COM0015: Assignment 5 – Event Participation

Location, location, location!!

So many of the social media events that I truly wish to be at are usually hundreds of kilometers away. BlogHer, for example, is an exceptional gathering hosted in Toronto. Ottawa, however, has had the Ottawa Social Capital Conference which I had the pleasure of attending a few years ago, but, sadly, only ran for a few years.

When perusing online for some heavy-hitting-awesomeness that is hosted online, the price figure attached is mindboggling. I wasn’t sure what, or how, to continue.

I happened across the thought of when I’d hosted our Condo Corporation’s AGM at our local library to search through other workshops that might be available through their boardrooms. Success!!

Ass 5 image of link of workshop

And, best of all…if you have a library card? It’s FREE. J

This particular workshop was hosted by Lara Wellman, of Lara Wellman – Digital Marketing. I’d had the opportunity to meet her in one of my previous attendances at the Social Capital Conference and her speaking abilities resonate both with those people who are just beginning in social media, to those who have already established themselves and are looking for new techniques and/or tips to broaden their success online.

“I specialize in helping small businesses increase their visibility and grow their customer base using online tools. Through an array of services such as workshops, coaching and strategic planning, I make clients comfortable with social media and other web tools and teaches them how to optimize their use.”

Event WorkshopSome of the attendees were small business owners who were just starting out in the world of adding social media to their business tool kits. I was one of two bloggers and was able to relate how social media has assisted my health advocacy across multiple social media platforms. I was able to learn how to define the key messages of my blogging: two general and two personal. One such message I determined to be: “Choices empower you to be a better patient.” It was nice to get back to some of the most often overlooked basics. I was able to briefly network with a Nutritionist student and relate some of my experiences in the online health communities.

 

Lara’s validation of the manner in which I promote myself across various platforms was summed up in her statement, “Even if you want to reach an entire country, how to market to each [platform] will vary.” It made me refocus on the nature of language and storytelling to best relate to which audiences are using which media platforms.

One key idea that Lara presented was the benefit of email marketing. This may be something for me to look into in the future in order to provide more of the resource information that my followers seek, but enjoy the blog itself for its value of providing insight into the journey itself. Another idea for me to look into, which terrifies me to no end, is the opportunity to monetize my blog. Thus far, I’ve resisted simply because some of the major websites my blog is listed on will not accept monetized blogs. Something challenging to consider as I move it forward, for sure.

I would highly recommend looking into attending a workshop like this in the future. I think the availability and location adds a distinct ease of attendance. I certainly appreciate the time that Lara offered, free of charge, for those who need a little bit of focus and direction as to where to take their online, social media journey to success.

Have you had a successful experience at a local professional networking event?

COMM 0015 – Blog Post #5 – Event Participation

cs4l summitThis past week I had the pleasure of attending the Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) summit in Gatineau, Quebec.  It was a two day conference and it was a natural choice since my company, SIRC, was to be an exhibitor. Since I’m the primary person at the booth, it was easy to use this event as a networking tool as well as squeezing in some professional development whenever I got the chance to attend a session.

Since I was at the booth, I met around 30-40 people and had some interesting conversations in the two days I was there. I had two firm connections with Francois Gravelle from the University of Ottawa who is researching physical literacy for Olympic weightlifters and Jennifer Scott who is the Director of Communications for the Canadian Dermatology Association who led a project in partnership with Baseball Canada to increase awareness of UV rays and skin cancer in baseball players. Both were extremely friendly, Francois had sosircboothme research questions for me which I managed to answer via email for him while he was in session and Jennifer kindly answered my questions about obtaining resources for our library after her presentation was over. She also mentioned the use of social media to create awareness for her project so I was interested in picking her brain on what worked and what didn’t in order to apply it to my own position.

One of the most unique experiences was listening to the keynote speakers who came from an unlikely source considering the whole conference is about Canadian sport. Two representives, Gil Favreau and Patrice Aubertin from Cirque du Soleil and The National Circus School spoke about the application of long term athlete development and their particular organizations. I was surprised to find that many of the students at the school were former athletes, although in retrospect it makes sense. The the two gentlemen knew each other very well so they played off of one another while they spoke so it was interesting and informative at the same time. This is a quote from Gil (which I actually tweeted that day) “We are believing in the dreams of youth”.

Overall the conference was great and I got to meet a lot of new and interesting people, coaches, CEO’s, an aquafit instructor, dieticians, researchers and doctors. It was a great experience and I look forward to attending the conference again next year.