As promised from my last post highlighting my top experiences from social media week Lagos 2014, here’s a deep dive when it comes to comparing the 2013 and 2014 edition of the week long conference. Interestingly enough, I was also asked a question in line with this post by the HumanIPO’s reporter and some other attendees who missed out on the maiden edition.
Here’s what was different about this year’s edition of Social Media Week:
2014 was Packed.
Packed in every sense of the word – from events to attendees. Contrary to what one would expect, 2013 did also have a good number of people turn out as well as featured events but 2014 was on another level. With more an 150 events on schedule and other pop-up events during the week at 5 major venues, it was very evident that there was something for every one. I tried to attend as many events as possible at all the venues including the Four Point Hotel by Sheraton, Volkswagen Center, Terra Kulture, and Hot Place. Other venues that hosted amazing events included the Our Place by Avenues2Wealth where I co-facilitated a Social Media for Small Businesses session, Co-Creation Hub, and The Future Project. No doubt it’d be bigger next year and foresee us taking over Oriental and/or Eko Hotels.
Introducing more Masterclass sessions
The 2014 edition of Social Media Week Lagos saw the introduction of lots of valuable masterclass sessions for attendees. I found myself signing up for a couple and did learn new things. Thanks to guys at WordCamp Nigeria, I picked up knowledge on WordPress security, and content optimization. There were other sessions on building mobile apps, blogging, and mutual investment. So aside the discussions and keynotes, attendees had the opportunity to learn in a classroom setting – now that’s priceless.
2014 definitely saw more inclusion as compared to 2013 with representation from government, faith, fashion, music, startup, technology, travel, business, food, photography, education, creative, and banking. Not sure if I even mentioned them all but after racking my brain, the only sectors that seem to be missing were telecoms and Internet/broadband services. These are quite important to even have access online and to social media tools so one can hope they become more involved in subsequent editions of the conference. Nonetheless, there was a wider range of sectors present at 2014 than 2013 and this saw a pull of diverse kinds of people and players for interesting conversations and valuable networking.
Geeks got more social
Thanks to the guys at YNaija and TechCabal Social Media Week Lagos 2014 saw geeks come out of their shells to socialize. The #YTech100 event saw 100 of the most innovative Nigerians sit in one room and then talk over drinks. This was a fun experience as people finally got to meet with people they had only known virtually – including Keynote speakers Sim Shagaya (Founder and CEO of DealDey and Konga), and Juliet of Google Nigeria. The startup battlefield was also a good one as attendees saw 7 startups do battle for $20,000.00 cash prize – an event that did see a good amount of conversation and networking. Any geek at #SMWLagos 2014 will tell you it was definitely more fun than 2013.
The Mobile Web Congress soon followed and interesting announcement that will affect the social media landscape in the coming year have started rolling in – especially news of Mozilla’s $29 smartphone and Nokia’s low budget Android driven X-series smartphones. It’s no longer news that Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19bn, so we now we look forward to an amazing 2015.