When Clark Campbell and Shibu Joseph's team of social media experts tried uploading video files from their marketing clients in Nigeria, they ran into a small problem.
"Sitting at a desk in Cleveland, Tennessee, it was going to take several days to complete the upload," Campbell says. "When we drove to Chattanooga and connected to The Gig, it took a couple of hours."
If you go
› Who: Social media managers, photojournalists and anyone responsible for using social media to amplify events
› What: The first annual Real Time Summit
› When: Oct. 8-9
› Where: The Westin, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Those service and speed differentiators were huge factors in the team's decision to move their social media agency – SocialLion – to Chattanooga. Now ensconced in their office in the new Co-op Building on Cherry Street, they've hatched a plan to showcase that awe-inspiring internet speed to the rest of their colleagues by organizing and hosting the first annual Real Time Summit in October.
SocialLion employees focus their work on using social media to amplify the impact and reach of real time events such as sports, news, professional conferences and reality television. CFO and co-founder Shibu Joseph said their team of more than a dozen social media rock stars is focused on staying on the cutting edge of their profession, traveling to marketing conferences and social media seminars across the country.
"At the last big social media conference I attended, they offered 160 sessions on every topic in social media, but nothing on real time engagement," he says. "We realized there was no place for us to grow our skills and network with people who work in our field."
Like true entrepreneurs, when they identified an unmet need in the market, they developed a solution.
The first annual Real Time Summit will debut in Chattanooga at the downtown Westin Oct. 8-9. Session topics will range from real time content strategies to engagement and analytics. Registrants who can't make it to Chattanooga can purchase a virtual pass and attend conference sessions online.
The team says ideal attendees will come from many different professions and will bring varied life experiences, but they will also share strengths.
"The most talented social media managers find ways to evoke the human spirit and capture it in real time. They combine a creative eye with artistic sensibilities and clear storytelling. They are photojournalists at heart."
The SocialLion team is preparing to host rock stars including current and former social media leaders with the world champion Golden State Warriors, World Wrestling Entertainment and The Today Show. They will be joined by hundreds of social media managers, producers and directors who work in the internet trenches every day - anyone who relies on real time coverage on mobile devices to engage with audiences and expand the event's reach.
While the team looks forward to welcoming visitors to Chattanooga, they also encourage local companies to benefit from the world-class education and networking coming to their doorstep.
"Events are about people, not products and services. Since companies sell to people, people must be the focus of every event, and social media paves the way for meaningful interactions with event attendees and those watching from afar."
Joseph sees Chattanooga as the perfect location for such a gathering.
"One of our biggest selling points is having the fastest internet in the world, so we want to bring in the people uploading some of the best content in the world to our city and celebrate Chattanooga as a technology hub."
» For more information, visit TheRealTimeSummit.com.