World Social Marketing Conference (Post Event Reflection)

By | October 8, 2008

I have to admit to still being somewhere between Cloud 9 and a state of shock over the sheer intensity of the conference, and my successes at the Conference.  Oxford Room

The Good

First and foremost, a massive thank you to TCP and to the National Social Marketing Centre for the event.  I had the honour of working in with the two teams by running the WSMC twitter account.  I owe a massive debt of thanks to Patrick Ladbury at the NSMC for letting me set up and run the WSMC twitter account.  Thank you.  It’s a tribute to you and the Centre that I was able to come into the picture at the last moment and just slot into the framework.

The Brilliant

Philip Kotler.  This man is one of the most seriously impressive people I’ve had the honour to meet, and to hear him talk about social marketing in person is an amazing privilege. This man is a living legend in the marketing business, and a genuine icon of the commercial marketing sector.  He was there at the opening of the conference, and was present and participating throughout the entire process. I know many key note speakers fly in, speak, and fly out.  He was there in the sessions, listening, learning and observing the progress of the discipline he helped build from a great idea to powerful social force.


Kotler, P, Dann, S and Dann, S (2008) Social Marketing Conference Photo, World Social Marketing Championships, Brighton
Kotler, P, Dann, S and Dann, S (2008) Social Marketing Conference Photo, World Social Marketing Championships, Brighton

I have a signed copy of the Kotler and Lee (2008) Social Marketing text, and I was lucky (and bold) enough to be photographed with Kotler, and have my photo taken with Nancy Lee (my social marketing icon).

Lee, N and Dann, S (2008) Social Marketing World Championship Dinner, Brighton

Lee, N and Dann, S (2008) Social Marketing World Championship Dinner, Brighton

The Downright Astonishing

I was named as one of the 18 senior social marketing figures.  The conference held a lunch time breakout session to have “Lunch with senior social marketeers”.  The list of names of the Social Marketing “Team of the Century” (as I’ve taken to calling it)

  • Clarence Room – Philip Kotler & Nancy Lee
  • Sandringham Room – Bill Smith & Seynabou Mbengue
  • Osborne – Rob Donovan & Tane Cassidy
  • Lancaster Room – Gerard Hastings & Alan Andreasen
  • Edinburgh Room – Francois Lagarde & Jeff French
  • Ambassador Room – Sue Peattie & Doug McKenzie Mohr
  • Library – Craig Lefebvre & Katherine Lyon Daniel
  • Surrey Room – Stephen Dann & Ray Lowry
  • Gloucester Room – Sameer Deshpande & Juan Manuel Urrutia

I am honoured and humbled to be in the same line up as these icons of the business.  I was affectionately referring to the conference as the World Championships of Social Marketing, and I think I can comfortably say I walked out of the event with a title belt and a baggy green cap as part of the World Championship squad.

The Future

This conference involved me staking a major bet on the production of a new definition of social marketing which paid serious dividends.  The full paper based on the conference presentation has provisionally been accepted into the Journal of Business Research with no changes.  There’s interest in the methodology used in the paper from another journal.  People were literally screencapping the definition with digital cameras. This was the biggest event of my career, and one of the most amazing days of my life to stand before peers, icons and idols, and put a legitimate claim on defining the meaning of social marketing.

There’s much more to recap and write up from the event for the next few days. For now, I’ll just settle with being extremely honoured and humbled to be part of an amazing event.

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3 thoughts on “World Social Marketing Conference (Post Event Reflection)

  1. Craig

    Stephen, great to finally meet up at the conference. And thnaks for your tweeting the 2 days!

    I hope that I and others can count on your enthusiasm and membership on ‘the Team’ for assistance as we start pulling the social marketing strands together into a true professional identity and organization.

    For now, enjoy the cloud…

  2. Stephen Dann Post author


    Count me in for the World Association


  3. Pingback: The Bulletin: Updates in the Social Marketing Field « SocialButterfly.

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