“I’ve been to the Social Media Snow Camp by Biz and it was awesome”
From December 8 to 11, I had the opportunity to attend the Social Media Camp Winter edition organized by Biz, at Cold Stream.
What is the Social Media Camp organized by Biz?
Now in its 25th edition, Social Media Summer/Snow Camp is the event that Biz Magazine Romania organizes as the perfect space for marketers, influencers, and renowned brands to discover the latest trends in Social Media, in a space that encourages networking and having fun.
It’s 3 days that compress at least 3 months of professional interactions of all kinds. And yes, that includes waking up in the morning, although if anyone asked me I’d say this is the part I won’t miss in my day-to-day life!
This event has it all: lots and lots of learning, short breaks during the day, and parties at night that stretch into the morning, and after waking up after two hours of sleep you promise that “tonight I won’t stay as long” – the falsest thing ever said. And yet I managed the feat of getting in at 10 in the “classroom” every day, no matter what time I fell asleep.
How did the first day go?
You may think the first day is relaxing, that you’ve just arrived, that you have a little time to breathe. You don’t. You arrive at Pârâul Rece, check in, eat… and Marta from Biz comes with the bell (I wanted to be nice, it’s a real bell, you can’t miss it no matter how much you want to) to call you into the room, the presentations begin.
When I say “the presentations begin”, I don’t just mean PowerPoint presentations. No. You’ll get a microphone where you have to say who you are and what your expectations are from this camp. For those who don’t feel comfortable speaking at a microphone or in front of a lot of people who don’t know you, rest assured, you don’t get away with it. In the picture below you can see on my face how tense I felt while doing this. However I’m glad I did it, my fear of public speaking subsided a bit after that, and I already felt I had achieved a small victory.
After we all introduced ourselves, the presentations began in earnest. Wonderful presentations were made in such a way as to grab your attention, from Cristian Manafu’s presentation on Social Media to Aluziva’s presentation on how and why to do good in the world.
You don’t even realize when the hours have gone by because you’re free to socialize until the food comes, which is when it’s time to shine, you need to make friends. What would it be like to go to a camp like that but not talk to anyone? That means you don’t belong there.
What I haven’t told you before is that the first two evenings you have themed parties, which you should come prepared for. The first night was the Christmas Party. Each themed party also has very funny contests, so you can rest assured, the fun is guaranteed.
Somewhere around 02:00 the party ends but continues with an after-party called “Breakfast Club” where, oh well, you can stay as long as you like. Don’t forget that during this fun you are haunted by Marta’s words, “At 10 I’ll be waiting for you in the hall!”
The 2nd day of camp
At 8 am you have breakfast, which you don’t want to miss. You have the option of actually sleeping in until 10, but I highly recommend trying to get up for breakfast, because after a long night, it’s okay to recharge your batteries. PLUS the coffee was provided by 5 to go, huge thanks to Cezar from 5 to go who was there every morning and made the best coffee for us!
At 10:00 everyone gathers in the hall, still almost asleep because the “heavy” presentations begin. It takes 5 minutes because the stuff is so interesting it’s better than any coffee, it wakes you up instantly. We’ve had a lot of PPC-related presentations, on all the major platforms: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. In the end, we learned what a Pitch is and why it’s so important. Realistically speaking I learned a lot, especially during the coffee break the presenters were there to answer all your questions, patiently and in every way to make you understand. Big thumbs up!
After the coffee break and lunch, we split into teams and had to solve a brief given by the clients who were present, within an hour. Yes, you heard that right, in an hour. I mean, for a job that an agency does in at least two days, we had to come up with a good concept that we could develop in an hour, containing everything including Key Visual and campaign video, PPC strategy, offline activation, and all that.
After the time was up, a jury of marketing heavyweights listened to our presentations and scored us based on the given brief. An experience that made my hair fall out in an hour’s worth of two years, but honestly, I surprised myself when I saw what great ideas and concepts I could come up with in the first 10 minutes.
My team had a brief from 5 to go. 5 to go sells coffee capsules that fit Nespresso machines, and now they want to bring coffee capsules that fit Dolce Gusto machines. You can imagine what a launch campaign we had, right? We had a lot of ideas, all of us, and I fell into a team with a lot of personality, where the ideas were really creative and good. The highlight of the ideas was the collaboration with the Cugetări Meticuloase page because in the brief we had light communication, the target audience being Gen Z: people aged 15-25. A little teasing for what we came up with:
After we presented our work and Provident won first place, much deserved, we had our social and lunch break, followed by our 2nd themed evening: the Glamorous Black Party!
In addition to being a memorable evening where we laughed a lot, this historic event for camp happened, MANAFU DID NOT WIN THE CONTEST!
