Social Media Week rocked the world, with more than 1,000 events in seven cities. More than 25,000 people attended events. SocialTimes reached out to some industry experts for their feedback on various Social Media Week trends and events.

Sean Foster, CEO of Crowdtap:

I was inspired by the big-picture thinking that took place among the marketing and advertising panels at Social Media Week NY this year – specifically the willingness of marketers to step outside of their comfort zones and truly embrace social as a means for empowering people to have a voice that matters.

Crowdtap’s session, People-Powered Marketing: A Crash Course in PuttingConsumers at the Heart of Your Brand, provided context around why a people-first approach to marketing is so crucial as social continues to play a growing role in culture. Weight Watchers and Energizer covered case studies that proved the power of \”People-Powered Marketing\” when it comes to generating authentic content and unearthing valuable insights along key stages of the marketing lifecycle.

As we saw at sessions that quantified the impact of word-of-mouth marketingexplored the unique relationships that millennials have with brands and explained the importance of having an open brand, the trend of consumer-centric marketing strategies is here to stay. The good news and the big opportunity for marketers is that while consumers don’t trust traditional advertising, they still love brands.

One big takeaway for marketers from #SMWNY this year? People are changing the architect of our brands, give them what they really want – an outlet for creativity and collaboration.

Brian McFarland, VP of Eastern Sales, Viewbix:

I was amazed by how much chatter there was at Social Media Week NY this year on the topic of social video.

As we reimagine the future of human connectivity, the way that people consume video continues to change.  It’s increasingly important for brands to understand where their core audiences live and which social platforms make sense.

Many of the panels throughout the week gave listeners key strategies on leveraging new video advertising technologies. One point that panelists missed? The importance of adding a call-to-action (CTA) to videos.  Beyond interacting with viewers, video ads – especially social video ads – need engagement features that allow brands to create ongoing relationships with consumers. Whether it’s asking consumers to like, share or sign up for emails, CTAs are a must.

It’s exciting to see how social video continues to impact the advertising world.

Nicole Chiala, Creative Director, issuu:

It’s interesting to see how social and mobile technology have evolved. At Social Media Week Copenhagen, we talked about how the publishing industry is evolving and the trend of social publishing.  Brands, publishers and tech platforms have an opportunity to put a stake in the digital publishing ground by leveraging newly emerging social publishing trends – from cross-platform engagements, native social ads and digital publishing tools. Attendees were interested in hearing about the new ways that brands can connect with consumers like never before.

Some of my key takeaways:

  • The social web has changed the publishing industry.
  • We need to connect content to people.
  • We’re living in the world of the (un)bundle.
  • Mobile will continue to drive this change, so we need to embrace it.

Readers: Did you attend a Social Media Week event, or do you want to?

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