5 Reasons to Look Forward to Sitecore Symposium - The Will Smith Keynote

There are a great many reasons I am looking forward to Sitecore Symposium! Hearing from Sitecore’s leadership, learning from industry leading keynote experts, being among the first to hear new Sitecore announcements, exploring breakout sessions and meeting others in the Sitecore Community are incredible opportunities. As an avid movie fan, the opportunity to attend the Will Smith keynote and learn from this legendary Hollywood actor will definitely be among my favorite highlights at Symposium.

When Sitecore announced that iconic actor, Will Smith, would be giving a keynote address at the 2018 Sitecore Symposium, many attendees immediately took notice. Conversations among those in the Sitecore community started including famous movie lines such as “Aliens? I HATE aliens!” and “Do I look like I care what you think?” Some offices even broke out dancing to popular Will Smith songs, which is admittedly a bit scary if you’ve seen some technology professionals dance.

While Will Smith has been ranked as the most bankable star worldwide by Forbes, his films having earned $7.5 billion at the global box office, many fans don’t realize that Mr. Smith is also a brilliant businessman, who has started and grown multiple brands in his lifetime. With a 25+ year entertainment career, as well as a remarkable history as an entrepreneur with multiple brand holdings and business interests, he is a legendary expert in gathering data, analyzing it, and formulating an idea that resonates with audiences. There are five main reasons I am looking forward to hearing Will Smith’s keynote at Sitecore Symposium:

Branding Acumen

As a content strategist, I am always impressed with business professionals who are very in tune with their brand, and who can extrapolate their experience to teach others about how to be more effective at strategic brand marketing. In previous marketing conference keynotes, Mr. Smith has spoken extensively rel="noopener noreferrer" on the idea of starting with a profound idea and executing to bring it to life. Sounds simple right? How many brands can truly say they’ve done it? As I think about companies who have excelled at brand marketing this year, I can’t help but think of IHOP and their IHOb campaign. Lucky for us, we will also hear from parent company, Dine Brands Global, at Symposium rel="noopener noreferrer" to learn how they took their profound IHOb idea – and created a viral sensation that many will talk about for years to come.

Marketing Virtuoso

For those who have spent any time researching the Will Smith brand, it is evident that Mr. Smith, and his team, could host their own master class on strategic brand marketing. From the movie choices he has made over his career, to the image he portrays in the media, to his offscreen interests across multiple brands, Mr. Smith has made a career of giving his audience exactly what they rel="noopener noreferrer" want and need. For example, during a previous marketing conference keynote, Will Smith incorporated “Getting’ Jiggy wit It.” Was it fun? Sure. Did people have a great time connecting with his brand? Yes. However, what was more impressive is that he observed his audience and knew they had been in conferences all day waiting to hear him speak, so he deliberately placed the song at the top of his appearance to get people up and moving. The results? Mr. Smith was able to connect on a deeper level with his audience.

Results Focused

To quote Robert Burns, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” This couldn’t be more true in business, especially in marketing. No matter how well a marketing campaign is planned, how meticulously a website is developed, or how scrupulously an event is planned, the unexpected happens. In business, as in life, it’s important to be able to analyze results mid-stride, and pivot when needed. In Hollywood, that term would rel="noopener noreferrer" be called “Reinventing Yourself.” Consider several pivots in Will Smith’s career… He started off with a single on the radio is last month of high school, to becoming a famous rapper whose career didn’t go as planned. He then pivoted and moved to Hollywood to become the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Following several successful years and a growing fan base, he pivoted once again, parlaying his television show success onto the big screen, eventually becoming the Hollywood icon he is today. While many would be content to ride their golden Hollywood reputation into the sunset, Mr. Smith also pivoted into business, and now holds multiple startups and business interests. The most important lesson I am looking forward to learning from Will Smith at Sitecore Symposium is how to stay agile, be relevant, and deliver impressive results in the face of both adversity and success.

Passion and Work Ethic

Those in our society who have had the level of success Mr. Smith has achieved most often have three key characteristics in common – passion, work ethic and determination.  We all know people in our lives who have succeeded despite the odds against them. It’s because they have grit, a fire in their belly, a passion for their product, and a dedication that they are going to work harder than their competitors. This formula is truly what makes a good business professional find success and longevity in their field. At XCentium, we believe that innovation and creativity are great – but ultimately, they are nothing without quality and results, which are derived from long days, (sometimes nights too), and hard work.I f you dig below the glitz, the glamour, humor and personality we attribute rel="noopener noreferrer" to one of our favorite movie stars, you will see that Mr. Smith embodies these all of these characteristics – and attributes his success to his work ethic.


Our society craves authenticity. We want to believe in the human spirit. Our customers want to know brands are what they say they are. Call it the “relatability factor,” or whatever the latest and greatest term for it is. Will Smith has had an impeccable career because we can all relate to him. It doesn’t matter what walk of life we come from, when people hear his name and a smile automatically comes to their face because he has woven the authenticity of being who he is throughout his entire career. In the age of digital media, being real and relevant has never been more important – or more sought after. With the reality of fake news, people crave honesty, simplicity and trustworthiness. Mr. Smith rel="noopener noreferrer" has brilliantly used the power of video on his YouTub channel to give his audience insights into who rel="noopener noreferrer" he is as a person, and an entertainer, from facing his biggest fears to singing Carpool Karaoke with James Corbin. I am very much looking forward to hearing from the authentic Will Smith at Symposium.

In conclusion, there are many more than five reasons to look forward to the 2018 Sitecore Symposium! With this being my first Sitecore Symposium, I am very excited to hear from all the keynote speakers, as well as exchange ideas and collaborate on all the aspects that make Sitecore an amazing platform – and our careers incredibly rewarding. Over the next few weeks, our XCentium team will be sharing a series of blogs “5 Reasons to Look Forward to Sitecore Symposium,” highlighting multiple aspects of Symposium. Our team is looking forward to connecting with each of you at Symposium – and “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It.”