It was an evening of very funny contests, beautiful dancers, and an extended Breakfast club, just like every other night.
3rd day of camp
As usual, at 10 am in the hall. Quite painful this particular 10 am in the hall, but it started off strong with a debate: TikTok vs Instagram – the best communication platform for brands. We were asked not to vote on knowledge, on what we already know, but to vote on the arguments of the debate. Even if you know TikTok is top, if Instagram had the words to it, that’s who you should vote for. After all, that was the point, who has the best speech, and who manages to best sell their product.
After the debate, we followed with a series of presentations that I will certainly not forget. It was Provident’s moment of brilliance. This brand showed us that although they are expensive on the market, and have got themselves a reputation as *funny if you ask me* loan sharks, they took every opportunity to seize little jokes about them and turn them into Marketing strategies. To understand it best, here is the link for the Provident commercial:
What followed was a presentation from the Ministry of Internal Defence which personally impressed me enormously, I saw how MAPN makes such good content, I saw who is behind the content, and how it is made in all weather conditions: wind, rain, snow, etc. MAPN deserves all our respect, marketing people, for what they do.
Unfortunately, two of the speakers couldn’t make it, but Marta found a very useful solution: we talked about agencies, clients, and influencers. How? Agencies, this buffer between influencers and clients, had representatives who came out and explained to both influencers and clients what a pre-set brief means, what it means to challenge the client, and how much it is appreciated if the influencer keeps their specific tone of voice consistent in campaigns. It was very valuable information for everyone to learn from. A light-hearted discussion with interventions from the crowd, full of explanations and expositions of problems we all keep running into, with solutions to solve them.
We learned that for an influencer, a half-page brief explained properly and structured on the most important points is the secret to a successful campaign. And when you think about it, that’s the truth. Why does the influencer need to know the history of the company? What does it really do for them? They need to know what Tone of Voice the client has so they can adapt it to their online communication model to come up with something beautiful. This information for me was gold. Do you realize that it gets rid of online influencer debriefs, headaches, and excruciatingly long feedback? Don’t we all want that? After a short and to-the-point brief, you can have a 5-minute call with the influencer to iron out little loose ends and then wait for the successful campaign.
After the open discussion in the hall, each of us had to draw some conclusions, on the microphone, of course. Camp conclusions: who you are, where you come from, how you found the camp, and what you learned.
This was the moment when I realized that I’m not afraid of public speaking, the microphone is actually the problem. What did I do? When I picked up the microphone I only managed to say my name and forgot the whole speech I had been running through my head for 5 minutes, so I put it down and used my lungs as best as I could so everyone could hear me. The speech went so naturally and I had so much to say that I left there proud that my voice was heard.
Even though I was told on Tuesday that I was leaving for Pârâul Rece on Thursday, I got there with my anxiety because I didn’t know anyone, I’m grateful to have met so many wonderful people who were so patient and answered so many questions, from how to do a PPC campaign right, how to think about a campaign correctly and how to choose your clients. That’s how you choose your clients, huge thanks to Gabi from Sunshine, many people simply call him by his surname, and everyone knows who Nedelea is. He educated me in 5 minutes on this topic and it stuck in my head. It’s definitely information I’ll carry with me until I retire.
The evening being young, we prepared for the last party night, where there was no dress code so everyone was dressed comfortably, and focused very hard on the last moments where you could socialize with people, plus the match that we mustn’t forget though, it’s the World Cup in Qatar.
Everyone somehow felt we had reached the end and the general mood was somewhat one of regret, if it could have been extended by just one more night it would have been great, but all good things come to an end. We took advantage of the last moments of socializing and retired to our rooms to prepare for departure.
Goodbye Biz SMS Camp, see you in the summer!
The morning of Day 4 started strong with packing, coffee, and breakfast where conclusions were shared, hugs were shared, and we wished each other well and headed home. I’m firmly convinced that like me when we arrived back in Bucharest we felt most strongly that we were no longer at Pârâul Rece.
I have a solution for that: from 15 to 18 June 2023, the summer edition of Biz SMS Camp will take place, also at Pârâul Rece, where I hope to see as many of us as possible and talk about everything that comes to mind. There will be some really cool activities, take my word for it.
Biz SMS Camp is a goldmine for people who have contact with Social Media, it is first of all a learning hotspot, and you leave there with some extremely valuable information.
It’s where you meet great people and make friends, even the shyest of people who go there leave with friends: valuable friends who will help you both spiritually and professionally.
Anyone who has never been should definitely give it a chance. It’s a place where you get little sleep but learn a lot and have just as much fun.
Most important conclusion: See you in the hall at 10:00 in the summer!