Social Media Camp Victoria – A Swarming Success

In the opening speech of Social Media Camp Victoria, 2010 Paul Holmes, President of and co-organizer of the event, was noted as helping to make Victoria the social media capital of Canada. 

The 460 attendees from across Canada, and parts of the US, that showed up for the event on Sunday October 3rd backed up this claim. Not to mention the active twitter hashtag #smcv10 used by all participants became a trending topic on Twitter in Canada amongst other keywords such as the blockbuster movie title, “The Social Network.”   Even more notably, the event participants unlocked the first “swarm badge” on the popular geo-location app FourSquare, in all of British Columbia.  This is quite a list of accomplishments for the first ever event of its kind in Victoria. Well done, Paul! I think you beat your humble goal of a few hundred people.

While the numbers were impressive, part of the lure of the conference came from out-of-town keynote speakers: Scott Stratten, author of the book Un-Marketing, and from Julien Smith, author of “Trust Agents.”  bWest Interactive‘s Chris Burdge, co-organizer of the event, was responsible for recruiting speakers, “I leveraged Scott Stratten’s book tour to get him here, and I then contacted Julien using Scotts accepted invitation to entice him here too,” said Burdge in the welcoming speech.  It was a clever strategy and it worked. 

Other notable guest speakers who made the journey over to the rock were: Megan Berry, Marketing Manager from San Francisco based; Justyn Howard President of Chicago based, and Clayton Stark, VP of Engineering at

While topics ranged from engagement tactics, corporate social media discussions, and demonstrations of new social media tools like HootSuite from speaker Dave Olson, there was a common thread: good content and building relationships take effort and time and are the most important factors in social media strategy.