Hardly a day passes by without the mention of Social South™. Whether it’s in reference to the first (and only) Social South social media conference held, or it’s to ask if there will ever be another one, Social South is still talked about on a regular basis. It was a very special event and for many of the attendees and speakers it is the bar by which they now measure all conferences. Other conferences may be larger or have more star power for the keynote address but they don’t come close to forming such a connection with those who are participating.
I think that one of the key factors for its success is ‘participation.’ There was more interaction, engagement, participation between audience and speakers, panels, even roundtables than we’ve seen anywhere (many thanks to Mack Collier for these special ideas and for developing the speaker lineup). The chance to share knowledge, experience and a little bit of ourselves with others became an emotional learning experience. In fact, many reference it as the Social South Experience. When spoken using the affectionate nickname, SoSo, its a bit ironic – the SoSo Experience. But its that irony, served with a dash of humility that made it work.
There were no divas, no over inflated egos, no sense of rivalry, no bitter competitions to be found. Instead it was a generous helping of, well…helping (each other). There was an incredible sense of respect and giving all around. When you stop to think about it, its not that surprising. We created Social South for that reason: to showcase the incredible talent, experience and gracious demeanor of the Southern business culture. Someone once asked about replicating the format in another region and I said that I didn’t think it would work as well. After all, the South IS social. We may not have invented the social culture (I think we did) but we still DO social better than anyone.
So that’s the background of the discussion of Social South. What do you think? Would you like to see Social South happen again in 2012? Would you like to help with SoSo 2012? If so, make your voice heard and leave a note in the comments. Tell me as well if you’d like to help. If there are enough people interested then I’ll form an organizing committee to get things kicked off.
And even though I’m posting this today. It may be a week or so before I call attention to it. I estimate the traffic to this site is understandably low now & I doubt there are any active RSS feeds left. However, once I get the site updated to the current versions of everything I will push it out & see what happens. If you happen upon this on your own. Go for it! You could be the one who pulled the sword out of the stone and brought Social South back to life. Now that would be a SoSo accomplishment!
-Scott Schablow, founder of Social South