09/26/2012 05:14 pm ET Updated Nov 26, 2012

Here's Why Social Media Week LA Is Important This Year

Social Media Week 2012 kicked off on Monday. So you know, Social Media Week "is a worldwide event exploring the social, cultural and economic impact of social media. Our mission is to help people and organizations connect through collaboration, learning and the sharing of ideas and information."

It takes place simultaneously across the globe. I had the pleasure of attending the Kick-off party for Social Media Week Los Angeles on Monday night at Shira Lazar's fabulous What's Trending studios in Hollywood. Fun rooftop party -- tons of people -- and fantastic energy in the air. My good friends Nic Adler and Kyra Reed from The Roxy and Adler Integrated were there, as was Kevin Winston from Digital LA, and Tameka Kee from ad-tech. And of course the amazing Mary Hall, aka @recessionista as well.

The Silicon Beach Wave is building. Southern California -- and the Venice, Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, Malibu area in particular (although companies like MySocialCloud are downtown and tons of digital studios are popping up in Hollywood) -- is suddenly on fire for social media, entertainment, technology, and media.

Ever since Google moved into the old Chiat/Day 'Binoculars Building' in Venice and YouTube invested $100 million or so in YouTube channels, something has changed. The USC Silicon Beach conference a couple of weeks ago was a stellar example of how things are coming together.

#SMWLA this year seems to be in very capable hands with Drew Baldwin at the helm as Executive Director. I had a chance to sit down with Drew at the kickoff party for a lively discussion about how he and his team are bringing focus to this year's events with a unique program that explores the intersection of social technology and entertainment.

I loved that this year's event will be centered -- thematically and geographically on Hollywood. Events will take place in and around the historic Egyptian Theater, where the first movies premiered in the 1920's and a global, multibillion dollar industry was born.

And now, almost 100 years later, veteran brands are using Social Media Week LA to launch products -- Madame Tussauds Hollywood, the legendary wax museum, is launching its "Social Media Figure Contest" during an opening event for Social Media Week Los Angeles.

As I've said before, "This is NOT a bubble. t's a wave and you're not on it if you don't know that. Enjoy #SMWLA and catch some of the good vibes coming from Silicon Beach and Hollywood!

Beverly Macy is Co-Author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. Email her at