How I Created The Aloha Social Media Summit

If you follow me on Twitter (@DaveTaylor), have attended any of the conferences at which I’ve spoken in the last few months (most notably Blogworld Expo), or generally keep track of my activities and exploits, you’ll know about the Aloha Social Media Summit. It’s a unique event with top-notch experts and a limit of 25 attendees. Why? Because the emphasis isn’t going to be on the experts — though I have an amazing lineup of speakers — but on the needs and interests of the participants.
Aloha Social Media SummitI view it as an unconference, but it’s really sort of the anti-conference more than anything. No Powerpoint, no podium, no “audience” and “speaker” but instead a mastermind event where we’ll all be sharing as peers and talking about how to market and promote your business through modern social media.
To be fair, I am involved in planning many events, including having co-hosted Blogworld Expo and being on the program and planning committee for the upcoming Thin Air Summit, but the more I attend large events, the more I see the appeal and great value of smaller, intimate, private events like the Aloha Summit. It’s like my preference for parties: I’d rather hang out with a half dozen good friends than 250 of my peers or colleagues. Just don’t tell anyone I said that, okay? 🙂
How I Came Up With the Aloha Summit
At the beginning of 2008 I was planning a three week holiday in Hawaii with my children and thought “wouldn’t it be cool to have a small mastermind event on the Big Island of Hawaii while I’m there?” And so, the Aloha Summit was born.
I threw out a few queries and my friend, colleague and fellow industry and marketing expert Andy Beal popped up and said he’d like to get involved as he was already planning a trip to Hawaii. He did, we co-hosted the event and it was a small, but inspirational success. Our speakers were Roxanne Darling’s partner Shane Robinson, Andy Beal, Debra Micek, and, via video conference, Pete Cashmore of Mashable, Andy Sernovitz, founder of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and Roxanne Darling, who was in Florida at the time on a family emergency.
This time Andy and I decided to try holding it in my backyard, Boulder, Colorado, and seeing if we could up the ante even higher, having the very top people in the industry all in the room at the same time, not for their benefit (though I know they’ll all have a great experience) but for the benefit of participants. As I said, it’s the anti-conference.
Who’ll be Joining Me in Colorado
Who did we get to join us in the room? Om Malik, one of my favorite experts in the entire blogosphere and social media spaces and founder of the powerhouse GigaOM, Biz Stone, super-smart serial entrepreneur and founder of a bunch of slick Web 2.0 startups notably including co-founding Twitter, Susan Bratton of Personal Life Media, where she’s focused on building a network to target the “cultural creatives market segment” (I’m sure Susan and I will have a chance to talk about Richard Florida’s Cultural Creatives book while she’s in town!), Peter Shankman, PR guru and outspoken founder of the invaluable Help a Reporter Online service, and — a special guest just added — Shama Hyder of After The Launch, someone who knows more about how to market your business and service on Facebook than anyone I know.
Not enough? We also have two special guest stars via video lined up: Charlene Li, industry expert, former star analyst for Forrester Research and author of the terrific book Groundswell, and Roxanne Darling, who has done a masterful job of turning a hobby video blog into a thriving video production business and, this time at least, is in Hawaii.
That’s who Andy and I have managed to line up to join us. Just as importantly, or perhaps even more so, are the participants, who will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend two days comparing notes, sharing their frustrations and challenges, and getting expert advice and tips from the best and the brightest.
Here’s the best news of all: we still have a few seats available.
It’s not too late to join us and attend, no, help shape the very best social media event in 2008 and learn how to take your own business to the next level with online social media visibility and marketing expertise.
I know I’m excited to have us get started already!

8 comments on “How I Created The Aloha Social Media Summit

  1. Anyone who attends this will be greatly rewarded!
    You put on one of THE best anti-conferences of the year! I was thrilled to be there as a speaker AND participant b/c of the wealth of expertise, knowledge and thinking power you put in the room from speakers to participants/guests.
    I found the same to be true at Blog World Expo where if people took the time to meet with people “in the hallways” instead of only focusing on the speakers “in the front of the room” they’d realize how many thought leaders they had access to.
    Which is exactly what your event did.
    Plus – I developed lasting friendships with people from Hawaii that I never would’ve met otherwise.
    BRAVA for the Aloha Social Media Summit!
    It was an honor to be a part of the one in Hawaii & anyone who attends the one in Colorado will be buzzing all about afterwards as their mind spins with ideas.
    btw: did I mention how many pages of NOTES I took at your “un-conference”?!?

  2. Great overview Dave. I’m excited to be your partner for this event.
    I probably speak at about a dozen events during the year and Aloha Summit is the one where I get goose bumps just thinking about it.
    I’m looking forward to meeting new folks and making new friends.

  3. Dave – Thanks for sharing the process – really useful. I am thrilled to be asked back for a repeat conversation too!
    And to those who question Boulder? I’d like to nicely remind everyone that Aloha is a state of mind – and you and Andy get it!

  4. Being in Hawaii, I couldn’t miss the chance to spend time with Dave and Andy when they organized the first one. It was fantastic, and I’d recommend it for anyone looking to supercharge their business.

  5. Dave Taylor and Andy Beal put on a terrific un-conference here in Hawaii in the spring. They put together an all-star cast and I took away a lot of “secrets” that I use every day in my businesses. All of my take-aways were new strategies based on what actually works now. Get a taste of Aloha at the Aloha Summit Boulder!

  6. Dave,
    I just found you after conducting a Google search for social networking conferences. I own a social club in Vancouver, called The Campoverde Social Club. My focus is on getting people out of their homes and into the club to re-build community. Is this un-conference suitable for me? Campoverde currently has over 500 members who have moved to Vancouver from around the world and hit a social wall. I am looking to expand my concept globally.

  7. I think it would have been great for you, but, alas, you just missed it. Stay tuned to my blog, though, we’ll have another one soon. Somewhere on the planet. 🙂

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