What’s Happening at Day One of SMWTO 2019

Social Media Week is just days away and we’re thrilled to welcome everyone to the 4th annual SMWTO! Here’s what to expect from Day 1: 


9:00 am | This Year in Social Media: Top Stories, Memes, Moments of 2019
9:20 am | The End of Marketing: Humanizing Your Brand in the Age of Social Media &AI

10:20 am | Break: Book Signing with Carlos Gil
10:40 am | Facebook Canada Presents: Good For The World
11:15 am | 5G: How to Prepare for a Richer Social Web
11:55 am | How to Produce for Ad Resistant Eyeballs

12:30pm | Lunch

1:30 pm | Panel: Influence to Aspire to
2:15 pm | Becoming Carrie Dragshaw: Social Media Lessons from an Accidental Drag Queen
3:00 pm | Break: Meet Carrie Dragshaw & Deepa Prashad
3:20 pm | LinkedIn Canada: Marketing Trends for the Contrarian Marketer
3:50 pm | Panel: Champion Brand Partnerships – Riding the Raptors Wave to Victory
4:30 pm | The Voice of the Raptors: A Conversation with MLSE’s Matt Tierney

7:00 pm | Opening Night Party [All Access Pass Holders Only]

Session Details

Michelle Pinchev:
This Year in Social Media: Top Stories, Memes, Moments of 2019
Pinch Social founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week Toronto, Michelle Pinchev will take us through some of the top social media moments of 2019 – in Canada and around the world. Laugh and cringe as we look back at the top fumbles, scandals, and memes, and relive some of our best and proudest moments as marketers, media and Canadians. The session will set the stage for #SMWTO and what to expect in the week to come.

Carlos Gil:
The End of Marketing: Humanizing Your Brand in the Age of Social Media & AI
Social networks are the new norm, and traditional marketing is failing in today’s digital, always-on culture where businesses across the world have to face up to how they remain relevant in the choppy waters of the digital ocean. In an era where a YouTube star gets more daily impressions than Nike, Coca-Cola, and Walmart combined, traditional marketing as we know it is dead. This presentation will reinforce that no matter how easy it is to reach potential customers, the critical relationship between brand and consumer still needs the human touch. Learn how to put ‘social’ back into social media and claim brand relevancy in a world where algorithms dominate, organic reach is dwindling, and consumers don’t want to be sold to, they want to be engaged.

Leanne Gibson:
Facebook Canada Presents: Good For The World
This session will highlight the pursuit of Facebook’s mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

Melissa Mendes:
5G: How to Prepare for a Richer Social Web
Mobile technology has been an engine of change for media marketing and content distribution. Consumers are looking for more flexibility in how they access that content and media. With the continuous demand for faster load times, especially when it comes to video and augmented-reality executions, companies will be quick to compete for improved wireless opportunities presented by the coming introduction of 5G networks. With faster connections and download speeds, how will the landscape of social media marketing change? What do you need to do to prepare? How will location data improve and be utilized? Globe Content Studio’s social media and influencer strategist, Melissa Mendes, will discuss why marketers need to start taking a closer look at how 5G will impact their work. With an introduction from Sean Stanleigh, head of Globe Content Studio.

Matthew Manuge:
How to Produce for Ad Resistant Eyeballs
Accepting that people dislike advertising isn’t a negative thought—it’s a realistic one.” Most pieces of branded content make the mistake of disguising traditional advertising as storytelling. To break through to audiences, brands need to think differently about how they produce branded content, and how it fits within their content ecosystem. In this session, the team from Blue Ant Plus guides you through their learnings on what makes a piece of branded content truly unskippable.

Panel |
Influencer to Aspire to, featuring Donte Collley, Alysha Newman & Scott McGillivray 
Three inspiring, Toronto-based individuals take the stage in this panel hosted by CBC Toronto: Olympic Athlete, Team Canada’s Alysha Newman; HGTV star Scott McGillivray and Inspirational Dancer & Content Creator, Donté Colley.
All three possess talent, charisma and work ethic in their everyday lives – and have chosen to leverage their abilities and real-world influence to connect with their fans globally through social media – to inspire, motivate and bring people together. In a time when the online world can feel bogged down in negativity and polarizing politics, these creators and influencers are using their platforms to spread positivity.

Dan Clay:
Becoming Carrie Dragshaw: Social Media Lessons from an Accidental Drag Queen
Dan Clay had no aspirations for internet acclaim when he dressed up as Carrie Bradshaw for Halloween. But when his picture went viral, he took it as an opportunity to stare down some of his deepest-held insecurities and create a little corner of the internet that was only positivity and love. Join Dan as he discusses what he learned personally and professionally on that journey toward authenticity, and take away key lessons in how to build a social media brand that’s fun and meaningful to follow.

Jeff Lancaster:
LinkedIn Canada: Marketing Trends for the Contrarian Marketer
LinkedIn’s B2B (and B2C) Marketing Trends, a compilation of contrarian ideas in marketing. We believe that following these little-known best practices can give you a significant edge over your competition, if you’re brave enough to reject consensus opinion.

Panel |
Champion Brand Partnerships: Riding the Raptors Wave to Victory 
As fans and bandwagoners across the GTA and beyond caught Raptors fever this past year – so did Canada’s leading brands. In this session, we’ll sit down with three brands that did this exceptionally well in 2019 – McDonald’s Canada, Sun Life and Tangerine Bank. We’ll explore how these brands leveraged this opportunity, navigated unexpected challenges, and worked with unpredictable timelines and unprecedented outcomes. Marketers across all industries have much to learn about strategic partnerships from these case studies.

Matt Tierney:
The Voice of the Raptors
In this candid onstage conversation, we’ll explore the unique challenges of storytelling and community management for a brand narrative that can be unpredictable and, at times, polarizing. Matt will discuss the importance of staying true to your personal voice and true to the brand story, even when competing influences arise (internal and external, as well player, fans and media).

We’ll learn what happens when a brand’s digital team deeply immerses itself in the culture and day-to-day lives of its key stakeholders – in this case, world-famous NBA players – and how that translates into a winning social media strategy.

Opening Night Party @ The Thompson Hotel

After a full day of top-notch programming, All Access Passholders are invited to join us for complimentary drinks, gourmet apps and a chance to meet the Social Media Week team, some of our Advisory Board members, speakers, and your fellow #SMWTO attendees.

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