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10 Reasons To Attend Upstate Social Sessions

10 Reasons To Attend Upstate Social Sessions

Written by Olivia Bauso
Photos by Dan Gribbin

Upstate Social Sessions, now in it's 2nd year, was designed to inspire and educate the community on the value of social media in our personal and professional lives. We couldn't be more excited to help bring this day-long conference to School of the Arts on October 15th, 2016. Since we're exactly 10 days away from the conference, here are exactly 10 reasons we think you should consider attending #UpstateSocial16:

1. The Sessions

Upstate Social Sessions would be nothing without the sessions it's named for. This year they're talking:

Consumption vs. Appetite: Evolving Social Measurement in a Video-Driven Ecosystem
In this session, Nick Cicero of Delmondo will discuss how leading media companies and brands are adopting new video analytics strategies to understand the rapidly growing sector of social video on platforms like Snapchat, Facebook Live, Periscope, YouNow and Twitch.

These Your Drums? A Live Podcast Experience
In this session, Andrew Knoblauch and Jon Alhart of Dixon Schwabl will discuss the top social media trends of 2016. Come for the tips, stay for the guest appearances (and we hear there will be lots of them)!

Don’t Feed the Trolls: Advice from Community Managers
In this session, Professor Arien Rozelle of St. John Fisher College will lead a chat about how to manage social media channels for a brand with community managers Brian Cason of Moment, Carol Benovic of Kickstarter, and Rochelle Bilow, formerly of Bon Appetit.

And that's just the start of the day! The full schedule is available over on

2. VIP Tickets

VIP members will get to join USS on October 14th at The Arbor Loft: Downtown, the evening before the conference. This gives you more of a chance to chat with other social media lovers and network with speakers— so you don’t have to catch them in between sessions.

VIP members also get free Ugly Duck Coffee (it’s $2 for everyone else), and first dibs on sign-ups for breakout sessions. That means VIPs are pretty much guaranteed the session they want to attend and will remain highly caffeinated throughout the day.

3. Breakout Sessions

New to USS this year are specialized breakout sessions. Instead of attending just large seminars, attendees will get to pick something under the social umbrella they really want to delve into and work in a smaller group. This maximizes opportunity to ask questions and learn not only from the speaker, but also from fellow participants.

Some of the breakout sessions include:

Triple Threat
Learning How to Shoot, Edit and Share Videos on Social Media, led by Neeti Upadhye of The New York Times & Sarah Taddeo of D&C Digital

Go Fund Yourself
Kickstarter Campaign Best Practices, led by Carol Benovic of Kickstarter

Creating FOMO
Styling and Shooting for Social Media, led by The MerryThought team

4. The Food

USS knows the power of brain food. That is why they have free breakfast for all ticket holders, regardless of admission level. In addition to free breakfast, USS will have snacks to fuel you throughout the day. Food and beverages will come from Ugly Duck (free for VIP members), Red Jacket Orchards, Evoke, Donuts Delite, Hart’s Local Grocers, and Karma Water. While lunch isn’t provided, Le Petit Poutine, Stringray Sushifusion and Effortlessly Healthy will be parked out front for easy eats. Plus, you'll be in Neighborhood of the Arts with tons of restaurant options at Village Gate and along University Avenue. #YUM

5. The Freebies

The free stuff doesn’t stop at food. As a VIP or General Admission ticket holder, you also get a free tote bag. They've also partnered with Moment for the the chance to win $150 in store credit for Moment before the conference even starts (a winner to be selected at random by Moment on the Thursday before the event so register if you haven't already).

If you don't win, it's okay- Moment is giving a 20% discount to all attendees and the chance to win something at the event itself (but we're not telling 😉)

6. Upstate Social Good Scholarship

Social Media can change the world. If you’re a student who believes this, you may be eligible for a $500 scholarship from Upstate Social Sessions. The task is simple: create a grassroots social media campaign to further a cause or aid an already-existing organization complete with a detailed plan and projected results. Five finalists will get a ticket and the chance to present their initiative at a mid-year USS event in 2017. Along with the money, the two winners will be invited to the 2017 USS VIP reception and get free admission to next year’s event.

7. The Chance To Bring Internet Connections To Life

Social media is a powerful force. It allows us to make connections with people from all corners of the universe, even the ones we admire in our own city. Upstate Social Sessions provides an opportunity to facilitate conversation between social media friends IRL. Want to meet that cool Insta-famous person from Rochester? Chances are, they're going to be at USS.

8. USS Can Get You Out Of Work (Or At Least Help You A Your Workplace To Pay For Your Ticket!)

If you’re one of the lucky people who works on Saturdays, Upstate Social Sessions can help persuade your boss to give you the day off and maybe even chip in for part of your ticket (insert prayer hands emoji). USS’s creative team has crafted the perfect persuasive letter to present to whom it concerns, so all you have to do is fill in the blanks, print and deliver.

9. Location, Location, Location (+ FREE PARKING!)

Upstate Social Sessions is located downtown at School of the Arts, so its easy to find and there is tons free parking. It's also walkable from many neighborhoods in the city and easy to get to by bus or bike!

10. The #SocialMediaIRL Videos

Have you seen these!? Optic Sky Productions teamed up with Upstate Social Sessions to show us what Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram would look like IRL. Check out the Snapchat video below and head over to their Facebook page to see the rest.

 Ready to join us? Register for the conference here.

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