Social Media Club of Kansas City – A thriving community of more than 2,000 members in the heart of the midwest

Social: IRL is based in the heart of the midwest in Lawrence, Kansas. We are proud of the game-changing innovation and  thriving online communities in our local area. In today’s post we look at the Social Media Club of Kansas City, a dynamic and fast growing group of social media enthusiasts who share Social: IRL’s values of advocacy, education, outreach and of using social media to make a positive impact both online and offline.

From six people getting together in a coffee shop in 2008, to a thriving community of more than 2,000 members today, the Social Media Club of Kansas City  is making an impact.  SMCKC has grown to become one of the largest and most active chapters of the national Social Media Club. To quote Jessica Murray, Community Manager for the national SMC organization, “We’re inspired by the activity and hunger in the Kansas City community around social media and have so much gratitude towards the leadership team.”  But beyond that the group has become a significant resource for the entire Kansas City area.  Not only reaching out and connecting Kansas City’s thriving social media community, but becoming widely recognized as passionate educators and advocates for technology literacy.

Social: IRL chatted with SMCKC President, Joe Cox, to learn more about what’s brought the group to this point, how to connect and get involved with the group, and what we can expect to see new or different from SMCKC in 2012.


Could you share a little on the background of SMCKC – how the group started, the mission of the group, and how that mission has evolved as the group has grown?

 The group was started in June of 2008, by Ed Roberts and Zena Weist through an email to get people together to talk about what was going on with social media.  Beginning with a meeting of six people at a coffee shop, it was totally organic and was started out of curiosity and passion, traits that still give us strength as a group today with over 2,000 members throughout the city.
The mission of the group at first was to facilitate conversations and best practices to help wrap our heads around what was happening with communication through social networks.  We were all having these conversations online, but needed somewhere to go offline to get that personal human interaction that we needed.
Now four years later, we’re transitioning into a group that at it’s core is there to promote, educate & serve as an advocate for technology literacy for Kansas City and it’s communities.  We balance that with giving our community awesome events to attend with great speakers as well as a place where social media professionals can still get the content that they need to continue to learn of best practices and have conversations with peers.
SMCKC currently has over 2,000 members and is one of the largest and most active Social Media Chapters in the nation. To what do you attribute that success?
Growing up in the midwest, I think everyone remembers what it was like before social media.  It took a long time for trends & ideas to come from the coast all the way to the center.  It was months before we were wearing Hammer pants. Social media gave cities like Kansas City a voice and evened the playing field, allowing us to distribute our vision, ideas & messages outward. I think we really like having that voice and it shows through our membership’s interest.
Who typically attends SMCKC meetings?
Just like social media, our group is diverse when it comes to who attends our events.  We have professionals that work inside social media as well as people that just think Facebook is an awesome place to share their blog amongst family & friends.  Entrepreneurs to enterprise, and tech savvy to tech illiterate.  The trick is finding a way to serve everyone and create valuable content & events for all of the different folks out there that are involved.
The foundation of SMCKC is the monthly breakfast meeting. What other opportunities are there to get involved with the group?
As the group grows, there are tons of ways to get involved.  We’re shooting for at least 3 events a month in 2012, and that takes a lot of help coming up with ideas, organizing and helping us manage.  We’re always looking for help and you can get a hold of Aaron Deacon, our Events Chair, with any good ideas or if you’re interested in helping.
We also love content and depend a lot on our community to help us write our blogs, keep the #SMCKC hashtag & Facebook conversation active, and help promote our calendar of events.  We’re always looking for people to help fill content roles and you can reach out to our Community Chair, Katy Schamberger, if you’d like to contribute.

SMCKC breakfast with Ford's Scott Monty. Photo from

SMCKC has seen some great accomplishments over the last year. From your perspective, what do you consider to be the most successful SMCKC projects (or meetings) from 2011?

