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Social media gurus to converge on Knoxville, Friday, April 27, 2012 at 2nd annual Social Slam

By Jeaneane Payne

social slamSome of the brightest minds in social media in the country are coming to Knoxville Friday, April 27, 2012 for the second annual Social Slam!

Last year, 430 attendees from 17 states packed the Knoxville Convention Center for the first Social Slam. This sell-out event gained national attention, brought in nationally acclaimed speakers and put Knoxville on the social media map.

Last week was a big one for Social Slam founder Mark W. Schaefer as his book found its way on to three major news programs, which helped propel Return on Influence to the number one position in marketing, PR and marketing research on Amazon.

The highlight of the week was an Schaefer's appearance on CBS This Morning when host Gayle King exclaimed "I was blown away by this book!"

Schaefer also appeared on a National Fox news broadcast, The International Business Daily and Jim Cramer's "The Street" program.

At this year's Social Slam, Schaefer will deliver the "Influence Thunder."

The event will feature America's top bloggers, the debut of a new speech, and the Internet's hottest topic —- social influence.

Schaefer, an author, blogger and college educator, promises to have some special surprises in store when he unveils a brand-new take on his best-selling book Return on Influence in his keynote speech. "This is a topic I'm quite passionate about," he said. "We are on the cusp of a marketing revolution led by consumers, not by companies, politicians or celebrity spokesmodels. Influence has been democratized and I can't wait to show the Social Slam crowd what this is all about."

Schaefer's speech will be based on his best-selling book Return On Influence. Each Social Slam attendee will receive a copy of the book and Schaefer will also have a book signing during the lunch break.

"I've been testing aspects of this speech in different venues around the country and around the world," he said. "In fact, I will be delivering this in London a few days before Social Slam. But the Knoxville event will be the U.S. debut of this new talk. People in the room will be hearing much of this information for the first time."

Schaefer is also the author of the 2011 business best-seller The Tao of Twitter . He was named one of the Top 50 "power influencers" in social media by Forbes.

Bringing his special blend of inspirational speaking and practical advice to the Social Slam stage will be Marcus Sheridan, better known as @TheSalesLion.

Sheridan is the founder of a Virginia-based pool installation business. Nearly bankrupt and desperate during the recession, Sheridan discovered social media marketing and has become one of the most passionate and entertaining advocates on the scene.

Through content marketing alone, his company became one of the largest pool installers in the US and currently has the most visited swimming pool web site in the world. With such success, in late 2009, Sheridan started business consulting and founded his sales/marketing/personal development blog, The Sales Lion, and has since grown a strong and loyal blog community. He is a popular speaker with contagious enthusiasm when on stage.

Sheridan will be participating in a social media beginners panel and also provide a stirring recounting of his business success in the afternoon "slam."

Jay Baer, one of social media's brightest stars will be making a return appearance at Social Slam as he hosts an exciting panel discussion on using social media to find and develop new product ideas. He will be joined on this panel by David Bratvold, founder of Daily Crowdsource, and Amy Kenly,who will be introducing some brand new research results on crowdsourcing and research.

Jay is probably best known for his blog, Convince and Convert, and his best-selling book The Now Revolution , but he is also one of the nation's most beloved speakers and marketing intellects. Jay was the final keynote speaker at Social Slam 2011.

"I go to a lot of conferences, but Social Slam was one of the finest event I have ever been too," Jay said. "I love what's happening with the Social Slam conference and I'm happy to be back to see many friends and meet new ones."

Social Slam 2012 boasts nationally acclaimed keynote speakers, including:

• Mitch Joel, one of the most important and influential leaders in the field of social media marketing
• Gini Dietrich, recently named the number one PR person according to Klout and TechCrunch
• Tom Webster, who offers a unique combination of both wit and wisdom to the lineup
• Mark Schaefer, founder

This year Social Slam will be introducing break-out sessions, loosely based on social media marketing skill levels, and a new "slam" concept that will rotate 10 speakers through fast-paced and innovative presentations.

This conference will provide attendees with an opportunity to hear world-class speakers, experience amazing personal networking, get a free social media marketing book, two free meals, a free after-party and more.

You can register for the conference at

Social Slam can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at!/smcknox.

Published March 4, 2012


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