The first ever Social Media Week took place in February 2009 in New York City. Over 2,500 people attended the 40-odd events and thousands more participated online.
This year, Social Media Week is spreading the net even wider. Hosted in New York, San Francisco, Rome, Paris, Toronto, Sao Paulo, London, Hong Kong and Istanbul, up to 20 live events are taking place each day in each city for the duration of the week - and that's not including the countless Tweet-Ups, the hashtag banter or the unofficial Facebook events.
Many events are already over-subscribed, but here's our pick of the week's social media shindigs.
Social Media Orientation - Trend spotting for 2011
At 11:30 today, this event (sponsored by Channel 4) picks out the trends and memes that will inform social media in 2011. The speaker is none other than Tiffany St James, digital strategist and former head of public participation for the UK government. She's the best the tax-payer's pound can buy - see her in action.
Apps Go Social
Apps exploded on to the digital scene with the advent of smartphones. Today, ne'er a tube journey nor train commute goes by without someone playing Angry Birds next to you or checking their spread betting app. At 12:00 - 2pm, find out the trends in mobile apps and the technology that's precluding the next wave of super-applications with head honchos from PepsiCo, Global Web Index and Nokia.
Protecting Reputation in a Digital World
It's an early start tomorrow with an 8:30 seminar on protecting your brand and reputation online. How best to deal with complaints on a forum or criticism on Twitter, you ask? Legal beagles Tim Luckett and Candace Kuss have the answers.
The Ogilvy Ideas Shop
Head to the Ogilvy Ideas Shop in London's West End for a free social media workshop tailored to your business (by appointment only). These social media wizards are giving up their time for free to help you come up with clever and innovative ideas to boost your brand (and provide ideas fodder for the agency). It's win/win. And open all week.
Here are the details: http://www.ideashop.ogilvy.co.uk/
Facebook and Twitter for Business
At 11am, TalkTalk and TagTribe are giving small businesses a social media masterclass. Ranging from creating a Twitter account to designing a Facebook fanpage that really delivers, this should be a great overview of the tools of the social media trade. The speakers are truly on top of their game: Julie Hall, the founder of Women Unlimited; Mark Shaw, award winning speaker, writer and author of the Mark Shaw's Twitter blog; and Bernie Mitchell, founder of TAGtribe.
The "Friend" Close: Social Sales hosted by Chinwag
At 2:30pm, head over to the Design Council to find out how the sales process has been affected by social media. From peer-to-peer recommendations to group buying to online stores, this expert panel includes speakers from Groupon, Tribal DDB & YouTube.
Inspiring Entrepreneurs: The power of social media
The British Library's speaker line-up reads like a Who's Who of social media stars: Songkick's Ian Hogarth, Mumsnet's Carrie Longton, Fraser Doherty from Superjam and tech guru Rory Cellan-Jones. Find out how social media can help your business reach new markets, rejuvenate marketing, and enable deeper engagement with customers. Kick off at 6:15pm, £10 (£7.50 concessions).
Myth Busting: The Reality of Working in Social Media
Should you allow your staff to talk about your company on Facebook? How valuable is your social marketing team? Myth #1 - Social Media = Getting paid to do what others do in their spare time. Myth #2 - Only youthful hipsters work in social media. See these myths and more debunked by a host of industry experts. 2:30 - 4:30pm.
We Are Social's "Meet the Communities" with Mumsnet & The Student Room
This'll be a corker. Mumsnet's Justine Roberts and Jamie O'Connell of The Student Room discuss how brands can successfully (and sometimes not so successfully) engage with their large and influential communities. A must-see for anyone looking to create a buzz among their online communities.
Business Blogging & Blogger Engagement
Should you be blogging your business? What should you say? How do you get people to actually read the thing. This seminar has the answers. Head on over at 8:30am for this masterclass, tailored specifically to entrepreneurs, with Andy Bargery, managing director of Klaxon Marketing and founder of London Bloggers Meetup and Lucy Payne, social media consultant at word of mouth agency Pass It On Media.
Love Shack @ Zebrano
Described as "an unmissable experience for social butterflies and barflies alike", this is the final event in the Social Media Week calendar. Have a bevy with your new contacts and pals, and see out the week with a bang. It'll be a great opportunity to talk through the lessons learned and float new social media ideas with a like-minded crowd.
If you can't make any of these events, all is not loat. Get down to our very own event: the smarta way to do business LIVE on February 28 to hear our very own Shaa Wasmund share her social media knowhow.