5 Events at SXSW for Community Managers

SXSW Exterior Shot

Source: sxsw.com

We’re a week away from the start of SXSW Interactive and by now the schedule is locked. If your focus at SXSW is to learn how to better engage your online community, I’ve done the heavy sifting for you and chosen these five sessions for community managers.



    1. Community Managers: Ready for a Seat at the Table?
      This four-hour deep dive for community managers promises to leave you with 2-3 actionable takeaways to issues you may have. You must register for this workshop.

    2. Be a Community Conductor: Shaping Fan Chatter
      Fans are now engaging on a greater number of channels. This session looks at the challenges of the ever-evolving digital landscape.

    3. The Art & Science of Social Listening:
      This workshop focuses on how to approach social listening and measure success. You must register for this workshop.

    4. Online LEGO fans & the People Who Love Them:
      This is an advanced session for community managers who want to learn more about the best way to channel brand excitement without turning off your audience.

    5. Structuring Community During Exponential Growth:
      For the community manager who wants to ensure your internal community is just as healthy as your external audience.

Digital-Domain-Panel-BBC-Presents-Science-Of-Storytelling_credit-Rebecca-Hedges-Lyon

5 Reasons to Attend PodCamp Toronto 2014

Pod­Camp Toronto is touted as “Canada’s largest gath­er­ing of cre­ative, tech, and dig­i­tal pro­fes­sion­als.” The 2013 edition of this two-day unconference featured just shy of 60 different sessions with beginner, intermediate and advanced streams, so there was something for everyone to choose from.

2013 topics included: the art of storytelling, all about the Vine app, tips for lead generation

This being my fifth year attending PodCamp Toronto, I thought it would right to share my top five reasons to attend the annual event.

PodCamp Toronto 2013

Photo Source: 2013.podcamptoronto.com





Why you should attend:


  1. It’s free! (but a donation might be nice) – Considering the quality of speakers and access to information you’ll be getting, it’s amazing that this is a community-organized event. Though you can register and attend at no cost, feel free to donate some funds to help the organizing team offset the cost of the event. As a former WordCamp Toronto co-organizer, I know how expensive it is to put on a conference of this scale, so thanks to the sponsors and the community for chipping in to allow this great event to happen every year.

  2. The content – The high caliber of speakers makes PodCamp a must-attend event. You’ll be getting access to a wealth of knowledge from industry leaders who want to contribute to the conversation within the community.

  3. The networking! – There will be plenty of networking opportunities available throughout the weekend. Between sessions the hallways fill with people which make this one of the best times to shake hands with the CEO of a new startup or the head of digital strategy from a company you’ve been following. There’s always a party at the conclusion of day one where you’ll be able to extend the conversations you started during your first day of PodCamp.

  4. It’s fun – PodCamp is more laid back than most paid conferences. Everyone for the most part is open-minded and ready to learn and listen to new ideas and you’re bound to meet some friendly new faces.

  5. There’s something for everyone – Regardless of your background (marketing, pr, web development) or level of expertise, there really is something for everyone at PodCamp. The only downside is not being able to attend everything you want. Given the number and variety of sessions to choose from, research the schedule in advance so you can plan out your timetable. PodCamp uses the law of two feet. If you’re not getting much out of a session, get up and go to a different one.


Register for PodCamp Toronto 2014

#PCTO14

The Best Way to Say Thank You – The Gratitude Tea!

Drink tea poster

I’m going to plug an event that is very near and dear to my heart. Every year in early December I organize an event called The Gratitude Tea with my sister and close friends. I attended my first Gratitude Tea in 2006 with my mom. I was nervous to get up and share with everyone why she was so special, but I did it anyway because the love for my mom trumped my fear of public speaking and she deserved all the recognition she could get.

Sadly, my mom passed away unexpectedly in 2009. I’m lucky I got the chance to publicly recognize all that she did for my sister and I and that’s why I continue organizing the tea every year – to give other people the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the important people in their life. The tea returns on December 8, this time celebrating its fifth anniversary! It’s hard to believe it has already been five years since we brought back The Gratitude Tea to make it an annual event.