Bringing Scott Monty into KC to talk about Ford’s strategy in Social Media was huge, but I’d have to say the biggest local impact we made was our GigabitCity event at the Kansas City Library & our continued efforts with the GoogleFiber movement here in KC.  Bringing some of the smartest people in Kansas City together for an all day ideation session on what gigabit speeds will mean to Kansas City’s communities & citizens was a huge win for us and really helped legitimize what we’re trying to do for KC.  A huge thanks to Mike Brown & Brainzooming Group, who facilitated that event.  Couldn’t have done it without them.
As SMCKC continues to grow, how can you most effectively meet the needs of such a diverse membership? Have you considered more niche or targeted events for specific types of members?
Being a social media club, our community is very vocal online and through monitoring our #SMCKC hashtag & other watercoolers around the internet, we can pick up a good amount of what is working, what isn’t & what we should do more of.  As we grow, we absolutely see the need to target more content & events at different parts of our group and just like our focus on our professional membership activation in 2012, we’ll continue to grow to those needs of the community.
What else can we expect to see new or different from SMCKC in 2012? Are there specific goals set for the group you can share with us?
We know how important offline & online communication is, and balancing both.  We’ll be taking a new focus on bringing great influencers, speakers, authors and thought leaders to KC from outside of the city to speak to our group. At the same time we’ll continue to emphasize & build out our online messaging to help reach out, promote, advocate & have better conversations with our membership more effectively.
In 2012 our focus is on uniting and activating our advocates and continuing to provide the best and most valuable content & events to our members.
For someone who hasn’t yet attended an SMCKC meeting, where can they find details of upcoming events and what would you say to encourage them to attend?
We’re a really open & fun group and wherever you are with your knowledge on tech or social media trends, you’ll get something from our speakers, events or networking. Another cool thing about us is that your able to stalk our events and group online to see what we’re all about and make some connections online before you ever set foot into our events.  This way, you never have to worry about not knowing anyone when you walk through the door.
Another thing that I love about our group is it’s networking for people that hate traditional networking. People lead with conversations, not with their business cards.
A good place to join the group and the conversation is by heading to our website at  Once you’ve signed up and checked out our calendar of events, hop on twitter and follow our #SMCKC hashtag to see what’s going on with us in real time.  Somebody is always on and it’s a good place to get questions answered by our members.
A special invitation to SMCKC members:
Social: IRL are proud to be active members of the SMCKC group and have appreciated support from the groups leaders and membership.
On February 9, Social: IRL is hosting a special full-day workshop in Kansas City, “Rethinking Business in the Age of the Social Consumer.”   The event features “Conversation Agent” Valeria Maltoni and a diverse group of local, regional and national businesses, organizations and agencies, who will spend the day in an interactive discussion that goes well beyond the typical social marketing dialogue. We are grateful to SMCKC for supporting and participating in the event.
SMCKC members are invited to register for the event using discount code SMCKC and can secure a special registration rate for the day of just $95 ( standard registration rate of $145.)

Who owns you? Content and community in an interactive world

On February 9, Social: IRL will host a special interactive workshop in Kansas City, “Rethinking Business in the Age of the Social Consumer.”  We’ll be joined by a strong group of both local and national businesses and agencies, including AMC Theatres, Nebraska Furniture Mart, emfluence, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Intouch Solutions, Boulevard Brewing Company, UMB Financial, Sprint, Howerton White, Ameristar Casinos, Bass Pro, Edelman, and H&R Block.

The foundation of the event is a half-day session lead by “Conversation Agent” Valeria Maltoni, who brings a wealth of experience overseeing engagement and executing growth strategies at global Fortune 500 corporations, mid-sized businesses, and small start up companies in five industries.

Jeff Schultz

The event also feature sessions looking at the intersection of social technology and social strategy, including some of the latest developments in social CRM, monitoring, and influencer marketing.  Also a valuable session taking a pro-active look at how to protect your online content and community, with Jeff Schultz, a leading social media lawyer with Armstrong Teasdale joining us to discuss potential legal issues both brands and agencies are facing on an increasing basis.

With these type of legal issues becoming more prevalent, the need for a pro-active approach is critical so we’re especially grateful to Jeff Schultz for joining us in Kansas City, and are taking the opportunity to highlight the valuable content he will be sharing with attendees.

Join us in Kansas City on February 9 to hear from Jeff, Valeria Maltoni and our other speakers, and for a valuable day of learning and networking. For a limited time attendees can register using discount code IRLNEWS and receive a specially discounted registration rate of just $95.

Who Owns You? Content in an Interactive World

Businesses and individuals alike are utilizing social media to develop their “brand” and connect with others. Today, almost everyone has a book, blog, podcast or video format which spews content (and also generates content from third parties). And every day, it seems, new online tools, platforms and advances introduce new opportunities to build your virtual footprint. But while they say that possession is 9/10 of the law, that may not be correct in the social media world. The answer to who “owns” content and community is not clear cut and the law in this area is not well developed. Users often overlook the legal ramifications that could arise. Armstrong Teasdale social media attorneys will discuss the legal aspects of content and contacts, including non-compete and fiduciary duties. Tying the presentation to the most active social media platforms, they will show you how to make sure you know who owns your work and community, and how to avoid potential legal problems.

