This September, D’Marie will produce the first of its kind event in New York City called iCON: Influencer Convention. For several years, our team has been talking about the best way to launch this convention and we feel like the time is finally right. iCON is designed as a celebration of the year's most diverse, inclusive, and innovative uses of social media, influencer marketing, and social entrepreneurship. We wanted to take some time to personally explain why we decided to create iCON and the inspiration behind the convention.
We can all agree that we’re living in a unique time. Widely used social media is now nearly fifteen years old (hey, MySpace) and these platforms have tremendously affected our culture and human behavior. However, the use of social media for advertising is still the Wild West. Many brands are just beginning to understand what terms like “boosting” means and how an influencer’s follower count is just the surface of the metrics available for them to consider when casting campaigns. That said, some early birds have really excelled at adapting to this new form of advertising and marketing and many individuals have utilized this democratization of fame to grow empires from scratch. Beyond social ad campaigns, we’ve seen the inspiring use of social media as a main communications strategy for social movements like Black Lives Matters and Gays Against Guns, which have been able to mobilize millions of individuals to action. These stories of excellence are why we’ve created iCON; to showcase who is doing it right. To inspire influencers, educate business executives, and discuss what else we can collectively do with social media to have a lasting impact.
Within this two-day convention, iCON will host an estimated four hundred social media influencers and over seven hundred business executives in New York City at Spring Studios. Select influencers who have created their own brands are being invited to design pop-up installations in which they can showcase their latest products and host meet and greets with fans. Additional influencers are being partnered with larger, global sponsoring brands for unique activations over the weekend from meet and greets to live cooking shows to exclusive product drops. We're working with each brand and influencer to design a unique activation within the convention space for the estimated ten thousand enthusiast attendees (aka fans of the influencers).
The convention will also feature main stage programming with a series of panels, keynotes, and product demos featuring social media experts, activists, celebrities, and business executives who work within influencer marketing. The main topic of conversation will center around how brands can pair commerce campaigns with the current social movements and influencer partnerships. We will feature programming to discuss social movements that are dominating our national dialogue like gay rights, the women’s movement, gun control, and race relations. We want to have a dialogue about how brands can appropriately tap into this conversations by highlighting brands who have joined these movements.
At iCON we are including some fun experiential elements like the first ever Social Media Museum, featuring a curated collection of pop-culture artifacts from iconic social media moments. Some day there is bound to be a serious museum with a thoughtful collection of items, but until then, we wanna let you play with Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement veil, or at least an identical replica. We might even have an ice bucket or two that will be in use throughout the two days.
It was critical to us to honor all the innovation and inspiration we have seen on social media over the last year. That is why at the end of the two days, D’Marie will host the inaugural iCON Awards to influencers, brands, and organizations in twenty-five categories, which will be voted on by fans online (THAT MEANS YOU!). We’re celebrating the most inspirational uses of social media in categories including most impactful influencer campaign, best social platform of the year, and best Instagram photo. Nominations are now being accepted and you can vote here!
This is the first year we are producing this convention. We’re already so overwhelmed with the amount of positive feedback and willingness to participate we’re receiving from influencers, activists, and brands. Over the next six months, we’ll continue to strive towards producing a new convention experience for all our attendees. To learn more about how you can get be a part of this exciting two days visit: www.iconconvention.com. We look forward to seeing you in September!
May 15, 2014
Blogger // Lauren Nolan
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