Ok, I’m kidding. But kind of not.
Social Media Week was this past week with events up and running in Copenhagen, Milan, Miami, Hamburg, Lagos, New York, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, and DC. It’s also visited Vancouver, San Fran, LA and Chicago.
Due to it’s reputation, Detroit might seem a little…misplaced in that list to some. I, however, think that Detroit is steeped enough in social media and has an interesting enough point of view to host a social media week.
And since we’re all tween girls at heart, I know there are some people that probably think Detroit can’t host because it’s uglier than NYC or Paris or Miami. To that, I present to you this:
Don’t you think there should be an international event taking place in a city with all that pretty?
Great! Glad you agree!
But just in case you’re not convinced Detroit is not worthy of hosting Social Media Week, 5 reasons why Detroit would be a primo city for hosting duties:
1. TWITTER AND GOOGLE HAVE ALREADY DUBBED IT WORTHY
Contrary to what you might think, Detroit has major ties to social media. In April 2012, Twitter opened an office in Detroit in the M@dison Building (Detroit should also get bonus points for having a building with an ‘@’ sign in the name). And Google has always had a good relationship with the Detroit Metro Area, with a main office in Ann Arbor and a satellite Birmingham. I think it’s a pretty good idea to host a major social media event in the backyard of two social media giants.
2. THE WEBWARD INITIATIVE
Quicken Loans is headquartered Detroit. And if you know a little about Quicken Loans, you know who Dan Gilbert is. And if you know anything about Dan Gilbert, then you know he’s bought several buildings in Detroit in a revitalization crusade of sorts. It’s called the WEBward Initiative, encourages tech startups to develop in or move to Detroit. It would be good for SMW to access the momentum built by Everyone’s Uncle Dan to create an event with tech buzz and positive press. After all, Forbes seems to love Quicken.
3. INTERNATIONAL APPEAL
Non-Michiganders always seem a little gobsmacked when I tell people how many times I’ve been to Canada. I think people either discount or forget that Detroit has an international border with Ontario. On top of that, Detroit has a great relationship with Windsor, ON. Both cities have stunning remodeled casinos, they share a marathon, etc. Imagine all the traffic a SMW in Detroit would drive — extending out to Toronto, including Windsor & London in between. (And yes, Torontonians do come here, it was totally mentioned on an episode of Degrassi).
4. WE’VE GOT THE EQUIPMENT
A Social Media Week should definitely be hosted at Cobo Hall. For those not familiar, Cobo Hall is the sparkling home to the North American International Auto Show, right on the waterfront. It’s not a rinky-dink, jerry-rigged operation. NAIAS looks like this (pay less attention to the Audi and more attention to the slick white floor and flashy black ceiling/track lighting:
Detroit has the space to make a very modern looking event. Also, it’s got lots of attractions to keep visitors happy (the 3 casinos, gorgeous architectural theatres, awesome bars, Corktown, Mexicantown, Greektown, THE BIGGEST B-DUBS IN THE NATION.) Detroit can easily accommodate lots of visitors as proven when the city hosted the Super Bowl in 2006. And what no one likes to talk about is the crime: Yes, Detroit has crime. However, downtown Detroit is actually 37% safer than your average city. BAM.
5. THE BIG 3 ARE ALL ABOUT SOCIAL
I should know: I work at a Social CRM company and we happen to have the Big 3 companies as our clients. GM, Ford and Chrysler are all very serious about using social media to its full potential, and having their presence at a Social Media Week will make a difference. The Big 3 have developed big name influencers that cross over in the worlds of social media, marketing, and Fortune 500 companies. Having those influencers attend an event with roughly 90K followers a piece, will only produce a positive result.
I can think of a treasure trove more reasons, one pops to mind about memes, but I think that Detroit would be perfect for Social Media Week. They’ve got another round in September (and probably have locations for it already) but how about Detroit 2014? Does anyone else out there agree with me?