Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pod Squad

I attended my first Halifax Podcamp this past weekend and I'm so glad I finally got there.

Podcamp is an "unconference" about social media and marketing, which basically means it's an informal conference - anyone can host a session and discussion is encouraged. Best of all, the entire day was FREE!

Although I don't do any marketing or social media work at my day job, I hope to someday and I am very involved in social media in my spare time and hope to pick up more contract work to keep my communications skills up. So, the information was certainly useful to me on a personal level and I think anyone who spends a significant amount of their time on social media or marketing activities would find the information helpful, whether it's your day job or not. Learning new things is never a bad way to spend a Sunday!

I attended 3 sessions altogether - Branding in the Digital Age, How to Get Good Ideas, and the 5th Annual State of Social Media in Atlantic Canada.

The first session (delivered by Sean Williams of Brand Bandit) reminded me of being in PR class, but in a good way. He refreshed my memory on the basics of branding and brought up good points about how a brand is about the emotional side of a company or person as much as the physical and practical points.

The second session (delivered by Mike Hayes of Free Agent Factory) revolved around strategies for coming up with ideas. A lot of the suggestions Mike gave seemed like 'no-brainers' (two heads are better than one, rest up, fuel your brain, etc) however they are also things that most of us don't remember to do when we're actually in the moment. I will definitely keep some of the tips in mind next time I am sitting down trying to get some ideas on paper.

The third session (delivered by Giles Crouch of Media Badger) was basically the keynote of the conference (if there was a keynote) and presented the findings of the annual survey of social media activities in Atlantic Canada. Some of the findings were really surprising (activity on Linkedin increased by 67% over last year) and eye-opening (women are 8x more likely to share content then men). It was all a fascinating exercise in psychology and it was nice to see some local stats. This session was definitely important education for anyone who deals with social media and marketing in Atlantic Canada. (Psst you can read the report highlights here).

Not only did I attend a bunch of free, great sessions but I also had a lovely latte and croissant (prosciutto and provolone - gah!) from Two If By Sea - one of the best cafes in HRM (imho) and an even lovelier brunch at Nectar Social House with fellow Podcamper, Megan. Wow! This place is gorgeously decorated inside and the food is delish. My poached eggs parisienne was a refreshing detour from my usual eggs benedict and (coincidentally) our waitress was a fellow tweep who recognized us from our avatars (did I mention the Halifax Twitter community rocks?).

I also had a twist on the usual mimosa - a "nectarosa", which was cranberry juice and champagne. Very refreshing! I will definitely be back to this little downtown Dartmouth gem!

Social media is so much fun when your local community is so active, friendly, supportive and interesting. I'm proud to be part of the Halifax social media tribe!


Megan said...

What a fabulous time it was!
Lovely brunch indeed.

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