Mumbai to go Social next Week

20 Sep,2013


By Fatema Rajkotwala


After garnering much success and kudos in over 20 cities globally, New York strategy firm Crowdcentric’s brainchild, Social Media Week (SMW), comes to Mumbai. Digital buffs and enthusiasts will attend their first solely focused social media conference. Organized by Bengaluri-based marketing services firm RSquare Consulting the event will comprise over a hundred scheduled sub-events spread over a span of a week starting Monday, September 23 to Friday, 27 September, 2013 across six venues in Mumbai.(*See Disclaimer)


Toby Daniels, Founder & Executive Director, Social Media Week, and CEO, Crowdcentric is excited about the experience of bringing the Social Media Week to Mumbai, “Given India’s presence in the mobile and tech space, Mumbai felt like a natural fit for SMW13. SMW is a distributed conference and we’re honoured to have RSquare Consulting taking the helms for SMW Mumbai. The team has been responsive and quick to help us understand the cultural aspects of hosting SMW in India. We can’t wait to see the week unfold.”


MxMIndia is curating and hosting two sessions at Social Media Week Mumbai.

The details of these are as follows:


How Social Media dictates Journalism

Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Time: 12noon to 1pm

Venue: The Barking Deer, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Lower Parel


Like it or not, social media dictates the way journalism in India happens. Newspapers and television channels track celebrites and people in office zealously and that dictates the way the news flow works. For many newsmakers, Facebook and Twitter are a godsend as they can now reach out to their TG and the media directly and with much ease.



1. C P Surendran

Editor-in-Chief, dna


2. Sidharth Bhatia

Senior journalist and author


3. Sachin Kalbag

Executive Editor, Mid-Day


Moderated by Pradyuman Maheshwari

Editor-in-chief and CEO, MxMIndia


How ETC rules Social Media

Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Time: 12noon to 1pm

Venue: The Barking Deer, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Lower Parel


News and discussions on EntertainmenT and Cricket rule the social media. How has it changed the way cinema, television and cricket function? Do cricketers get influenced by what is being discussed on social media. Ditto with cinema and television?


1. Raj Nayak

CEO, Colors


2. Deepa Gahlot

Senior journalist, awardwinning critic and Head of Theatre and Films, NCPA


3. Omar Qureshi*

Editor-in-chief, Zoom


4. Hemant Kenkre

Former cricketer, commentator, columnist and PR consultant


Moderated by Pradyuman Maheshwari

Editor-in-chief and CEO, MxMIndia


*To be confirmed


What to expect?

Social Media Week will host to an array of over 100 events themed around advertising, marketing, politics, government, science and technology, business and entrepreneurship, lifestyle and culture, media and publishing, society and environment, education and learning, health and wellness and ofcourse opportunities to network and party.


Over the week, there is a mixed bag of workshops, seminars, exhibitions, parties and speakers lined up such as Dr Subramanian Swamy, Suhel Seth, Gul Panag, Kiran Khalap, Deveika Bhojwani, Subhamoy Das (e-Bay), Harshil Karia (FoxyMoron), Toby Daniels and Benjamin Scheim (Crowdcentric) among others.


The multiple venues across the city are also eyebrow-raisers. These include Mantralaya, National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), GroupM office, Bluefrog, the Barking Deer, the Westin and Trident. As reported earlier by MxMIndia, the event is open to the general public, being an essential part of the social media.


SMW has a visibly city-focused angle. Toby Daniels spoke of how Mumbai and India are viewed globally in terms of their digital footprint, “India is emerging as a major digital force. Its Facebook userbase has amassed more than 60 million. Yet, we know that it’s only beginning to grow. Social media is available for only 60 per cent of the entire Indian audience, and we think Mumbai’s digital industries will be a leader in helping bridge this digital gap.”


Social Media Week Mumbai kickstarts on Monday, 23 September at Bluefrog with a power packed day of interesting topics hosted by IMI Mobile, RSQUARE, International Advertising Association (IAA) and SAP, followed by music performances by artists and the SMW Mumbai Opening Bash by Mindshift Interactive.


From the advertising and marketing arena, September 27 is another day to watch for. The Barking Deer and Westin will host various talks by Group M and other media agencies. Buzz generating topics such as “I’ve got my fans, now show me the money” by Drizzlin Media, “Social by Design: Vada Pav meetup” at Mantralaya are some others to keep an eye out for.


Tushar Vyas, Managing Partner, Group M South Asia spoke of GroupM’s association with SMW, “Social media is becoming central to communication – helping integrate all communication channel. We would like to help highlight the role of social media in marketing communication. Social media is at the heart of adaptive marketing and to look at it as an island would be a big folly. One needs to step back and also peer in at the same time. This is why we at Group M are trying to weave in elements of this medium into everything we do – from activation to content to campaign.”


The week will also see exhibitions themed on Mumbai, wildlife photography and art at the Piramal Art Gallery, NCPA hosted by CRY, R Square Consulting and Nokia will also be conducting a Masterclass on Mobile Photography.


The Bombay Street Style Party at Olive Bar and Kitchen is another event to mark your calendar for.


SMW will begin with ‘Mega Pink’, registrations for the women’s fitness run at Shivaji Park by Maximus Events and will end on 28 September with the Chai and Pakoda Bike Ride hosted by the Indian Bike Week.


Why should you be there?

If you use social media on a professional front or as a means for individual brand development or deal with anything in the digital space, Social Media Week is the place to be. In today’s hyper-connected world though, this includes everyone from brands, digital agencies, entertainers, individual artists, government verticals, and basically, everyone.


Shedding light on Crowdcentric’s philosophy and vision for social media, Mr Daniels said, “We are experiencing one of the biggest shifts in how we communicate in human history. Because of this, our aim is to provide the best information, ideas and inspiration to help people understand how to achieve more in a hyper-connected world. We are often asked about the direction we plan to give Social Media Week and what we’ll do when social media is no longer en-vogue. Whether social media as a term is popular in the future or not has no bearing on the mission we’re embarking on. The world is changing is fundamental ways due to the speed at which technology has permeated our lives and created a connected society.”


Social Media Week promises to be the platform to bring together people from different walks of life to come and share their experiences and learnings of how social media has benefitted them. R Square Consulting, the city organizer for the event, has partnered with the Government of Maharashtra, advertising professionals, photographers and individuals from the entertainment industry who will guide the public through the events chalked out each day.


Hemant Soreng, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the firm spoke to MxMIndia about how an event of this scale will provide multiple takeaways for the public. “Some of the objectives are to help learn to collaborate to share and educate; amplify existing causes/issues within the social media industry; networking and meeting people from different backgrounds; a city-based event that will put Mumbai on the social media map globally. Our vision is for Social Media Week becoming one of the regular annual festivals of Mumbai.”


The Buzz creators

Talking about the challenge in organizing a new format event such as this, R Square founder Rohit Varma told MxMIndia, “As a format, Social Media Week is unconventional in terms of venues chosen, partnerships and its audience. The basic philosophy here is to collaborate and connect. India has not witnessed this kind of a conference format, which is why when we began talking to partners it took a little while for everyone to realize the power of this format. With this event, we are building the community as social media touches everybody, making it a B2B and B2C event. It is not just about brand development or social media tools; it is about how individuals, artists, a brand use social media, or how an agency uses tools to understand consumer behavior. That is the amazing part of SMW – it is by the community for the community.”


Talking about the challenges and preparations that went into putting the event in place, Mr Soreng said that the newness of the format of the conference that is based on crowdsourcing, posed some difficulty in the beginning but things eased up along the way, “We started the process five months ago by putting an advisory board in place, which comprised experts and veterans from the advertising, marketing, government, media and entertainment industries. We are primarily based out of Bengaluru and have an office in Mumbai. With a systematic plan, timelines and a project plan, along with the global team that we worked with, now there is a buzz that is helping. We believe that next year it would be bigger. The experience has been great so far, challenging but we have learned a lot.”


From the company’s business philosophy perspective, an event focused on social media neatly fits into their ideology. Mr Varma added: “One of the services we provide is events and activations. This is what we want to do and this year being the maiden event in India, I’d say this will go bigger and bigger.”


These features contribute to what makes this conference unique in its own right. The Social Media Week has been favourited the world over for its potential for global collaborations, interesting and educative workshops, knowledge sharing and eclectic mix of speakers and attendees. Mumbai sure is awaitin’


* Disclaimer: MxMIndia is a trade partner of the event and is also curating and hosting two sessions


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