Check the end of this post for a special giveaway!

I am a huge advocate of training and education, especially when it comes to gaining a better understanding of the world of digital marketing. While there’s a certain point where you need to just hit publish, there’s also a point where being in a classroom (virtual or otherwise) can really help you to get focused on the right areas to move a digital strategy forward, or glean a few new ways of doing things. It’s why my company has spent so much time developing a series of digital marketing courses that are more than just “how to tweet”. Having a strategic approach to building and sharing great content is really important. Being smart about how you use your time online to accomplish business and personal goals is vital.

Being in a classroom has great benefits, but there’s nothing quite like going to a great conference. Being able to spend focused time learning from the top people in your industry is a wonderful way to learn and extend your knowledge. It can take you from a basic knowledge of something into the realm of becoming a real smarty pants about it. And that’s a good thing. But even more than that, I find the hallway conversations at conferences to be absolutely invaluable. Let’s face it – we are all busy people and we don’t always have a lot of time for in-person interaction. Conferences provide a great outlet for being able to meet and interact with friends new and old that we may only otherwise interact with online.

I try to make it to at least one or two conferences per year, and I’m usually pretty picky about the ones I attend. They tend to be smaller – rather than thousands of people milling about, I stick to the ones that are only a few hundred deep. I look for sessions that dig deep too – focusing on more than just “Facebook 101”, but getting to the heart of the latest trends and topics. I check out the speakers too – visiting their web sites to really understand who they are and if I’m lucky, watching a few of their presentations online to get a sense of what I might glean from seeing them live.

I head into the conference with a blank note book and an open mind, and I’m rarely disappointed.

May 31st and June 1st in Ottawa (my hometown), there’s a conference happening that meets all of the above criteria, the Social Capital Conference. It’s not too big, not too small, and has a great lineup of speakers too. Smarty pantses like Bob LeDrew, Mark Blevis, Gini Dietrich and Danny Brown will be there, among many others. I’m thrilled to be part of it too – on Friday May 31st I’m doing a morning workshop on digital storytelling, and in the afternoon that day, I’ll be working with my esteemed colleagues Anthony Wong and Shawn MacDonnell on an interactive session that brings together digital storytelling, video and social into one epic 3 hour, hands-on workshop. Then on Saturday, I’m honoured to be joining Eden Spodek, Martin Waxman, and Diane Begin on a panel called “Social Media Goes to College”, where we’ll be discussing the merits of social media education.

If you’re around Ottawa next week, I strongly recommend you hit up Social Capital. There are still a few spaces available in the workshops on Friday, and there’s going to be an awesome crowd in attendance on the Saturday. You can get your tickets here. 

And wouldn’t you know, I just happen to have one full conference ticket to give away. This will get you into both the workshop day (Friday May 31st) and the conference day (Saturday June 1st). It’s a $329 value! All you need to do is leave a comment below (including a valid email address!) telling me why you’d love to come to Social Capital. I’ll put all the commenters’ names in a hat, and will draw the winner on Monday May 27th.

Hope to see you at the conference!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Don Chow and Lisa Mounteer who were our lucky winners! 

15 Responses

  1. I’m always on the lookout for new information, insights and people who make waves in the digital marketing/ social media world. Conferences are fantastic way of walking away with a nugget or two that can transform your work, experiment with new concepts/ideas and meet interesting/invigorating people. I would love the opportunity to attend.

    Thank you for being so generous!

  2. I first attended Social Capital two years ago, when I first started gaining interest in “the movement.” My plan was to learn as much as I could before diving into the world of journalism, where I could combine both fields and gain a new perspective on reporting.

    Having now acquired the Social Media certificate from Algonquin as well as my first year of journalism, I’d love to see what’s changed at Social Capital!

  3. I’m a graduate of the Social Media Program at Algonquin, and I want to continue learning. I’ve never attended this conference, but your recommendation is like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Winning a ticket would be a bonus.

  4. I attended the conference last year and learned so much from everyone–especially on the analytics side of things. Originally, I was unable to make it this year and was extremely sad to hear that I would be missing Gini Dietrich speak. Plans have changed, but I find myself without a ticket. Le sigh.

  5. As a classroom teacher I want to effectively use social media tools in the classroom to enhance curriculum objectives. When used properly, social media tools can boost student engagement, link students to content experts and real-world examples of classroom lessons, and help them establish an online body of work.
    I would love the opportunity to share with colleagues what I would gain from this conference.

  6. I want to attend because I don’t want to be a chief marketing officer when I grow up…

    Oh and that Bob Ledrew is dreamy!

    Besides, with so many insightful people involved, some of that insight ought to rub off! 🙂

  7. I want to attend, it would help me learn new practices, gain insight, correct my mistakes and broaden my network. This in turn benefits my community as I put what I’ll learn into practice where I work. #uwott

  8. I’d love to go for so many reasons.

    — I’m really interested in social media,
    — blogging is something that I enjoy doing and can, moderately accomplish while doubling as a SAHM,
    — the conference is the only one of it’s kind in my area.

    If I don’t win tickets, I wouldn’t be able to go. Thanks for the opportunity.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

  9. I would love to go to Social Capital. I’ve attended the last two years and I’ve found it to be an invaluable learning opportunity.
    (There’s a whole, whole lot I still don’t grasp about social media and since it’s part of my job, I really need to get up to speed.) Unfortunately, my budget is beyond squeaky-tight this spring, otherwise I would have been one of the first people to buy a ticket.

  10. I’d love to attend to learn more about social media and to figure out ways to keep up with the digital world as it is changing so much! I don’t think this would be in my budget range if I am not lucky enough to win! I live in Ottawa and would love to find out more about this digital community that is available right in my neighborhood! I think your digital storytelling workshop would be inspiring as well so thanks for the chance!

  11. Well, I hear all the cool kids are going! Also I might learn a few things… Ok. A lot of things… And well, it’s just not in the budget this year. Stupid budget.

  12. I have never had rhe opportunity to arttend a learning conference like this and would love to hear stratagies thar would help me with my business.

  13. I would love to attend (for free) because as a student it wrested in getting into the field, the price of the tickets are expensive. There is so much to learn and this conference will be the best place to do so!

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