting services.

As a hosting provider, Codero took great interest in the recent Amazon cloud outage in April which affected a great many of its customers. The online retailer Amazon is also the world’s largest cloud-computing provider. The four-day disruption occurred when a configuration change to upgrade the capacity of the primary network was executed incorrectly. Backup procedures failed to work due to the sheer volume of data that was incorrectly diverted.

Consequently, even weeks later, there is still a lot of buzz out there questioning the reliability of cloud.

Cloud is a very desirable service because it is highly scalable based on your needs – you only pay for the resources you use. Despite the outcry about cloud outages, cloud is not going away. Demand is growing for cloud thanks in part to its cost-effectiveness and green benefits.

The Amazon crisis impacted a wide variety of social media sites which rely on cloud hosted infrastructure like Reddit and Foursquare. Cloud services are known for their reliability and scalability so it’s only natural that many—especially social media sites—have placed a great deal of trust in them. But IT managers should not be complacent. They should consider upfront how they will respond to their users if their cloud services are interrupted because they can be interrupted. Those businesses using cloud services should take the lead in planning for service failures themselves.  Technology departments who deliver applications to customers need to be aware of the management tools that can give them a greater level of control and protection over their cloud environments.

You may not have the in-house capabilities to react quickly to cloud problems so relying on a hosting provider to create a disaster recovery and business continuity plan is a proactive move.  Codero helps customers plan and put safeguards in place with services architected to respond to failure in the cloud.

A Disaster Recovery (DR) plan is a recommended best practice to be used with cloud as a backup solution to prevent data loss. With DR, you can retrieve lost data and ensure business continuity if you suffer an interruption in cloud service. Think of DR as the life preserver on the sailboat. You don’t want to sail without some backup protection. You don’t want to fail to design for your cloud computing model. Balance the cost and complexity with the risk. Every component has its own architecture and there are tradeoffs between levels of resiliency and cost.

The first step to an effective cloud solution is to ask your hosting provider questions that give you the information you need to build in resilience. Design for failure. Inquire about recovery and redundancy before you make your ultimate cloud decision.

Klout sponsoring two student registrations to Sarah Evans boot camp

On Tuesday, May 17, nationally renowned public relations and new media expert Sarah Evans will be in Atlanta GA for the Social: IRL Social Marketing & Public Relations Boot Camp.

During the event Sarah will spend some six hours taking an in-depth look at the role of social media in marketing and public relations.  This will be a hands-on learning experience focussing on practical tools and techniques attendees can take and implement in very real ways.

The event also represents a tremendous opportunity for any student interested in a career in marketing or public relations. Sarah has devoted a considerable amount of time to helping students and new professionals, including the launch of the Sevans Network to provide practical support and assistance.

Recognizing the value of this opportunity, we are pleased to announce that Social: IRL sponsor Klout are providing the opportunity for two full time students to attend the event at no charge as part of the ongoing Social: IRL and Klout “future influencer” program.

To apply for one of the two complimentary registrations, students should describe in 500 words or less how they are currently using social media and how they feel they can best use social media to impact their future career opportunities.

Use our online contact form to submit entries.  Make sure to include full name, email, contact phone number, and Twitter user name (if applicable).

Entries must be received by end of day Thursday, May 12. Individuals receiving the complimentary registrations will be contacted Friday May 13, and will need to be available to attend the Social: IRL event on Tuesday, May 17. Winners will each receive a complimentary event registration. They will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and expenses. Registrations are non transferable. No cash substitutions.

Thanks to Klout for providing this opportunity to two special “future influencers”.

Social Business Summit – Eleven States, Dozens of Brands

Here’s a final look at businesses and organizations participating in the Social Business Summit, taking place in Kansas City on April 26.

We’ve ended up with eleven states being represented: Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, California, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Tennessee, Washington.

