A Day at Social Media Week LA

It’s always fun to disrupt business as usual and get away from the office for the day. I was able to attend Social Media Week LA (yay professional development!) today and check out the talks they lined up on various business/marketing topics. Having never attended a Social Media Week event before, I thought its organization was pretty unique. Sometimes I help out at events for work, so I kind of geek out over event management, planning, guest flow and details.

All of the free sessions take place in one room, and all of the VIP master classes take place in another. For the entire day! And there isn’t much time in between sessions, so it’s just a constant stream of scheduled people. I guess that easy access works for the Millennial crowd; they’re able to sit in and listen to who they want whenever they want—all while having their face pressed to a glowing screen. Note: I am considered a Millennial. But I like moving around a little and appreciate scheduled lunch breaks. Speaking of, the Santa Monica Library Café serves some tasty lunches! Thanks for the yummy veggie wrap, guys!

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The first chat I attended featured Vanity Fair editor Krista Smith and CEO of Rachel Zoe Inc. Rodger Berman, who had some interesting insights on building a fashion brand. They discussed the necessary task of separating a person from her brand to outlast the relevance of the individual. In Rodger’s words, “A person can make a living, but a brand can make a fortune.” He noted Victoria Beckham as an example of executing this perfectly, as she now has a legitimate fashion line, but had to disassociate herself from it for it grow on its own. He also said a fashion brand’s goal is to be accessible (but not so much that people don’t want to buy it) and aspirational at the same time. One way they are doing that is by bringing some gamification to the fashion world with their Covet Fashion app. I haven’t used it, but I thought that imbedding the purchasing feature was genius. I wonder if it will catch on with other designers?

Side note: Rodger mentioned his company is looking for a social media manager, so any online marketing gurus out there may want to look into that awesome gig!

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