For those who have never been to the event before, it is an afternoon tea with a special twist – gratitude! Our attendees get the chance to recognize their guest(s) just like I did with my mom, and share with everyone what makes them so special. Attendees can also share a personal written message with their guest if they wish to not get up and speak.

We’re thrilled to be welcoming Body Bijou to the tea this year. They will be on hand selling their jewelry that supports GirlsHelpingGirls, a wonderful organization that empowers women by sponsoring girls’ education.

We’ve got some great auction items up for grabs this year including some Kate Spade clutches and iPhone covers, Raptors tickets, spa certificates, theater tickets and much more.

Come for the merriment, stay for the finger sandwiches, tea and mimosas! Learn more at gratitudetea.com

Gratitude Tea Poster

#TIFF13: A Social Media Recap

The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival has come to an end. It’s a bittersweet time knowing the work is done after a whirlwind 11 days plus the weeks leading up to Festival but also a relief knowing it’s over for another year.

This year was our strongest yet, with record attendance, and most number of tweets using the official Festival hashtag #TIFF13. We’ve been keeping track since the 2012 Festival ended last year, since then there have been over 220,000 tweets with #TIFF13. We deliberately promoted the hashtag everywhere we could, including in cinema, on marketing materials, across all of our social media channels and in press releases. Everyone from Zac Efron to InStyle magazine were using the hashtag and our Twitter handle (@TIFF_NET).

Zac Efron Tweet

Instyle article featuring the #TIFF13 hashtag

If you want to learn more about who tweeted during Festival, read this article on Canada.com and this study done by MediaMiser.

We knew video was going to play a major part in the overall Festival experience, so we created a unique series of Vine videos to specifically capture some of those exciting moments.

We hosted a Reddit AMA pre-Festival with our programmers, which is essentially a Q & A session where people can ask anything. View the full AMA here.

On the day of the talent announcement, we created and linked to a Pinterest board to accompany the press release that was going out to the media.

Talent Pinterest Board

Lastly, we created a bingo card with fun items to photograph during the Festival. We encouraged guests to tag their Instagram photos with #TIFF13Bingo.

Instagram Bingo

The bingo card that was used to play Instagram Bingo with during #TIFF13.

Vine vs. Instagram Video

Vine and Instagram spliced image

The popular video sharing app, Vine has competition. Once again it’s a showdown between Facebook and Twitter for dominance in the social media arena. This time it’s about micro videos.

Instagram released a 15-second video feature to their already popular app, with a current base of 130 Million users to Vine’s 13 Million. Within the first 24 hours of the video feature being rolled out, there were already 5 Million clips uploaded to Instagram.

Let’s compare the two.

Vine vs Instagram Infographic

The ease and simplicity of Vine is what made it so appealing in the first place, however I think the delete function of Instagram video is more practical. In the end, Instagram might be late to the game but do they have the better app? What do you think? Do you prefer Vine or Instagram?

The Epic Easter Egg Hunt of 2013

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This weekend, I escaped to the Caledon Hills to visit friends and take part in their giant outdoor Easter egg hunt! Having not since participated in a proper Easter egg hunt since I was twelve years old, I found this mission to be quite fun. The task: find as many eggs for your team as possible. The winning team receives a giant basket of chocolate goodies.

Our team did win but of course the winnings were split by everyone. Happy Easter!

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I’m Speaking at the 2013 Digital Media Summit

Digital Media Summit logoI’m excited to be participating at this year’s Digital Media Summit. The two day social media and interactive marketing conference, features everything from cross platform monetization to social media ROI and content branding.

Cindy Gallop, an advertising and brand consultant I saw speak at Mashable Connect 2012 will be speaking. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her present. She was easily one of the most entertaining and engaging speakers at Mashable Connect and I know she will bring her spark back to DMS.

I’ll be participating on the panel Going Social Live: Real-Time Marketing and Engagement Through Social Media from 11:40AM – 12:30PM on March 20. If you’re attending the conference, come say hello!

Digital Media Summit Panel Description

Downtown Marriot