Business and organizations participating in the event include:

Sprint, Hallmark, H&R Block, AMC Theatres, Applebee’s, Garmin International, Infoition, PR Newswire, Kantar Health, Kansas City Aviation Department, Perceptive Software, Black & Veatch, Kauffman Foundation UEP, Kansas State Athletics, Myriad Systems, Emfluence, Spiral16, Boomer Consulting, John Deere, Spigit, TCGen Silicon Valley, Horizon Academy, Carmedia Design, Sharp Connections, Rhycom Communications, University of Kansas Cancer Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Triple-I Corporation, Cerner, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, KU School of Nursing, Saint Luke’s Health System, KU Alumi Association, Spencer Fane Britt & Browne Attorneys, Miller Meiers Design for Communication, Muller Bressler and Brown, mPact, Expion, Shoutlet, Best Service Stores, UMB Financial Corp, Community National Bank and Trust, University of Saint Mary, Grantham University, Shay Chic Events and Design, e-media bloc, American Academy of Family Physicians, Broken Open Media, Market Taste, YMCA of Greater Kansas City, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Children International, Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, Willoughby Design, Parris Communications, BCS Communications, AdFarm, V3 Integrated Marketing, Family Promise of Lawrence, Beal and Reinhardt Attorneys,  Global Prairie Marketing, Bass Pro, Boulevard Brewing Co, Luna Web, The Brain Zooming Group, Kansas Small Business Development Center at JCCC, Suburban Newspapers of America, Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, American Advertising Federation of Kansas City, PRSA of Greater Kansas City, and the Social Media Club of Kansas City.

Social Business Summit – Introducing our Panelists

The agenda for this week’s Social Business Summit includes two panel discussions, featuring representatives from seven leading national brands. These digital practitioners help shape and execute social media strategies on a daily basis and their insights will be a valuable addition to the in-depth study sessions lead by Jeremiah Owyang.

The panel discussions will feature:


Justin Gardner

Social Media Manager, AMC Theatres

Currently, Justin Gardner is planning and executing social strategies to offer guests more ways to engage in conversations about AMC Theatres, movies and the moviegoing experience. He also manages a LA-based blogging team who cover red carpet events, junkets and create original content for AMC’s movie news blog.

In addition to his job, he maintains a popular multi-partisan, political blog called, which boasts a roster of over 20 authors and has received over 4.4M+ page views since July 2005. The site has also been highlighted by the New York Times, CNN, Real Clear Politics, Huffington Post, MSNBC, Yahoo Sites of the Day, Guardian UK, FiveThirtyEight, Rasmussen Reports, Media Bistro and many more.

From 2004 to 2006, he worked as a Communications Manager for Kozoru, a startup that built a search technology that delivered answers to questions inside a wide array of IM clients. During that time, the company was profiled by Fast Company, Wired, San Jose Mercury News, CNET and BBC.

Before that, he was a Copywriter for Muller + Company, where my work was recognized by Creativity, AdWeek, Graphis, AIGA and garnered numerous industry awards, including several Best of Show Addys.


Jason Gertzen

Manager, Social Media, Sprin

Jason Gertzen is a member of the Sprint Corporate Communications team that uses social media to tell the company’s story and engage with customers.

In addition to contributing to the management of Sprint’s presence on Facebook, user forums, blogs and other social networking sites, Jason also helped create a program supporting other employees who serve as Sprint advocates. The growing Sprint Social Media Ninjas initiative has educated 1,000+ employees about social media best practices and equips them with information and encouragement allowing them to engage with customers through social media.

Prior to his current role, Gertzen co-founded and managed an award-winning blog and worked as a newspaper journalist.


Scott Gulbransen

Director of Social Media and Digital Content, Applebee’s

Scott Gulbransen, when not listening to Van Halen or AC/DC loudly on his iPhone, is the Director of Social Media & Digital Content at Applebee’s in Lenexa, Kansas. In his role, he doesn’t get to live out his inner Eddie Van Halen much but he does lead the social media marketing and digital content efforts for the world’s largest casual dining chain.

Prior to his gig at Applebee’s, Gulbransen was a member of the TurboTax PR and social media team. Scott helped launch and sustain the brand’s social media platform including interacting with customers and journalists on a daily basis. Recently, he launched one of the most significant social media campaigns in the brand’s history with the @TeamTurboTax Twitter project.  He also was instrumental in developing and executing the successful “Freeloader Nation” campaign for TurboTax in 2009. The campaign, which was aimed at attracting new and younger customers to TurboTax’s free product via social media, included a series of MySpace Secret Shows with acts like Lily Allen, Fall Out Boy and Metro Station.

