Although I realize my readership base is internationally dispersed, I thought it would still be beneficial to encourage those of you in my area (Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal) to attend at least one of the many social media events on the horizon. For those of you in other parts of the world, be sure to look for similar conferences in your area, or better yet, organize your own! Note that the first two specifically focus on the public sector.
Date: September 5, 2008
Official Blurb: A great chance for Government of Canada employees to get together and talk about what they’re doing with social media and new technologies. Take the opportunity to meet others in communications, marketing, web development, design (and any other job description) to find some inspiration, some motivation and help build a community.
My Take: As a long-time government contractor and supporter of public sector marketing advancement, I am definitely looking forward to attending.Â We have a rapidly growing social media community here in Ottawa, and a great big chunk of it is comprised of government employees. Why? Well, for starters, we’re a government town, but besides that , government service delivery is simply destined to be significantly affected by Social Media, it already is. Don’t believe me? Be there on September 5th and see for yourself.
Location: The Code Factory: 246 Queen Street, Second Floor, Between Bank and Kent. On the south side of Queen above the Green Papaya on the second floor.
Social Media for Government Conference (Ottawa)
Date: September 15-18, 2008
Official Blurb: This conference has been researched with and designed for federal, provincial and municipal government managers, directors, analysts, leaders, officers, administrators, specialists, advisors, coordinators, staff, assistants & consultants involved in nearly every function of government. Several organizations are making dramatic strides in developing approaches and systems that work for them. The periodic sharing of these experiences and “best practices” is an important element in this social media evolution. That is why this forum, presented by the Advanced Learning Institute, is such a valuable opportunity to hear perspectives and share experiences of other professionals engaged in the “journey.”
My Take: At first I was a little hesitant about an American organization (Advanced Learning Institute) coming to Ottawa to teach Public Sector Professionals how to leverage social media. That being said, upon looking at the conference schedule, numerous familiar faces popped-up, which means that ALI basically chooses local experts as presenters in order to ensure relevancy to the audience. I do still feel it’s a bit pricey for the Ottawa market but hopefully it’s a success. The more we teach government how to use this stuff the better. Even if it’s just a few departments at a time.
Location: Delta Ottawa Hotel and Suites, 361 Queen Street
Date: September 20-21, 2008
Official Blurb: This is a two-day podcasting and new media conference. PodCamp Montreal is based on a model which has been successfully implemented in cities such as Toronto, Boston, New York, Chicago, Perth and Berlin. Participants will include new media enthusiasts and professionals specializing in blogging, podcasting, Facebook, YouTube and social networking. PodCamp Montrealâ€™s volunteer organizing committee includes some of Montrealâ€™s top podcasting and social media specialists, such as Sylvain Grandâ€™Maison, Julien Smith, Bob Goyetche, Mitch Joel, Jean-FranÃ§ois Blais, Laurent LaSalle, Laurent Maisonnave, Hugh McGuire, Harold Boeck and Michelle Sullivan.
My Take: If you’re even remotely interested in the new media landscape, this is simply a must-attend event.Â What I love the most about the PodCamp format is the job diversity of people that attend. You get everything from techies to marketers, from entrepreneurs to hobbyists, from business executives to public sector professionals…they’re all there. Best of all, this conference is collaboratively organized, allowing it to be free of charge, while at the same time gathering high quality speakers. Take a look at the PodCamp Montreal Schedule if you’re still unsure if this event is right for you. I will be making a presentation on current best practices and lessons learned in federal government social media engagement. I hope to see you all there!
Location: Pavillon de Design de lâ€™UQAM.: 1440 Rue Sanguinet, MontrÃ©al, QC
Mixx Canada Full-Day Conference (Montreal)
Date: October 6, 2008
Official Blurb: Knowing that the Interactive Media advertising landscape is changing at a faster rate every year, the new IAB Canada MIXX Canada Conference Series is designed to keep marketers and advertisers ahead of the curve, by focusing on leading-edge speakers, from both within Canada and around the globe.
My Take: IAB events are always a great networking opportunity and very informative. They tend to lean more towards the online advertising side as opposed to “strategic” marketing, however that comes as no surprise seeing as how they are put on by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada. I have only ever attended the annual IAB Roadshows , however this year I made sure to register for the full-day conference. I should point out that this conference will also be held in Toronto a week prior to the Montreal event. Why am I going to the MTL one instead? I simply love “Beautiful Montreal” (as I’m sure Mitch Joel would agree).
Location: MontrÃ©al Marriott ChÃ¢teau Champlain, 1 Place du Canada
Cost: $200 IAB Members;$275 Non-Members
So there you have it, four local and relevant conferences to attend over the next 9 weeks. The landscape sure has changed from a few years ago when Web 2.0 conferences were something you’d hear about once in a blue moon or through a thick grapevine!