Thursday, March 29, 2012

#smemto ... a great success and a step forward for SMEM

This blog's author moderating one of the session
Well it's over!  The Social Media in Emergency Management conference in Toronto attracted nearly 200 people from all over Canada to Toronto today (March 29).

The result of a great collaboration between the University of Toronto Emergency Management, Public Safety Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional services (my employer).

A great team effort resulted in a very successful day with strong content and lots of views exchanged. They key as always is providing value for attendees and our speakers did that in spades today. The interest was high enough that participants tweeted throughout the different sessions. So much so that the #smemto hashtag trended on Twitter in Canada at one point. Not bad for a little conference ...

fantonitoabout 7 hours ago
Amazing! "@smackenz: Wow! #smemto 1,100 tweets generated 2,487,984 impressions, reaching an audience of 180,433 followers today."

Some highlights of the #smemto conference for me include: 

  • The joint presentation by Shayne Adamski (@shayneadamski) from FEMA and Chris Stelmarski (@ski) from DHS ... great presentation on the US experience from people willing to share, able to listen ... top notch guys and friendly ... thanks for making the trek North ... great to have you ....take aways
  •     ensure organizational resilience in your SM program ... can't be the job of just one person
  •     maintain strong content on your SM platform and other comms channels to be a destination of choice when a disaster occurs ...

Peter Sloly, deputy chief of the Toronto Police Service wowed the audience with a talk on the use of social media in policing and in our society. Articulate, passionate and engaging, @deputysloly made sure the lunch hour was lively. His words resonated well with the audience:

 Lance Valcour

Another homerun by Deputy Sloly ...although he'd certainly prefer a football (soccer) analogy ... so a great bicycle kick then ...

Another great session was one I had the luck to moderate and which involved smem luminaries Kim Stephens (@kim26stephens) and Jim Garrow (@jgarrow) ... two of the most influential thinkers on SMEM from the US.

Jim talked about crisis comms weaved into a story involving the Rocky Horror Picture Show ... now that's a feat !  

Kim dived into her deep knowledge on the use of social media as recovery tools in Joplin and other disasters.  It was a joy to share the stage with them.

I'm very grateful that they both decided to visit Toronto for this conference and add to the excellent content and line up of speakers we had for #smemto. 

Great people with great minds ! 

There were other very interesting sessions on social media for first responders and interoperability for example: with the TPS delegation: Scott MIlls (@GraffitiBMXCop), Tim Burrows (@t_burrows) and Nathan Dayler (@PSUDayler). They were joined by Lance Valcour from Citig (@lance_valcour) and Doug Allport (from MASAS), in a session that went from the very tactical application of SM to the strategic use of SM and data mobility/transferability using MASAS and the need for operational/functional interoperability. 

In all a great day, in a great venue (thanks to David Black from the UofT) with great content ... there were many highlights not listed above ... I do feel a bit of personal satisfaction at having had a hand in this great step to promote the acceptance of social media in emergency management in Canada.

Looking forward to the second conference ... when ???

1 comment:

  1. Patrice, it was a really great conference. I hope the emergency community will do another one soon because there's so much more learning and sharing to be done!
    Thanks for including me on behalf of the Canadian Red Cross.