Social Media Week Chicago Signals Final Call for Event Submissions

2012 Session Lineup takes shape as Keynote Speakers, Program Highlights and New Advisory Board Members are announced

CHICAGO – With little more than one month until its return to Chicago on Sept. 24-28, Social Media Week Chicago, organized by Zócalo Group, an Omnicom company and leader in the word of mouth and social media marketing space, and the Chicago Tribune, one of the country’s leading multimedia companies, is ramping up for one of Chicago’s most anticipated global technology and cultural events by announcing its final call for event submissions.

Unified by a theme of Empowering Change Through Collaboration, Social Media Week Chicago invites anyone interested in participating as an event partner to submit ideas by the deadline of Aug. 21 at Spanning five days in more than a dozen venues across Chicago, Social Media Week engages with the Chicago community by joining together area companies, national brands, academic institutions, non-profit organizations and government agencies. Additionally, event partners benefit from involvement in Social Media Week by participating in a multi-national social media conversation, amplifying their messages through multiple platforms and raising brand awareness to a global stage.

Building off of last year’s diverse and integrated program list of 80 events and 200+ speakers, Social Media Week Chicago is offering a variety of program tracks covering a wide range of topics including Business; Media & Entertainment; Technology & Innovation; Politics & Government and Art & Culture.

“We are proud to bring Chicagoans together to share the energy and the latest developments in social media,” said Joyce Winnecke, Vice President and Associate Editor of the Chicago Tribune. “This lineup of programs and speakers promises an electrifying week.”

As final event ideas are submitted, programming is already well under way. Social Media Week Chicago will bookend a lineup of interactive events and sessions with a kickoff celebration on Monday, Sept. 24 at Rockit Bar & Grill and a closing night party to be held at Sound-Bar on Friday, Sept. 28.

Social Media Week Chicago is also proud to announce several distinguished keynote speakers who will share their insights on current social and mobile media practices, trends and issues. They include:

  • Brad Keywell, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Lightbank, Groupon and Chicago Ideas Week
  • John Tolva, Chief Technology Officer, City of Chicago
  • Chris Kaskie, President, Pitchfork
  • Rick Wion, Director of Social Media, McDonald’s
  • Logan LaHive, Founder and CEO, Belly
  • Matt Maloney, Co-Founder and CEO, GrubHub
  • Genevieve Thiers, Founder, SitterCity

Dates and times of keynote speakers can be viewed by visiting and choosing Chicago from the drop-down menu.

Unique to this year’s programming is a Silent House Party to be held on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue. The Silent House Party is a collaborative, cross-city music event that unites Social Media Week in Chicago, the birthplace of house music in the 1980s, with Social Media Week in Berlin, a current hub for the house music scene. Today’s biggest deejays will kick off the celebration with some of the best house music Chicago and Berlin have to offer while large video screens broadcast activity from each event.

“This event is a great example of how social media can connect a global community,” said Paul M. Rand, President and CEO of Zócalo Group. “Highlighting innovative ways of using social and mobile media to drive action and engagement is what Social Media Week is all about.”

To submit an event or to join Social Media Week Chicago’s list of volunteers, visit for events will open on Aug. 28.Events are open to the public and free to attend.

Social Media Week Chicago also welcomes to its team some new Advisory Board members: Una Pipic, Vice President at Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center/1871; John DeRango, Community Manager at CCC Information Services; Vanessa Harris, Director of Marketing at Chicago Public Media; Doug Miller, New Media Manager, Career and Money Management at DePaul University; Todd Shingler, Founder & President at Mobile Perspectives; Leslie Banks, Senior Product Manager, Financial Communications Business atMorningstar; Ankur Thakkar, Deputy Director, Social Media at the Office of the Mayor, City of Chicago; Jeff Willinger, Director of Social Computing and Intranets at Rightpoint;Deborah Maue, Vice President at TRU Insights; Max Crowley, Community Manager at Uber; and Glen Callanan, Director of Interactive Sales at WGN. To see the full list of more than 50 Advisory Board members helping to plan Social Media Week Chicago, visit

For more information on Social Media Week Chicago, visit or follow on Facebook or @SMWChicago on Twitter for real-time updates.

About Zócalo Group

Zócalo Group is a full-service word-of-mouth and social media marketing agency, helping leading consumer and business to business brands become the most talked about and recommended in their categories. Based in Chicago, Zócalo Group has received numerous industry awards for brand programs and measurement initiatives. Zócalo Group is a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) and Ketchum. For more information, please visit

About the Chicago Tribune

For 164 years, the Chicago Tribune has been a market-leading publication of the Tribune Company. Reaching five million readers each week in print, online and through radio, television and live events, the Tribune is known for its public service journalism and watchdog reporting. In 2010, the Tribune launched Trib Nation, a community outreach and audience engagement program that includes a broad menu of live events such as Chicago Forward: Conversations About the Future, a series of public policy discussions; programs by columnists and other journalists; literary events including Author Talks, Lit Fest, and Literary Awards; and classes and seminars under the banner TribU: Lessons for Life.

About Social Media Week

Social Media Week is owned and operated by Crowdcentric Media LLC and is a global platform connecting people, content, and conversation around emerging trends in social and mobile media. Delivered primarily through a network of internationally hosted conferences and online through social media, Social Media Week literally connects hundreds of thousands of people every year through learning experiences that aim to advance our understanding of social media’s role in society. To learn more, visit