Monday 21 June 2021

Q&A with Meg Coffey, Founder, State of Social

State of Social (SOS21) is building up to be one of the biggest social media and digital marketing conferences in Asia Pacific, taking place in Perth this year on August 24 and 25. This year’s theme is ‘Chaos’ with breakout sessions and workshops run by leading industry agencies and presenters. Meg Coffey, founder of the conference, tells us more.

1) How long has State of Social been running and how did you come up with the idea? 

This is SOS21’s fourth year. It started out as something small but quickly blossomed into a goal to make it one of Asia Pacific’s biggest social media and digital marketing conferences. I was travelling all over Australia and could not find any events or conferences that made me excited about working in this space. I’ve attended the leading social media conferences across the globe and have taken the best ideas and put an Australian spin on them. There’s nothing like what we’re doing at State of Social and it’s my goal to make it an event that not only the delegates love, but that the speakers rave about as well.

2) How many people attend and from what industries?

We’ve had year-on-year growth. In our first year, we only had a couple of interstate attendees, but in the second year, 35 percent of attendees were from interstate, so people in the industry were travelling to take part. Last year was obviously difficult, but 2021 has taken off. We’ve got people from almost every state and territory attending from various industries including local government, FMCG, tourism, hospitality, agency, independent contractors, lawyers, ASX-listed companies, utilities and more, which demonstrates the level of expertise and great content on offer. 

3) Who should attend the conference, or who would get the most out of the two-day event? 

This event is for anyone in advertising or marketing. There’s no escaping the fact that social and digital are a part of our everyday life now, and every campaign has some aspect of online to it. With the addition of breakout sessions and workshops, SOS21 has become a ‘choose your own adventure’ type of event. There are 21 sessions to select from over two days, plus five keynotes. There truly is something for everyone with a focus on current and future trends. On that note, we have been ahead of the curve every year and it has been brilliant to see how the topics we cover become mainstream after the fact. It doesn’t matter what stage of your career that you are in, there will be something for you at SOS21.

4) What are some of the highlights or big names in this years’ line-up that attendees can look forward to? 

Adrian Molina from Aviation Gin – US actor Ryan Reynold’s gin brand – is going to be an absolute highlight for me. I’m just so in love with absolutely everything this brand does and how it markets itself. It focuses heavily on online but it also pops up in mainstream media and Hollywood movies. I just love it. 

The other session I’m super excited about is one featuring Martin Lane from Cannabiz. I think cannabis marketing generally is going to be the next big thing in Australia and I’m fascinated by how it’s all rolling out. It’s not legal for recreational use in Australia yet but it’s obvious that the culture and taboo around cannabis is definitely changing. Facebook and Instagram don’t currently allow cannabis products to be advertised on their channels but it will have to be allowed eventually.

Rae Johnston really excites me too. She’s across so many topics but it’s her love of gaming that I really like. It’s an area I know so little about but it’s huge in this country. Gaming and eSports are absolutely exploding. 

5) Can you give a brief synopsis of day one and two?

This year’s theme is ‘Chaos’, and learning to tame the madness under the premise of ‘Plan, Create and Convert’. These themes will run through every session. 

Day one is all about big ideas featuring case studies and ideas that you can adapt yourself. 

Day two is made up of practical sessions and workshops, which are an hour long so that attendees have more time to dive into topics and learn specifics.

This year it was evident that attendees wanted in-person learning and the experiences that go with it. On that note, we’ve organised some incredible activations and surprise experiences outside of the sessions and workshops, including augmented reality, farmers markets, a pearl harvest, and an Acknowledgement of Country which will be unlike anything ever seen before. 

6)  We’re in advertising, so give us your final elevator pitch for SOS21!

Perth is the world’s sixth most liveable city. Why wouldn’t you want to come and spend a couple of days here, learning the newest trends and gaining insights on what’s to come in social media and digital marketing? SOS21 has all the best elements of leading conferences and events from around the world with an Australian slant. Plus it’s affordable. It was important to me to keep the price point low so that anyone looking to enhance their personal development could do so affordably, even if the boss won’t pay for it!

If you or your agency would like to get involved in SOS21, contact Meg on e-mail ACA members will receive a $50 discount on tickets using the code ACA50, valid now until August 17.

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