Gulbransen was instrumental in reinvigorating the Quicken brand almost entirely through the use of social media and, particularly, Twitter.  By engaging with customers and influencers who talk about personal finance on Twitter, he and his team have helped Quicken Online grow from just 200,000 users in October 2008 to over 1.4 Million in just 10 months.  This led to a more focused look at the personal finance space and, ultimately, the acquisition of

Scott is a former print journalist, who, after realizing his paychecks from the newspaper industry weren’t going to get much bigger, turned to the Dark Side – public relations. After working in both college athletics and inside mid-size agencies, he joined Intuit in 2000, then Sony Online Entertainment in 2010 and now Applebee’s. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV – Go Runnin’ Rebels!) and is the married father of four kids – all of whom have no choice but to listen to his horrid version of “Eruption” on his 5150 replica.

To hassle Scott, or to send him thoughts on how much you agree with his point of view, you can follow him on Twitter at @sdgully. Scott also is a contributor for Technorati, writes for the Dad’s blog and also reviews gluten free food and restaurants on


Jake Jacobson

Social Media Manager, Garmin International

The @Garmin Twitter account was born in the back seat of a van in rural France, where Jake Jacobson was following the best cyclists in the world. Since that first stage of the 2008 Tour, Jake has used Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and the Garmin blog to blend personality with product information while engaging and educating customers in Garmin’s many global markets – automotive, aviation, fitness, outdoor, marine and mobile. Jake’s current role as Social Media Manager for the world leader in satellite navigation embodies his enthusiasm for an active, social lifestyle and experience in professional communication, public speaking and journalism


Julie Weeks

Marketing Communications Manager, Boulevard Brewing Co

Julie Weeks has spent almost six years of her professional career at Boulevard Brewing Co. During her time at the brewery, Weeks has played key roles in catapulting social media and public relations efforts, developing the hospitality department and representing the brewery as a spokesperson locally and within the craft brewing community. Weeks began her career as a reporter and anchor at KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa, and has spent time honing her public relations skills at Sturges Word and Barkley, both in Kansas City. She’s always had a place in her heart for craft beers and a passion for story telling which makes her position at Boulevard her perfect livelihood.


Zena Weist
Director of Social Media, H&R Block

Zena Weist is the Director of Social Media with H&R Block. She leads an award winning social media team who has received national acclaim for integrated online marketing communication programs and the H&R Block online community including the National Social Advertising, Media and Marketing (SAMMY) Award for Best Social CRM from digiDaily, the National PRNews Platinum for Social Media Award. Recently, the H&R Block Corporate Twitter Account was selected as one of only ten brands on Time Magazine’s Top 140 Twitter Feeds.

Zena is a digital practitioner and integrated media strategist with over 17 years of online marketing experience including executive leadership in digital start-ups, account management with interactive agencies and client-side roles with Hallmark, Sprint and Embarq in online brand engagement, integrated marketing communications and project management.


One additional introduction. When Jeremiah arrives in Kansas City he will be accompanied by Christine Tran. Christine works closely with Jeremiah at Altimeter Group, conducting research and analysis on customer strategies. She will share some of that research with attendees at the Social Business Summit, another valuable benefit for those attending:


Christine Tran

 Researcher, Altimeter Group 

Christine Tran works closely with Jeremiah Owyang in the Customer Strategy practice at Altimeter Group. She conducts research and analysis on customer strategies, focusing on emerging technologies which currently include social marketing, social CRM, mobile, and location-based services.

Christine recently returned to the Bay Area from Vietnam, where she spent a year and a half as a Project Manager serving U.S. e-commerce companies. While in Vietnam, she also completed her MBA through the University of Hawaii’s offsite program based in Ho Chi Minh City. Christine wrote her thesis on online customer engagement in Vietnam, researching US models and interviewing Vietnam’s early adopters, entrepreneurs, VCs, and brand managers. Previously, she was the Program Director for Vietnam and Myanmar at San Francisco-based nonprofit Volunteers in Asia. Christine blogs at

Social Business Summit – Jeremiah Owyang creating a customized high end experience for attendees

