Let’s Get Virtual: Learnings from the Launch of SMWONE

How did Chemistry participate in #SMWONE?


Chris Breen, partner & chief creative officer, presented The Lost Art of Anticipation, during which he broke down the keys to igniting the slow burn of anticipation for a successful movie launch. He included insights on how implementing unique strategies associated with the “art of anticipation” can differentiate your brand and brand strategies. He detailed how a switch in content strategy at a high level can impact audiences on a global scale and, ultimately, what it takes for teams to work together.


You can watch his presentation here:



Laura Forester, Vice President & Director of Strategy and Engagement, presented on a panel entitled Building Impactful Campaign Strategies: How to Utilize Social Analytics During Difficult Times, during where strategists discuss how they utilize social media analytics to build consumer profiles, adjust communication priorities, and identify emerging trends that inspire winning campaign strategies. Laura shared how her team examines the rich conversations of consumers to reveal a deeper understanding of their likes, wants, needs, and behaviors.


You can watch her presentation here:


What were your perceptions and concerns, of a virtual conference? Have they changed since attending and participating?


LAURA: There’s always some hesitancy in trying something new. I’ve always felt that there’s something intangible and energetic about being at a conference and exploring a city (either for the first time or with fresh eyes) for a few days. It felt immersive. 


However, I was so impressed with #SMWONE and our partner Netbase. The organization, preparedness and overall tone of experimentation and empathy carried across all panels and presenter. As a panelist, specifically, they were exceptionally patient and thorough with onboarding, documentation and the ever elusive path toward a flawless technical execution.


Even more so, extending the length of the conference really gave permission and flexibility to all attendees to take some time each day over the course of the four (4) weeks and spend some quality time learning.


For me, Netbase set the standard for how large thought-leadership events can and should pivot and adapt – not just for the next few weeks or months, but as a roadmap on how to stay connected with our new and changed ways of gathering.



What are the 1-2 takeaways that you’d like folks to learn from your presentation?



LAURA: While we focused primarily on case studies and the realities of real-time communications, I hope the audience and those that tuned in learned that innovation is not intimidating. Partners like Netbase and events like this conference and meaningful discussions with leaders in their respective fields – will quickly ensure that innovation doesn’t have to be an unconquerable challenge. Nor reserved for the elite. Stay tuned for more! 


What made you decide to tackle this subject/panel?



LAURA: I was part of a panel, Building Impactful Campaign Strategies: How to Utilize Social Analytics During Difficult Time, which discussed the importance and impact that social media analytics has on campaign strategy. I shared, among other themes, the criticality of keeping the people we serve (write, create, campaign, products, etc.) at the forefront of our thinking. Every problem is really a people problem.


What were some of your favorite panelists / presenters and why?



LAURA: I’ve always enjoyed presentations from Rishad Tobaccowala. During #SMWONE, he was interviewed by long-time mentee and Global Chief Innovation Officer at R/GA Saneel Radia. During their conversations, he discussed some insights from his four decades of learning and years of research he did on his book to distill and share perspectives, points of view and even provocations on what we may all do. It was fascinating! I bought and just started reading the book Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data.


Will the same social channels and/or social influencers continue to be relevant or are there others we should consider?


LAURA: I was asked this question on the spot during our panel! And I think there’s been a shift, for sure. There’s been a reprioritization of who is influential and essential – not to be too political – and that questioning or reframing power and who has or wields it – always translates to digital and our industry.


So, while authenticity-washing is real, I really believe we’re going to see a rise in the exploration of the everyday. Long live the home baker and sourdough starters! The channels and influencers who can adapt from our escapist culture to exploring homelife, I think, will persist.