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When the Social Media Club throws a Par-Tay, You Better Believe there will be Panel Discussions, Baby!

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Panel Discussion SMCSTL
The Social Media Club of St. Louis recently threw their relaunch party at Atomic Cowboy in the Grove. I didn't realize that there was a social media club in St. Louis so, for me, this might as well have been their launch party. It was actually a fairly impressive turnout, which either says the event organizers did a good job of getting the word out to their target audience, or there is a growing interest in social media in St. Louis. Probably a combination of both.
The party consisted of a panel discussion by some marketing and public relations people who apparently fancy themselves experts on social media of some sort, followed by an opportunity to network with other attendees (i.e. drink and shoot the shit.)

Now, I have to be honest here, I when I hear the words "party" and "panel discussion" (especially involving marketing people) all I can say is, there better be a lot of booze involved because in my world 'panel discussions' equal party death.

But thanks to Atomic Cowboy's awesome two-for-one drink specials that evening, booze to drown the marketing speak was not in short supply. I can't actually comment a lot on the discussion because of the sound issues with an underpowered PA outside on AC's lovely patio. But If you ever wondered who shows up to an event centered around social media, I can tell you it's marketing and public relations people for the most part.

They're pretty much the only ones really interested in having meta conversations about how to use social media for profit much more than fun. Not that that's a bad thing necessarily. For instance, if you're a small business person who is interested in learning how some of the big guns are thinking about this stuff, this would have probably been a worthwhile experience for you.
Panel Drinking
Bill Streeter
Even the members of the panel found themselves drinking to get through it. 
But since I'm bored and jaded by inside the trade discussions about PR and marketing, I decided to e-mail Reem Abeidoh, and have her answer some questions about the Social Media Club of St. Louis. As one of the organizers of this event she can give a much less cynical account of the club it's relaunch party.
Thumbnail image for Reem Abidoh
Photo by: Bill Streeter
Reem Abeidoh

Who started the Social Media Club of St. Louis, when and why?
Social Media Club was created by Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells in July 2006. The Social Media Club, St. Louis chapter was launched last year. During SXSW, I ran into Chris and Kristie and talked with them about re-launching the club. We recognize that there is a definite need for a social media hub that connects St. Louisans interested in social media together, provides a wide range of relevant information and serves as a resource. Luckily, a fellow St. Louisan social media maven, Todd Jordan, was thinking about the same.

Reem Abeidoh: Social Media Strategist at Outrider, blogger, podcaster, and social media addict, @rabeidoh 

Melody Meiners: Founder of Girls Guide to the Galaxy and co-founder of the St. Louis Bloggers Guild, interactive media maven @cosmosgirl 

Lisa Young: SEO expert, mommy blogger, social media strategist at Outrider, @naturalwoman

Brad Hogenmiller: IT recruiter, networker and technologist, founder of the #stltwitter group, @javastl 

What is the mission of the Social Media Club of St. Louis? 
"If you get it, share it." Our goal is to educate, entertain, and share fellow St. Louisans interested in social media! 

How did the relaunch party go? 
The relaunch event went really well. We had around 150 people attend and a definite interest in future events. We had an excellent panel of experts speaking about social media's impact on business. 

Who do you think is doing really interesting things with Social Media in St. Louis? 
There are many people in St. Louis doing great things online. We are especially following the progress of 12for12K challenge that uses social media to raise money for 12 charities in 12 months. The group is utilizing facebook, twitter, blogging, Twibes, YouTube, etc to build awareness and gain support. 

What are the clubs short term and long term plans? 
Our short term goal is to build awareness about Social Media Club in St. Louis. We want to offer St. Louisans a resource for learning about and staying abreast of social media trends and progress. We want to continue to put St. Louis on the map as a credible hub for Social Media talent and opportunities. We also want to put on events that are fun and bring value to the St. Louis community. 

Our long term goals are to become an established member of the community with yearly local conferences, to grow membership, and to help establish St. Louis as a city with social media savvy! 

You can follow SMCSTL on twitter @smcstl or join their Ning group here www.smcstl.ning.com


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