Attendees traveling from across the US to join Jeremiah Owyang at the Social Business Summit in Kansas City next week will experience what Jeremiah describes as a “customized high end experience.”
Going well beyond the typical conference keynote, attendees will spend a full day learning from Jeremiah in a series of hands on interactive workshop style sessions that take a business goals first approach to social media strategy and execution.
Sessions will start with an overview of some more basic concepts and best practices, and progress to more complex questions such as “How do I ramp and scale?” and “How do I integrate this into every customer touchpoint, and the entire customer lifecycle, and in every department?”
Attendees will experience a unique learning opportunity from someone described as “a strategist on the front lines of the revolution.”
To maximize that learning experience even further, Jeremiah will be giving attendees the opportunity to actually help shape the day’s agenda and create what he describes as a “customized high end experience.”
Attendees will be receiving a short survey designed to provide Jeremiah with specific information about their experience and scope of current social media efforts, as well as giving them a chance to share information such as top internal and external goals.
Jeremiah will use this information to create a learning experience that will be truly unique, maximizing learning through customization.
Of course, another important part of the event is networking with other attendees.
We now have attendees from ten states including Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, California, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York and Washington.
Business and organizations participating in the event include:
  • Sprint
  • Hallmark
  • H&R Block
  • AMC Theatres
  • Applebee’s
  • Garmin International
  • Infoition
  • PR Newswire
  • Kantar Health
  • Kansas City Aviation Department
  • Perceptive Software
  • Black & Veatch
  • Kauffman Foundation UEP
  • Kansas State Athletics
  • Myriad Systems
  • Emfluence
  • Spiral16
  • Boomer Consulting
  • John Deere
  • Spigit
  • TCGen Silicon Valley
  • Horizon Academy
  • Carmedia Design
  • Sharp Connections
  • Rhycom Communications
  • University of Kansas Cancer Center
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • Triple-I Corporation
  • Cerner
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition
  • KU School of Nursing
  • Saint Luke’s Health System
  • KU Alumi Association
  • Spencer Fane Britt & Browne Attorneys
  • Miller Meiers Design for Communication
  • Muller Bressler and Brown
  • mPact
  • Expion
  • Shoutlet
  • Best Service Stores
  • UMB Financial Corp
  • Community National Bank and Trust
  • University of Saint Mary
  • Grantham University
  • Shay Chic Events and Design
  • e-media bloc
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Broken Open Media
  • Market Taste
  • YMCA of Greater Kansas City
  • Nebraska Furniture Mart
  • Children International
  • Shawnee Chamber of Commerce
  • Willoughby Design
  • Parris Communications
  • BCS Communications
  • AdFarm
  • V3 Integrated Marketing
  • Family Promise of Lawrence
  • Beal and Reinhardt Attorneys
  • Global Prairie Marketing
  • Boulevard Brewing Co
  • Luna Web
  • The Brain Zooming Group
  • Kansas Small Business Development Center at JCCC
  • Suburban Newspapers of America
  • Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
  • American Advertising Federation of Kansas City
  • PRSA of Greater Kansas City
  • Social Media Club of Kansas City

Make sure to register now to be part of this very special day of learning and networking. As with all Social: IRL events, registration discounts are available for non profit organizations and full time students.  Contact us for details.

Social Business Summit – Attendees coming together from nine states to go deep in to social strategy

On April 26, Social: IRL will host our first workshop event with Jeremiah Owyang. The Social Business Summit will go well beyond the typical conference keynote, with Jeremiah leading a full day of interactive sessions focused on social strategy and a business goals first approach to creating scalable social media programs. It’s a unique opportunity for any business serious about implementing social media to participate in a highly engaged learning experience with one of the most respected names in the industry.

A few updates I wanted to share, including a look some of the businesses and organizations participating in the event.

First, it was great to see Jeremiah recognized this last week by To quote, “If technology really is changing everything about the way we communicate, consider industry analyst Jeremiah Owyang a strategist on the front lines of the revolution. His insights into the digital society give context to the larger news of the day.”

As far as attendees go, it’s been exciting to see the caliber and diversity of businesses and organizations coming together for the event.  We will have a strong focus on networking and on attendees learning from each other as well as from Jeremiah, and on creating new professional relationships that continue well after the event has finished.

Brands participating include Sprint, Hallmark, H&R Block, AMC Theatres, Applebee’s, Garmin International, Infoition, PR Newswire, Kantar Health, Kansas City Aviation Department, Perceptive Software, Black & Veatch, Kauffman Foundation UEP, Kansas State Athletics, Myriad Systems, Emfluence, Spiral16, Boomer Consulting, John Deere, Spigit, TCGen Silicon Valley, Horizon Academy, Carmedia Design, Sharp Connections, Rhycom Communications, University of Kansas Cancer Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Triple-I Corporation, Cerner, KU School of Nursing, Saint Luke’s Health System, KU Alumi Association, Spencer Fane Britt & Browne Attorneys, Best Service Stores, UMB Financial Corp, Community National Bank and Trust, University of Saint Mary, Grantham University, Shay Chic Events and Design, American Academy of Family Physicians, Broken Open Media, Children International, Willoughby Design, and Parris Communications.

