At The Social Media Breakfast Syracuse at LOFO

By Joe Cunningham, Internet Marketing Manager

A few weeks ago I got an email from two members of my team about this event The Social Media Breakfast Syracuse at LOFO on Walton Street in Armory Square (just right down the street from our office).  It sounded cool enough – bunch of social media enthusiasts casually talking about social media; so I booked a free ticket on EventBrite© and thought I’d give it a shot.

It was actually pretty cool.

Bringing #PoeTheGnome

I brought along my acquaintance and untrustworthy companion, our very own Poe The Gnome (view and follow his exploits on our Pinterest & Instagram) who loafs around the office, reminding everyone when it’s their turn to write the Cowley blog with his eerie glare.  Once a week he does us a favor by promoting us with local businesses.  He’s becoming something of a big deal on social media so I figured, hey, he might like this event (or find a way to ruin it).  I took my chances.

The #SMBSyr

The Social Media Breakfast is a national initiative to get people together as an “event-and-networking series for teaching, sharing, and learning about industry best practices,” said Bryan Person, an SU alum who founded the group in Boston back in 2007.  For all those who think social media doesn’t actually contribute to real interaction, think again.

Since 2007, the SMB has grown to over 50 chapters across the US and globe.

SMB Syracuse’s kickoff event was today at LOFO, a small hipster restaurant in the heart of the city.  A real cool place: great food with a trendy-artsy atmosphere.  I got the breakfast buffet ($8) (good eggs, bacon) and a banacado smoothie ($6).  Both were awesome.  So was the free coffee.  And the staff was really cool about everything (we practically invaded the place).

Geeking Out & Learning

I geeked out a bit and made sure to Tweet up & Instagram the event before actually talking to a few really cool people.  Met a web designer/social media guy who worked downtown and we exchanged jokes.  I met two of the event organizers also: Katelyn Block (@chefkatelyn) and Kate Brodock (@Just_Kate).

I was very impressed with both of the organizers I met.  Katelyn Block, for one, who owns and authors her own blog  Katelyn’s social media prowess is evident from the success of her web endeavors.

I also met Kate Brodock, Evective Director of Digital & Social Media at Syracuse University.  Kate also has a laundry list of prestigious achievements, including being a blogger for Forbes.  Enough said.  She was all over the place stirring up the enthusiasm.

There were news people there, social media reps for local businesses, and marketing dudes looking for new ideas.  Well, they came to the right place.

I took a few shots of #PoeTheGnome, finished almost all of my bacon, and split so I could get to the office by 9.  (LOFO loved the gnome.  He loves LOFO.)

New Generation, New Media

Back at the office I recapped my experience for my bosses and peers.  Gail, our VP who’s been in the local marketing community for a while commented on how that sounded like how the Syracuse Ad Club used to be.  I said that’s the old media, this is the new media.  The average age of people in that room was probably 30 and full of life, enthusiasm, and knowledge of how powerful the internet is and how to harness it in today’s business.

LOFO SMB SYR from AnneI look forward to the upcoming events (see the SMB Syracuse Facebook page/EventBrite©) including a “Social Media and Sports” conference at the NBT Stadium.

I saw Anne Messenger (@AnneMessenger), Syracuse’s “Social Media Maverick” as Syracuse Women Magazine called her, a career consultant, and one of the event organizers.  (Cowley did a great redesign on their website last year, if I do say so myself.)  She was standing up on chair before and after talking to almost everyone, to take a photo.  Her tweet – and I abbreviate, reflecting on the 100-ish people who showed up to a local event promoted by pretty much social media alone, said it right:


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