Ricky Shetty is here to welcome us all to Social Media Mastery, if everyone will just stop socializing and sit down and start listening, but that’s not the crowd, really. There is some intensive schmoozing going on, it might take nukes to break it up.
The speakers are making a grand entrance holding flags with social media icons, with the music dialed up to 11. People are on their feet clapping in a way you rarely see in Canada! Now it’s time for photos, after their arrival on the red carpet and in some very snazzy cars, courtesy of the sponsors.
Now he’s split us up to East Side, West Side, cheering competitively. East Side is killing it. The Marketplace ie trade show, is mildly enthused. Registration is too exhausted to cheer. There are row leaders for each row, so if you have any questions, you can talk to them or to registration. Do not talk to me! he says, because he’s going to be crazy busy. He’s introducing the social media, production, marketing, sponsors, volunteer teams.
There are people here who don’t know what a hashtag is, so Ricky sends them to the one on one coaches at the back. Hashtag for today is #SMMastery.
— Patrick Tham (@Memorable365) June 4, 2016
Most people here are first-timers. Now Ricky is running us through the history. In high school, he was voted most shy. After then, he went to 50 countries, backpacked around Europe, became more outgoing, and started figuring out what he wanted to do the rest of his life. And he’s still trying to figure it out. He overcame a lot of shyness, converted from Hinduism to Christianity, and overcame growing up as a child of divorce. “I grew up broken. I blamed myself. Why did my parents divorce. Who should I pick? I was torn!”
In his 20’s he decided to do one thing that would heal him: forgive. The solution is forgiveness. Forgive your parents, forgive your business partner, forgive whoever. “Where’s Alan? I get angry at him all the time! But the key is forgiveness.” Forgiveness allowed him to move from being an introverted kid to an extrovert and social media rock star.
But really it’s not about 100,000. It’s about one person at a time. Every number has a name, an identity, and they are loved. Loved by the creator, loved by me, loved by their family, by you. Why are we talking about this in a social media conference? Because we wear masks. “Everything is great. I love my parents. I’m looking for a husband. My life is wonderful.” We walk around social media with our masks and we pretend that everything is okay. “I’m going to take off my mask. Who wants to take off their mask?” This gets a round of applause.
What’s more important, holding up that mask, or putting it down and being real? Now Ricky is listing off people he had a fight with recently. Being real because it happens to every one of us. But today, from now on, we can be real. “David, are you ready to come out from behind a mask? Are you, Francis Hui? I want everyone to be real, the speakers, everyone. When you are authentic, you are free to be you.”
That’s the foundation: let’s be real, let’s connect, physically, digitally, let’s become Twitter followers, Facebook friends, let’s connect but when we connect, let’s be real.
We did three conferences last year. We had 220 in our first. Our second we had 120. The third we had 150. Today we have 310 people! This gets a round of applause. Most people, the overwhelming majority, have never been to the venue before. We are guests, so make sure you treat the place with honour and respect like it was your own home. Can we be different? We have china cups for the speakers, as we believe in reducing waste. We have healthy water and juice for everyone, give the sponsors a round of applause. We also have food trucks coming! Connect with the food vendors as well as each other.
Today the conference runs 9-9. The educational part runs 9-5, and then we have an afterparty. We have a great DJ for the afterparty from 6-9. It’ll be a social media social with a dance floor, and we have social media themed cocktails and juice drinks. We also have a mystery guest speaker. It’s top secret. Spoken word poetry, improv, and more!
Everyone holds up the big form: fold it in half. These are created for you to take notes on. Now coming up is Shane Gibson!
The Five Steps to Social Media Success: