High and Blighty: SMWLDN 2013 Signs Off


No two ways about it, Social Media Week London 2013, powered by Nokia, was an unqualified success. More events, more attendees, more conversation: more celebrating the many things which make this such an exciting industry to be involved in.

It was always our aim to put a unique London-spin on the global theme of “Open and Connected”. At Chinwag, we wanted to welcome our audience to Europe’s finance, tech and start-up capital with an all-embracing hug made of top quality events, sessions and Masterclasses.

By closing time on Friday, we’d done just that: over 250 events (103 of which were featured Hub events) commanding an audience of registrations approaching 20,000 all-in. We also had 2542 VIP Passes in circulation, generating more buzz than a beehive built on a washing machine.

A glance at Brandwatch’s delicious real time data visualisation shows that London amassed a healthy 25,000 Twitter mentions. It’s a number which took us to the very summit of the infographic Shard!

number one

But why? Well, it was somewhat of a theme at this year’s SMWLDN that behind all those numbers and stats is another story entirely. It’s a story which doesn’t care about clicks, likes, shares and retweets, but instead about the lived experience. To echo for a moment one of the greatest brand managers of all time: it’s people, stupid.

Here are a few of our SMWLDN highlights: the events and moments which, quite apart from the analytics, made this year our best festival of Social yet. We’d love to hear about yours.


Didn’t it look pretty? Thanks to the phenomenal efforts of Nokia (anyone for Puck?), Brandwatch, Wharfside furnishings, Naamyaa Cafe, Bob’s Lobster, Luardo’s and Giddy Up Coffee, the SMWLDN HQ was a home away from home all through Social Media Week.

An extra special thank you, though, must go out to EngageSciences, whose presence at the HQ ensured a certain atmosphere of levity even when we were hitting a low ebb.

If they could now return the favour by deleting the embarrassing “Pimp” video I made using their otherwise excellent #FreshlyPimped booth, then I’d be eternally grateful. Please.



The Business & Entrepreneurship Hub hosted by Bloomberg, brought an exciting strand of content, focused on exploring how the ‘open and connected world’ is changing, shaping and powering business and startups to Social Media Week.

Highlights included “Sports Data for Social Marketing” (chaired by the head of Bloomberg Sports, Bill Squadron); an insightful session situated at the juncture between sports organisations and fans. Focusing partly on data analytics and the risk involved in its use in Social Media, the session was as an interactive exploration of a timely subject.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Social Media”, curated by The Drum, sought to highlight how while social media could be a brand’s best friend, it can also be its worst enemy.

Sure Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook can drive engagement and create stronger customer relationships, but they can also be easily mishandled. Using examples from various recent social media campaigns, the panel outlined what works and what doesn’t.

A good natured chat about the nature of good online practice!

Virgin HQ and the Music Hub

Opening its doors to the public for the first time, the Virgin HQ in London provided the ideal setting for a chat about all things entrepreneurial. Richard Branson fielded questions from aspiring startups, offering insight and advice the likes of which no early stage company could ignore. See it here.

Another first: SMWLDN 2013 featured a dedicated Music Hub. For one day only, the Rainmaking Loft hosted a bumper-bill of big names (including Soundcloud, The Audience, and Music Ally) who took the stage to talk all things branding and music.

Demo Day

The first (hopefully of many) Chinwag Demo Day at Social Media Week London was a celebration of some of the brightest innovations coming out of London’s young tech scene. For a full rundown of the proceedings, check this wrap-up blog. It’s likely that this year’s SMWLDN won’t be last you hear from our first batch of demonstrators.

The Closing Party

Before DJ Dan Browne took his place at the turntables, Nokia Music set the tempo with an ingenious bit of tech: a specially selected and exclusive playlist, hosted by Nokia Mix and played via the brand spanking new Lumia 1020.

Onlookers delighted at the novelty of a mobile phone DJing a party. Others simply didn’t notice (genius, right?)

An unforgettable (if not quite hazy) party, with an extra special thanks to our hosts Supper Club and LondonVIP.me.


After being stalked by the ghost of Thursday night all Friday long, did we ever need this!

Multiple award winning BBC Director of Comedy, Will Saunders, assembled an expeditionary force of well-known and fresh comedic talent to help us plunge into the digital jungle sustained by Social Media discourse.

Featuring Sanderson Jones, Abandoman, Lee Kern and Steve Pretty, Just in Beta was the perfect way to release the tension of a busy Social Media Week.

SMWLDN Calling

And so there we have it, another massive SMWLDN. There’s still plenty of opportunity to see the events you missed in real-time (find it via our schedule and click on the “video” icon to see a saved version of the livestream, filmed by Kinura) but, for now, we here at team Chinwag bid you a fond toodle-pip.

Photos (cc) Artur Ring.



#LikeMinds Live blogs from #SMWLDN

The live blogs are up for those that missed the #LikeMinds at #SMWLDN sessions on Food, Women's Fashion, Men's Fashion, Drinks and Music – you can check them out here: http://wearelikeminds.com