We were in Mumbai from the 13th to the 16th of September for Social Media Week Mumbai. HeadAnt and Kant served as the team’s representatives (it’s because they have a bad rep) at the event and were looking forward to meeting and mingling with a diverse group of people from all across the digital media and advertising spaces. It just took those 4 days at the event to realise that there are really only 5 kinds of people you meet at Social Media Week.
The One Who Knows Everybody: This is the incredibly popular young man/woman who seems to know everything about everyone attending – where they work, where they live, and where they get their hair done. It’s no wonder, because they always take the time out to meet everyone in attendance and you can be sure they’ll give you their full, undivided attention. You can’t not be charmed.
The One Who’s Full of Hot Air: No one is a social media expert and this makes everyone a social media expert. To be taken seriously all you need to do is rephrase your limited personal experience in the form of an authoritative statement and people will believe you. However, there is always one person who takes the jargon and name-dropping so far that you can’t help but wonder – is everyone else hearing the same BS I am?
Your Industry Soulmate: This is the person you’ll run into through some fortuitous twist of fate because you’ll find talking to them is as easy as talking to yourself (why are you looking at me like that? does everyone not talk to themselves?). You’ll sit next to each other through all the panels, sneak out to explore the venue and surrounds, and share/fave each other’s tweets.
Your Childhood Hero(es): These are the people who shaped Indian media, and they’re leading the most riveting panels at the event. Through them you’ll see how the field you’re working in has evolved, come of age, and the direction in which it’s going to go. They’re likely to show up unprepared for their talk, but they’ve been in the business so long, they don’t need a script to tell you what’s up.
The Future You: Like #3, here, once again, you feel like you’re talking to a version of yourself. Except this time it’s the version you dream of becoming one day. Wise, attractive, charming, and an overall badass. This is the person who knows what they want, lives life by their rules (and lives it well) and gives 0 f*cks about what anyone else might say. Who knows, maybe at #SMWMumbai 2036, we’ll be this person to someone else.