Late last year I was asked to speak on social media and innovation as part of the GE Global Leadership Education program. It was fascinating (and challenging) to be face-to-face with 50 of GE’s hand-picked future leaders – with a focus on one topic: digital strategy. But not all organisations have the ability to bring their leaders together in one room. For many of us, the closest we get are industry conferences.

Over the next month or two we’re heading into conference season here in Sydney – and there is plenty to see and do – especially for those interested in marketing, advertising and social media.

I am particularly excited to be participating in a some of these events:

  1. Social Media Marketing: The Way Forward – Feb 28 and Mar 1. I’m the “distinguished chair” for this two day conference. There’s a great client-side lineup including Chris Smith from NAB, Rupinder Toor from Dell, Vanessa Paech from Lonely Planet and Andrew Giles from Canon, backed up with Hannah Law from Switched On Media and Tiphereth Gloria from George Patterson Y & R on the agency side. This is an AMSRS and Communications Council accredited event. Come along!
  2. Circus – The Festival of Commercial Creativity – Feb 22 to Feb 25. The Communications Council is working to transform this annual event from an awards focus into a feature event for the advertising industry. They are shipping in some great keynote speakers such as Rob Campbell (W+K), Jess Greenwood (Contagious Magazine) and Josh Spear (Undercurrent). This year I am serving on the judging panel for digital AWARDs. Should be interesting!
  3. Vibewire Fastbreak – Feb 25. One of the best innovation and entrepreneurship events around. This month’s event asks “are we headed back to basics?” A great way to start your Friday.
  4. Ad:Tech Sydney – Mar 9 Mar 10. It’s a veritable feast of technology, advertising and gaming, with Brad Jakeman (Activision), Daniel Alegre (Google), Iain McDonald (Amnesia Razorfish) and Steve Patrizi (LinkedIn). I hear the two days of Ad:Tech will link in with other events to create a week of Digital Sydney Events. Sounds like fun.

But what about you? Are you attending events this year? Have you got budget/time? What’s important?

And don’t forget, you can contact me here about speaking.