On Saturday, July 23, Ottawa will play host to its first social media “learnathon.” We asked one of the organizers and occasional Local Tourist contributor, Lara Wellman, to tell us more about the conference and what attendees can expect from this educational event. You can also find out more about the day’s agenda by visiting their website.
Give us a brief overview of the Social Capital conference.
Social Capital is a one-day conference where people with all levels of experience in social media will come together to learn from each other. There will be three streams of sessions: fundamental, advanced and business and we will also have a series of roundtable sessions that will be an informal conversation on a variety of topics with an expert to lead the discussion.
The website said the conference was inspired by the BlogHer social media conference you attended in New York City in 2010. What about this event was so inspirational to you?
The opportunity to be with a large group of people with the same interests as you, who understand your passion for social media and who don’t think you’re “geeky” for liking it so much is fabulous! We get together, have a blast and learn a lot. For me, social media’s real success is the “in real life” moments.
You’re a social media strategist – how are events like this conference in tune with what you do for your job?
I get to meet other people who are in the same industry as me as well as meet people who are looking to learn more – whether it is for personal use or business. My job is to help people understand the tools that are out there and how they can best utilize them. I love helping people figure out what’s out there. One of my favourite things is to convince someone that one of the tools they previously never considered because of a pre-conceived notion might be worth a second look.
Being a “learnathon,” how does this make Social Capital different from other conferences?
We wanted to make sure people left the conference with some tangible pieces of information they could take away with them they didn’t have when they arrived. We’ve tried to create a schedule that will give people a lot of opportunities to not only hear about some great things people are doing but also to have tools they can use when they get back home or to work.
Ottawa has a great online community – who are some of the talented speakers that attendees will have the chance to hear from?
Our lineup of speakers is an amazing mix of almost entirely Ottawa folks. We’ve tried to keep it as local as possible to capitalize on our amazing community starting with Glen Gower, creator of Ottawa Start who will be our keynote. Glen will take us through the past, present and look at the future of social media with his thoughts about how its power can be harnessed to make Ottawa (or any other city) a better place to live.
Another one of the speakers is Andrea Tomkins who has one of the most popular Ottawa blogs - A Peek Inside the Fishbowl. She’s been blogging since the 90’s and has a wealth of information but will be specifically talking on a panel with Rebecca Stanisic and Shannon McKarney about monetization, an issue so many bloggers grapple with.
They are really just the tip of the iceberg. I invite you to check out our blog where there is not only information about our speakers but they’ve answered some really great questions about themselves and their views on social media!
What are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to an amazing day with friends, meeting people I’ve talked to online that I’ve never met in person, and learning! I’m already trying to figure out how I can make it to some of the other sessions while I’m talking myself – I think that part may be challenging!
Thanks for letting us know more about the conference, Lara! Does this sound like something you’re interested in? If so, tickets are $75 and can be purchased from the website up until the day of the conference (unless they sell out, in which case get them while you can!).