Pune has loads of social media enthusiasts. #SMDayPune was proof that the social media folks in the city were keen to meet offline too. We were quite stunned to have nearly 150 odd people turn up for the evening celebrations at Jimmy Hu. Our initial expectations of a maximum of 50 people were dashed as registrations grew to 100 and then continued to pour in till 6 pm, an hour before the event, to finally stop at 142. Folks who hadn’t registered also dropped in to say a hello!
So, we ended up with a much larger crowd than expected and no microphone for the speakers. Thankfully, most of them were kind enough to cooperate, while we sincerely apologise to all. The event has been quite an eye-opener on the social media offline scene in Pune. We promise to arrange for better audio and lighting next time. Also, registrations and feedback would be allotted a dedicated time slot the next time!
Before social media went offline, the guys from The Other Guys, our partners for the event, hosted a fun Twitter contest with cool Jimmy Hu umbrellas up for grabs. Folks were asked to come up with alternate names for social networking sites using #AlternateSMNames. The most creative tweeps got the umbrellas at the event.
— The Other Guys (@theotherguys_in) June 30, 2014
Coming to the offline event, first on, the agenda took a slight beating. Due to the start of Ramadan, Sanjay Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police, Pune was on special duty. Still, he took the initiative to make it to the event and have his talk preponed to the first slot.
Sanjay Kumar talked about the evils of social media with reference to the recent attacks in Pune. He said the police department is taking initiatives to mitigate this with the help of social media users in the city. The admins of Facebook groups would be given the right information and messages to be shared across the group. He called for people to help volunteer with the department’s efforts.
Next up, we had the beautiful Jasmin Gill from Opera Software India to host some fun quizzes with Opera goodies. Being the sport she was, she stood on a chair to make herself visible to the crowd. The fun quiz contests asked for cheesy friend requests and cheesy handles one often encountered on social media. Winners went home happy with mobile phone solar chargers and hoodies by Opera. The grand giveaway was a Nokia phone.
This was followed by an interesting talk in Marathi. It felt really nice to listen to Madhuri Misal, MLA from Parvati Constituency, sharing her thoughts on social media and how she plans to use the medium to better reach out to the youth. Madhuri was accompanied by her daughter, Pooja Misal, who first introduced her to social media.
Next up, the guys from Uber shared some insights on the cab booking service and why it did not accept debit cards due to issues with RBI regulations. Remember the good guys from Uber Pune offered free rides to and fro for #SMDayPune attendees. A selfie contest was also hosted with Uber credits to be won.
Next, we had the cake-cutting session by Digiwale for having completed a year. The founders have been generous enough to have brought a giant cake to the event, which everyone got a piece of. Hopefully?!
We had to let go the intro session for all attendees, due to shortage of time. The event was then open for networking and drinks.
While most of them loved the initiative – a first in Pune – to bring together all social media enthusiasts to one platform and have the chance to give a face to their online avatars, many hoped to see an improved event the next time. Nevertheless, everyone had a gala time at #SMDayPune and have requested for similar meetups in the city.