Getting ready for Explore Dallas-Fort Worth on Feb. 17 has been a lot of fun. Probably one of the best parts of the experience for me is finding great sponsors to bring something to the table for participants. We don’t just want vendors who come in, sell-sell-sell and then follow up with more sales emails and the like. We tried hard to identify companies that were going to bring value to you, not just them.

It was easy to turn to SME clients and partners like Expion and NetBase. We knew them and knew they’d know what we were shooting for. Expion, one of our two Captain Sponsors, has been providing great value at events and with their own contributions to Social Media Explorer’s blog for over a year now. The social media management solution has grown tremendously over the last year (only coincidental that they’ve been a client in that time … I take no credit for their success) and brings not just a software solution to the table, but helpful people like Kevin Magee (who will be speaking at Explore Dallas-Fort Worth), Peter Heffring, Erica McClenny and Dan O’Marra. They’ve got a lot of smarts and are going to help folks in Dallas understand how big brands can go local, but also how smaller brands can potentially go big with a local focus.

Explore - Social Media Event

NetBase, a Navigator sponsor for Explore events this year, is another partner and client of Social Media Explorer’s. Our soon-to-be-launch market research product is based on their technology. We believe in their tool and them as well. Lisa Joy Rosner, NetBase’s Chief Marketing Officer, is just one of those people you have to meet. Her talk to the Louisville IABC/Louisville Digital Association bootcamp last fall gave a lot of people great ideas on using online analysis to make smarter decisions about their brands.

But then we went out and found more companies and people that will add a tremendous value to the Explore experience. Raven Internet Marketing Tools, the other Captain sponsor with Expion, is a fantastic toolset for both SEO and social media management with a price point that even small businesses are comfortable with. Arienne Holland‘s first response when we started talking about her presentation at Explore was along the lines of, “How can we help the audience do something they aren’t doing yet?” She’ll wow us with ideas on how to monitor proactively, not reactively. Plus Brannan Atkinson and crew are bringing some kick-ass T-shirts for everyone. *LOVE*

Our other Navigator sponsors will also bring some awesome insight and neat people to the event as well. Cision‘s Heidi Sullivan will be there. I gave my first national talk along side Heidi back in 2008. She’s helped reshape the media database company’s online efforts and done volumes to help bridge the gap between marketing/PR folks and bloggers in that time.

Visible Technologies is another sponsor I’m excited about everyone getting to know. They’re a monitoring and insights platform and boy, do they know their stuff. I’m actually working on a webinar with them for the week after Explore Dallas-Fort Worth and have gotten to know them pretty well and see their tool up close. The data it can produce is pretty amazing. Make sure you sign up for “What She Said” on Feb. 21, but get to know them in Dallas, too!

Edison Research is also a Navigator sponsor for Explore this year. I’m excited to be involved with a new project with Edison that we’ll be announcing more fully as the year goes on. Suffice to say you’ll be able to learn more about it at Explore! Plus, when Tom Webster is on the speaking docket for the event (and he was before Edison was ever a sponsor), you’re going to be both informed and entertained.

44Doors is knocking down the doors of mobile marketing and doing some interesting things for brands and companies. They’re supplying some of their mobile magic to all of us at Explore. Each participant leaves with their own mobile landing page for contact information sharing and has easy access to sponsors and speakers through mobile interactions 44Doors is providing. And CMO Tim Hayden will be waxing poetic for us on how to turn passive fans into active advocates through mobile techniques, too.

Our Compass level sponsors are headed up by uberVU, a rising star in the social media monitoring space. We’re excited to have them and let more people know about their solution. But also tap into the intel their company has. They do a nice job of supplying us with interesting insights and advice on their blog, so I can’t wait to learn more from them in Dallas.

The Dallas Business Journal is also a Compass sponsor. Their editor, Lauren Lawley Head, will join our Journalism In The Social Era panel discussion and provide some interesting insights, particularly for our public relations professionals in attendance, on how social media factors into traditional media and news gathering.

And I can’t say enough about MarketingProfs. They’re using their sponsorship to ensure more people know about their awesome resources and their basic, free membership. I’m a MarketingProfs member. You should be, too. Awesome resource for all of us.

Heck, even the local GM dealers in Dallas-Fort Worth are in on the action. I’ll gladly show off the GMC Acadia Denali I’ll be driving while I’m in town. Awesome to have them involved!

Our final two Compass sponsors are the Social Media Clubs of Dallas and Fort Worth. Without them, and their leadership (respectively Mike Merrill and Stephanie Scott, both of whom are speaking/panelists at Explore) we would have had a hard time getting folks excited about this event.

The critical thing to know about all these sponsors is that we wouldn’t be able to bring such great content to Dallas-Fort Worth without them. And we’ve asked them to bring great content, too. Sure, they’d love to talk to you about their thing. But they’re there to help you as much as any of the speakers are, too.

We do a pretty good job of screening the companies we work with, endorse and put in front of you at events like this. I can honestly say every one of these folks is going to be useful to you in whatever way they can next week.

If you haven’t registered yet, sign up now. We’ve got spots left and don’t want you to miss out. We’re not live streaming this thing, so you have to attend to get all the goodness. Plus, the networking alone is going to be worth the cost of admission.

Head on over and register. Use the code ILOVESME to get a pretty nice discount off the full day’s price. We’ll have breakfast, lunch and a cocktail reception for you, tons of networking and lots of great learning. See you in Dallas next Friday!

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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