Social Media Week – known for its live events around the world – is launching #SMWONE, a virtual, four-week conference in May with panels and sessions of 300 top industry leaders.
The event is launching a buy-one-gift-one pass program to help provide free access to 100-plus hours of content to professionals who have recently been laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic. #SMWONE will run from May 5 to 28.
"At its core, #SMWONE’s mission is to bring the world of media, marketing, and technology together during a time of unprecedented crisis," said Toby Daniels, CEO of Crowdcentric Media and founder of Social Media Week. "Our aim will be to chart a new course for the future of our industry, provide relevant and critically important insights as to what is happening right now, what our role needs to be, and how we can help those in our industry who have been most impacted by what is happening."
Some of the confirmed speakers include PepsiCo CMO Kristin Patrick; VaynerX’s Gary Vaynerchuk; Pamela Wasserstein, CEO of New York Media/Vox; Rishad Tobaccowala, chief growth officer of Publicis Groupe; Rishi Magia, creative strategist at Instagram and more.
Shauna Sweeney, head of global industry marketing at Facebook, which is a partner of Social Media Week, told Campaign US: "Now, more than ever, community must be at the heart of everything we do."
She added: "Social Media Week has always been an indispensable partner in making this happen off-line. We look forward to working with them on bringing the industry together online in new and exciting ways at a time when we need to build community most."
In addition to the event, Social Media Week has teamed up with market research and insights platform Suzy to gather data around COVID-19, specifically looking at how consumers think platform companies are doing during this time and whether they think those businesses are doing enough around pandemic. Social Media Week plans to unveil the research in two weeks, as well as host a session about the insights with the CEO of Suzy during the virtual conference on May 7.
According to Daniel Bennet, worldwide chief innovation officer of Grey Group – a global Social Media Week partner – the agency’s "clients see huge value" in the content from SMW events.
"The world is now a different place, due to COVID-19 and it is our jobs to help our clients navigate the monumental change we're experiencing right now," he added. "To that extent we need SMW’s thought leadership more than ever and we are incredibly excited to support the launch of #SMWONE, their virtual conference series. The fact I don’t need to leave my house to access the insights we need to advance our businesses is just icing on the thoughtful cake."