Why SocialMedia.org no longer accepts event sponsorships

SocialMedia.org has always been a brands-only community, with a 100% vendor-free experience.

The only exception were public events we hosted the day before our private, brands-only Member Meetings. These public days included a few hand-chosen sponsors, and we also welcomed agencies and other folks in the industry to attend these public events.

The sponsorships from these great social media providers helped make these events possible. We’re grateful for that support, and it has been a pleasure collaborating with these partners to grow this market into something meaningful.

But in December of 2013, we held a very different type of event — a brands-only conference completely closed to all consultants, agencies, and vendors (except for some pre-conference sponsorships).

Frankly, it was extraordinary. The spirit and fellowship that the attendees experienced was unprecedented. It felt like a long-overdue family reunion, and it was unlike any event we’ve seen before — 304 executives from 161 major brands attended.

We realized that our mission is to create these private experiences, so we’ve decided to switch to a 100% brands-only model.

This means that sponsors, vendors, agencies, and consultants are no longer allowed at SocialMedia.org events. If someone isn’t running social media at a big brand, they won’t be allowed to attend.

Vendors still have a lot of great events to go to, and our members are clear that they are eager to see them there. But at the same time, we learned that our members are grateful to have events just for them, completely vendor-free, for just a couple days out of the year.

There is an important role for service providers in social media, and we’re happy for their success.

There’s also a clear need for a private brands-only experience, and we’re going to stay focused on providing that.

We are truly grateful for the past support of social media service providers, and it’s been great working with them. We remain huge fans, and we wish them continued success in the future.