Recently we attended a little soirée ran by the wonderful people behind Melbourne’s Social Media Club.
The event was held at the stunning Emerald Peacock, located at 223 Lonsdale street, complete with cocktail bar, lounge and rooftop (do yourself a favour and check it out).
With most of those in attendance arriving straight from the office, the bar was the first order of business.
Looking around the room the crowd was an eclectic mix – from students, small business and big business owners, marketing and advertising moguls, as well as a handful of people drawn there by sheer curiosity and the promise of drinks (two reasons as good as any).
The air alive with the sound of chitchat as attendees from all levels mixed/networked/drank their way around the room, we collectively awaited the arrival of the guest speakers representing Facebook, Instagram, and Medibank respectfully.
Props to MC Yvonne Adele, founder of the Speaking School, who did an amazing job at keeping the now a-few-drinks-deep crowd in check and making sure the night went off without a hitch.
First up was Oli Moore, from Facebook and Instagram, who spoke passionately about Facebook’s mission to connect the world by delivering internet worldwide. Points on the benefits of Facebook advertising — including why it is successful, mandatory figures and stats, why they bought Instagram, and what’s next for two of the world’s most visited platforms — were all touched on.
Next up was Laura Stephenson from Medibank, who talked about Medibank’s most recent social media marketing campaign, what worked and what didn’t, and the stigma that still surrounds social media within marketing.
The room silent apart from the sound of pen on paper as the audience (ourselves included…) soaked up every last word.
Followed by the guest speakers was a half-hour break. Time to rush off to the toilet, scoff down some finger food, and battle your way through the crowd for the opportunity to introduce yourself to Oli and Laura, (and to the bar for another drink, obviously).
Half an hour (and two or three drinks) later, the audience was given the opportunity to ask the speakers their must-know-gotta-know-now questions…and ask we did.
One gung-ho audience member even questioned ol’ mate Mark Zuckerberg’s motives for wanting to take the internet, and by extension Facebook, worldwide; and probing whether or not Facebook would be willing to team up with a competitor in order to make that dream a reality. Oli, the good sport that he was, taking the question in his stride and even proposing they continue the conversation over a beer after the event.
So why do we and so many others value events like those run by Melbourne’s Social Media Club so highly?
Some of my most valuable relationships both personal and professional were made over coffee or beer. Even now in a society primarily driven by technology, the art of conversation remains one of our most powerful tools – so don’t be a tool and use it.
Representatives from companies at the forefront of their industries talking live to you and sometimes, like Melbourne’s Social Media Club, in an intimate setting and for free; not to mention invaluable Q&As.
Beer; that’s it, no explanation needed.
Tip-bloody-top! We couldn’t praise the organisers more. The events run monthly, so sign yourself up and we’ll see you at the next one.
Photos/video/audio/blogs on the event and questions that didn’t make it to the Q&A can be found on Twitter under the hashtag #SMCMELB. Also, Medibank representative Laura Stephenson has generously allowed SMC to upload her entire presentation to their website.