It’s also great to see leading regional and national organizations participating, including the Kansas Small Business Development Center at JCCC, Suburban Newspapers of America, Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, American Advertising Federation of Kansas City, PRSA of Greater Kansas City, and the Social Media Club of Kansas City.

We’ll also be joined by innovators in the social business space including social media influence and marketing solution mPACT, and social media management systems Expion and Shoutlet.

Nonstop flights to Kansas City from 49 cities across the USWe have attendees heading to the Social Business Summit from Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, California, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Washington. Kansas City proved to be the ideal central location, with Kansas City International Airport offering nonstop flights from 49 cities across the United States.

Update: Now also New York, so ten states represented.

One other quick update. Thanks to Garmin International, one lucky attendee will win this Garmin nuvi 2350LMT complete with free lifetime maps and traffic updates.  We’ll draw the winner at random during the event.

And finally for now, I enjoyed reading this blog post by Jeff Bunch, a long-time journalist and social media practitioner, who will be traveling from Vancouver WA to join us at the Social Business Summit. I appreciate Jeff mentioning Social: IRL and the Social Business Summit in the post and Jeff’s refreshingly forward thinking attitude towards the future of journalism.

Make sure to register now to be part of this very special day of learning and networking. As with all Social: IRL events, registration discounts are available for non profit organizations and full time students.  Contact us for details.

The concept and philosophy behind the Social: IRL conference series

I wanted to take a moment to share a little of the concept and philosophy behind the Social: IRL conference series.

From the day Social: IRL was launched, we adopted a philosophy of working with our clients, not simply for our clients. We believe in creating collaborative partnerships. Working with our clients to help them develop a true understanding of the social web and its impact on both their own operations and on their customers and community. To understand its impact on corporate culture and customer engagement. To identify opportunity and assess and protect against potential risks.  And to empower our clients with quality training, relevant knowledge, a business goals first approach to developing strategy, and tools and techniques needed for successful execution.

This is the exact same philosophy we extend to the Social: IRL conference series and I would hope anyone who has attended a Social: IRL event has experienced something pretty different from a “typical” conference.

Something we don’t believe in is the standard conference keynote. We don’t want attendees to simply come and listen, then leave inspired but not empowered.

We work with respected industry experts such as Jeremiah Owyang, Brian Solis, Sarah Evans and Jason Falls.  Those experts, our speakers for want of a better word, work with us to create events that go well beyond the typical keynote presentation and in to a very hands on learning experience. More of a boot camp format. An opportunity for each speaker to really impart knowledge in a much more in-depth fashion.

Each event has a limited number of attendees to allow our speakers to really work with their audience, not just talk to them, and to allow for quality interaction and a high level of accessibility.  And importantly to allow for a real day of progressive learning where attendees don’t just leave inspired but leave truly empowered with knowledge, understanding, tools and techniques.

Community and networking is also an important focus for our events. We strive to connect attendees online prior to each event, provide quality networking during the event, and encourage continued dialogue and ongoing relationships after the event. Our goal is for the conference to be the start of an ongoing conversation between attendees and for our attendees to continue networking and learning well after the event has ended. It has been incredibly rewarding to see ongoing Twitter conversations between attendees, and to see some very real relationships that have been formed from connections made at our events.

Finally, we also strive to make each event as affordable and accessible as possible. Obviously each event has a cost. That cost can be substantial. We are a business and need to cover costs and time and make a profit. But with each event that profit is very modest, especially considering the time commitment involved. We set registration fees to be just as affordable as we can make them. Those fees vary based on the expenses incurred in hosting each event. Typically the fees are substantially less than comparable events with the caliber of speaker we work with and hands on learning experience we strive to provide. We believe we are able to provide a great return on investment and really appreciate the number of attendees we see who attend multiple events to learn from different speakers.

Non-profit organizations and full time students always have discounted registration opportunities for our events, and whenever possible we award no-charge registrations to at least a couple of students.

That’s the basic concept. Taking top level industry experts, taking them beyond the typical keynote to create an in-depth learning experience, creating a community between attendees, and making each event as accessible and affordable as possible.

I’d welcome feedback from anyone who has attended a Social: IRL event or questions from those interested in future events.

And of course, thank you to the experts we work with who have embraced the more engaged format of event we create, and to all of you who have supported these events to date.