 Jeff Schultz, Partner and Chair of the Social Media Practice Group, Armstrong Teasdale

Jeff Schultz is a business and commercial litigator and chair of Armstrong Teasdale’s Social Media Practice Group. Much of his practice focuses on counseling individuals and organizations through complex disputes involving the misappropriation of trade secrets, computer tampering, non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, commercial contracts and social networking law. Mindful that one of the primary assets of any business is the proprietary information that makes it unique, Jeff helps clients develop and implement programs to safeguard against employee theft and defection and to minimize risks that arise when hiring employees from competitors. With the explosion of social media, social networking and online sharing, such as the use of blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and texting, Jeff advises companies regarding efforts to protect their brand online. Although social networking can be beneficial to maintain personal and business relationships when used properly, it can quickly become a legal minefield for those who are unprepared.

Take it Offline! Attend one of these Regional Social Media Events

In addition to Social: IRL’s own events, we’re always pleased to support other events we believe offer valuable learning and networking opportunities. Four events we’re recommending in Kansas and Missouri.


Social Media Club of Kansas City – Breakfast with Scott Monty

September 2, 2011

Kansas City, MO

Registration $15

Visit event website


140 Conference: Small Town

September 20, 2011

Hutchinson, KS

Registration $100

Visit event website

Social: IRL are pleased to sponsor this event.
Use discount code friendof140 and your registration will be reduced to just $40.


Social Media Masters (produced by the national Social Media Club)

October 21, 2011

Kansas City, MO.

Registration $299

Visit the event website

Use discount code SMCLAWRENCE to save 30% off registration.


PodCamp Topeka

October 22, 2011

Topeka, KS

Registration $10

Visit the event website

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.

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.

Jeremiah Owyang joining with Social: IRL to host unique workshop event for those serious about social media for business

When it comes web strategy, interactive marketing, and social technologies, Jeremiah Owyang is one of the most respected names in the industry. Partner of Customer Strategy at Altimeter Group, Jeremiah has keynoted at major industry conferences across the US, Europe and Asia.

On April 26 Jeremiah will join Social: IRL to host the Social Business Summit & Strategy Workshop. The event takes place at the Embassy Suites Hotel, minutes from the Kansas City International Airport making for easy local or national travel.

This event offers a truly unique opportunity for anyone serious about social business and social strategy to go well beyond the typical conference keynote and actually spend a full day learning from Jeremiah in an interactive hands on workshop style setting.

With a focus on business objectives first, Jeremiah will lead attendees through sessions that present a framework, include hands on workshops, group collaboration, and interactive Q&A. There will also be featured panel discussions with representatives from leading national corporations including Sprint, H&R Block, Applebees and AMC Theatres. The goal of this day-long workshop is for attendees to learn from both Jeremiah and from fellow attendees and bring an actionable plan to their day jobs.

The chance to spend a full day in such an interactive workshop environment with someone of Jeremiah’s caliber is a rare and valuable opportunity.  Registration for this day-long event is $395 per attendee. Breakfast and lunch are included. Attendees will also receive workshop materials and research reports related to social business.


Facts At A Glance:

Event: Social Business Summit and Strategy Workshop with Jeremiah Owyang

Date: April 26, 2011

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Venue: Embassy Suites at Kansas City International Airport

Registration: $395 per attendee


Jeremiah Owyang:

Jeremiah Owyang is an influential thought leader on web strategy, interactive marketing, and social technologies. He is experienced with emerging technologies that stem from the brand side, agency side, and industry analyst perspective. An accomplished speaker, Jeremiah has spoken all over the US as well as Asia and Europe and keynoted at prominent industry conferences including Internet Strategy Forum, Web 2.0 Expo, and SXSW.

Despite his industry credentials, he lives and breathes the social web and interacts with over 50,000 Twitter followers,  and has earned over 120,000 unique visitors to his blog “Web Strategy,” which focuses on how corporations connect with their customers using web technologies. According to Technorati, the Web Strategy blog is in the top 1000 of all global blogs, and it’s rated the #1 Analyst Blog according to Technobabble and analyst rating ranking, and ranked #27 according to AdAge’s “Power 150” top blogs.

In the realm of social technologies, Jeremiah is frequently sought after as he writes a regular column for the ForbesCMO Network, and has appeared on Bloomberg TV and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USAToday, the Associated Press, and other technology and business related publications. He was featured in the 2009 “Who’s Who” in the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Jeremiah is currently Partner of Customer Strategy at Altimeter Group, a consulting firm that provides thought leadership, research, and consulting on digital strategies. He works closely with clients to craft and deliver successful, long-term strategies which integrate customer/community needs, business objectives, and technology.

Previously, Jeremiah was a Senior Analyst at Forrester Research focused on social computing for the interactive marketer. Prior to that, he was the Director of Corporate Media Strategy at PodTech Network, a podcasting and online video startup. From 2005-2007 Jeremiah held the title of Manager of Global Web Marketing at Hitachi Data Systems and launched their community and blog program. He also served as the Intranet Architect at World Savings (now Wells Fargo) and was a user experience professional at Exodus Communications.