Heavenly Tahoe is hosting their 4th annual winter tech conference this year on January 18th through 21st. They bill themselves as a "SXSW for the Ski Set" and besides a rocking list of entertainment acts including a concert by Young the Giant at Harrah's South Shore room, All the biggest names in social media will be there to talk about thier products and how you can use them to improve your standing in the social media world and promote yourself and your products in the skiing and tourisim industries up here.
I gotta say it's a pretty exciting list of speakers for me 'cuz I'm a social media freak myself:
I'm not only on YouTube, but also Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Google Currents, Yelp, Klout, AND Google+ besides having just about every Tahoe related android app there is on my cell phone. Hell, I even have my own QR-code! So I guess I'm uniquely qualified to tell you all about who's speaking at Snowcial this year and why you should be interested in what they have to say:
The headliner this year is going to be Joe Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of one of the most truely usefull social media sites on the internet: Klout. If you've got a presence on a bunch of different social media sites, you get some feedback from each site about who follows you, who thumbs-up or plusses your post, and the like; but how do you know how much influence you have overall? That's where Klout comes in: Klout aggregates all the information across all of your social media and boils it down to a couple of easy-to-understand score that updates every day so you can tell what subjects you're influencing people on and just how influential you are relative to all the other people in your network. Like here you can see how I stack up against one of my friends: I'm more influential overall, but I'm mostly influential on Twitter while his influence is spread a little more evenly between twitter and facebook. I gotta say that, for me at least, having the feedback of watching my Klout score go up and down over time has been one of the very most valueable tools for learning how to play the social media game more effectively and so influence more people across a bigger range of networks and ultimately get more exposure for whatever it is that you're trying to promote.
Next up is Jonathon Crowley from Foursquare. Besides being a lifelong skiier and mountain man, Mr. Crowley is a leading expert on creating and monetizing digital content with partners like Fox and NBC. Forsquare is a location service that lets you check in at a place and let all your twitter and foursquare followers know that you've gone somewhere cool like Heavenly Tahoe. Foursquare is going to be providing one of the coolest special features for the event: an interactive map of all the events going on and who's attending each one. You should all check out the cool map at http://www.tahoesnowcial.com/2011/12/snowcial-foursquare-list/ which has links to a lot of my favorite small businesses in Tahoe as well as check-ins for all the forsquare users attending the conference.
Next up on the list is Hope Frank and Justin Kitzner from Webtrends. If you have a blog or a YouTube channel you're probably familiar with the analytics page that tells you how many people have been visiting your site, where they are, what they're browsing on, whether they're clicking the ads or not, etc. For example I can tell you that my audience is mostly male and largely located in California and Nevada because YouTube tells me so. But, If you're a big corporation like Heavenly, not just a blogger like me, you need an industrial strength solution that can tell you things like how much time people are spending in which parts of your android app and whether it's any different from what the iPhone users are doing; or to calculate in dollar terms what the return on investment in all these different social media products is, and WebTrends is the solution for those people.
Also speaking at this event will be several important travel industry CEOs to talk about their social media strategy and how it has shaped their business including our own Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts, the company that owns and operates Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resorts; as well as Porter Gale, former chief marketing officer of Virgin America; John Burns of Discovery.com, and and Mike Sloane, CEO of travel marketing company Amadeus.