Social Media Week Toronto Tackles the Biggest Stories of 2019 and Key Trends that Will Define 2020

November 12 to 15 - CBC's Glenn Gould Studio + Various Locations

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40+ experts, platforms, influencers and brands including TikTok, Facebook, Raptors and Nav Bhatia “Superfan”, Donté Colley, McDonald’s, Tangerine Bank, Knix, Mejuri, Endy, and more

The fourth annual Social Media Week Toronto (#SMWTO), also held in 25+ cities globally, runs from November 12 to 15, 2019 at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio and various venues around the downtown core. As Canada’s only Social Media Week, #SMWTO welcomes attendees from social media and digital marketers to bloggers and social media influencers across various industries looking to further build their audiences through the power of social media.

Social Media Week Toronto looks back at the online moments that defined 2019, and the trends that will shape 2020. This year’s theme of “Stories: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility” highlights the power and potential for brands and influencers that comes with telling stories that resonate on a human level—not just as potential customers or followers. The conference also explores the responsibility that users, brands, and platforms share, looking at new and emerging issues like Deepfake, as well as the ever-present challenges of bullying and privacy.

Social media has grown exponentially powerful, with more than 90% of millennials active across a variety of platforms—the key cohort to influence the future direction of social media and its impact on the world. This year’s conference continues the discussion around how social media intersects with our lives as consumers, marketers, and human beings.

Social Media Week Toronto’s 2019 lineup features more than 40 speakers⁠—leading experts, influencers, and brands in Social Media Marketing—who will speak to the power behind human-centric stories.

Digital and Media Platforms: Twitter, Facebook, TikTok (Bytedance), LinkedIn, CBC Toronto, Globe & Mail, Pinterest, and VICE Canada
Influencers: Inspirational Viral Dancer, Donté Colley, Raptors “Superfan”Nav Bhatia, Canadian Olympic Athlete Alysha Newman, “Fashion Influencer of the Year,” Dan Clay (aka “Carrie Dragshaw”), HGTV star Scott McGillivray, BlogTO personality Deepa Prashad, Fitness Personality and Coach Eva Redpath, and others
Inspiring Keynote Talks: Social Media experts & gurus like Carlos Gil, Steven Bartlett, Martin Waxman, and Ramona Pringle
Brands: Tangerine, Hershey Canada, Knix, Endy, Sun Life Financial, Mejuri, Koodo, McDonald’s Canada, Raptors
The #SMWTO Networking Lounge at Glenn Gould Studio features activations by CBC Toronto, Ryerson’s The Creative Innovation Studio, and Hoame, Toronto’s modern meditation studio, offering attendees the opportunity to relax and reset with meditation between sessions.

Social Media Week Toronto takes place at venues around the downtown Toronto core that represent community hubs at the intersection of culture and digital media, including CBC Toronto, Ryerson’s Creative Innovation Studio HQ, the Thompson Hotel, BrainStation Toronto, and others.

“In recent years, social media platforms have come under fire over a range of issues including data privacy concerns, its impact on us politically, and its impact on our mental health and well being,” said Michelle Pinchev, Executive Director of Toronto’s Social Media Week, independently organized by Pinch Social Inc. “We’ve seen this impact trust and sentiment through hashtag movements like #DeleteFacebook and documentaries like ‘The Great Hack’ on Netflix, and what we’re seeing in 2019 is a response across the entire industry—brands, influencers, and platforms alike. Instagram made a big move this year, gravitating away from ‘like’ culture to ease the pressures users feel by having posts rated and judged. Users and brands are becoming less ‘edited’ and much more authentic and vulnerable.”

Pinchev continues: “The biggest influencers of 2019 in Toronto weren’t supermodels or picture-perfect lifestyle bloggers, they were people like Nav ‘Superfan’ and Donte Colley — diverse individuals spreading positive, inclusive messages in a time when online conversations can be increasingly negative and divisive. Businesses and marketers are taking note of this new direction.”

Social Media Week Toronto is supported by the following Sponsors and Content Partners, including: Pinch Social, CBC Toronto, The Globe and Mail, Ryerson’s Creative Innovation Studio, Blue Ant Plus, Twitter Canada, Socialbakers, Vordik, LinkedIn Canada, Hoame Meditation, Adparlor, We Are Social, the Thompson Hotel, Facebook Canada, Social Chain and others.

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