Following last year’s successful run Toronto, Social Media Week will return again to the city from Nov. 12 to Nov. 16, along with cities around the world including London, Zurich, Manila, Holland and others.
We spoke with the organizers of SMW Toronto about the upcoming event, what sessions the team is most excited about, and what local trends they are seeing in their market.
What do you think will be the most important attendee takeaways from your city’s SMW conference?
Social Media Week Toronto will unpack 2018’s biggest stories in social media, and explore the emerging trends that businesses need to be aware of. #SMWTO will also delve into issues around social media and mental health, and how consumers and industry professionals alike can achieve a healthier relationship with social media.
What are the sessions that you are most excited about?
We can’t wait to meet Lola Tash and Nicole Argiris, who are the brains behind one of our team’s favourite Instagram accounts, @MyTherapistSays. Our team has been tagging each other in their popular memes for years! In addition, with over 3 million followers, the ‘Meme Queens’, have proven time and again that originality infused with timely and topical content is the way to go.
We’re also really excited about our panel DIY Stars: YouTube Creators “The Sorry Girls,” Amanda Rach Lee & The Icing Artist. These talented young women were able to create massive YouTube followings simply by following their craft: from art illustrations, decorating cakes, or taking old clothes or putting creative DIY touches to home decor and design.
What’s more, our team is thrilled to be welcoming VICE Media to the SMWTO stage. VICE is a media company unlike any other. As the fastest growing media company for youth in the world, the brand is a natural leader in the digital space. Nina Sudra, General Manager at VICE Canada will share how VICE Canada has excelled at staying relevant and active in culture.
We’re also excited to welcome Peter Hand, Head of Strategy at VIRTUE (VICE) as we explore the topic of reaching and connecting with generation Z in a modern media landscape. Learn more about Peter Hand’s session here:
How do your overall agenda tie into this year’s global theme?
In line with the global SMW theme, “Closer,” Toronto’s #SMWTO will explore our complicated relationship with social media – as consumers, media and marketers – as we take a look back at our city’s top social media stories of 2018 and gain a glimpse into what lies ahead in the year to come.
2018 was a turbulent year for social media. Major tech companies like Facebook have been in the spotlight for one controversy after another and data breaches have continued to shatter consumers trust in social media channels.
And who can ignore the multitude of emerging studies highlighting how social media is being linked to technology and mental health issues?
That being said, 2018 wasn’t all doom and gloom for social media. This was the year of the Twitter movement – the hashtag #MeToo continued to gain momentum, changing lives and organizations around the world.
This past year, consumers have looked to achieve a healthier, more balanced relationship with social media – opting to follow users that kept it “real” on social, participate in healthy debates, and practice turning off their phones in order to be present when connecting with people in real life.
Toronto’s Social Media Week has been built with these concerns and trends in mind. We’ve assembled the industry’s best and brightest influencers, creators, thought leaders and mental health professionals to address the pressing questions we have about the role social media is playing in our lives.
Which partners or brands are you most excited to be working with this year?
The power of social media made 2018 the year of immersive art here in Toronto. Social media helped to propel AGO’s Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit to unprecedented success (so much that they are now raising funds for a permanent exhibit).
The trend of Instagram-friendly installations continues with two of the most buzz-worthy spots in Toronto right now: The Happy Place and The Museum of Illusions. We’re excited to be partnering with them both.
The Happy Place is a massive pop-up experience filled with picture-perfect art and multi-sensory immersive rooms. Meanwhile, Toronto’s newest museum, The Museum of Illusions, is known for its visual, sensory and participatory experience that’s designed with Insta-worthy moments in mind.
Our VIP All Access Attendees will have exclusive tours of both spaces on the last day of SMWTO — we couldn’t think of a better way to end the week on such a high note!
What are some local trends you are seeing in your market?
2018 was the year of the social movement in social media. Hashtag movements, social campaigns, and mission-based marketing continued to gain momentum, especially when it comes to politics.
Toronto journalism has taken a more modern approach to news coverage of recent elections. On October 22, Chris Clover hosted CBC Toronto’s municipal election special from the Twitter Canada headquarters in Toronto. He anchored CBC Toronto’s first-ever vertical video broadcast, reaching an unprecedented audience on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and online.
What are some of the key questions that will be addressed during your edition of SMW?
Is social media bringing us closer together or is it driving us apart? And what does this mean for us as a business and marketers?
Where can potential attendees get news and updates about your conference?
• Website: socialmediaweek.com (https://www.socialmediaweektoronto.com/)
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smwiToronto/
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/SMWiToronto
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smwitoronto/
• Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/smwi-toronto
• Hashtag: #SMWTO
Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.