Monday, May 06, 2013

Vancouver Bloggers & Brands Conference #BloggersBrandsYVR

Last week the Bloggers and Brands Conference was held at the Vancity Theatre in downtown Vancouver. This was the first blogger conference I have been to, so I was excited to see what it was all about, meet fellow bloggers and learn more about blogging. The focus of the conference was to connect bloggers who want to work with brands, whether the have experience or not. Some sponsors were on site to talk about what they look for in bloggers, and there was definitely a lot for me to learn.

We started off with a yummy breakfast and time to network. Everyone spoke with the four sponsors at the event, met new bloggers and caught up with ones they already knew.

Telus was the title sponsor of the event, and they provided delicious sweets to everyone. There was a candy bar and macarons from Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe. A little bit of sugar to start the day? Always good! Telus also gave out adorable red panda or cheetah plush critters. It was hard to choose between the two, but I brought home a red panda. They also had a contest for a brand new HTC One smart phone, which the Food Gays won, lucky them!

The other brands at the event were Canadian Beef, Microsoft and Canadian Chicken Farmers of Canada. Everyone had some swag to give out, which was a pleasant surprise.

I had a nice chat with Heather Travis (the lady on the left), who manages the Canadian Beef twitter accounts @LoveCDNbeef and @CanadianBeef.
Microsoft was offering to make Wordpress blogs into a Windows 8 app for free.
Chicken Farmers of Canada (@chickenfarmers and @ChickenDotCa) are also quite active on social media. 
Jill Schnarr, the VP of Community Affairs at Telus kicked off the presentations. She went through how Telus puts corporate social reponsibility on the top of their list. Telus really believes that we should "Give where we live" and they have become a leader in social reponsibility, donating millions of dollars to charities and volunteering their time to local communities since 2000. Telus also believes in the best customer service, and is very active on their social media sites. I have used the Telus customer support on Twitter before, and I can honestly say that there is always someone on the other side to answer your question and try their best to help you.

Janice Croze, from, gave the next presentation about how to monetize your blog. She is a very successful blogger, as she has started early, and believes in helping others. Her site started off as a database to help moms find what they needed about parenting. Janice had a lot of good information about what your blog needs before it's PR ready.

Next there was a panel with Katie Drechsel, Manager Communications at TELUS and Heather Travis, Director Public Relations of Canada Beef, who let us know what brands look for in bloggers. The best advice was to engage them in conversation and build up a relationship with the brand.

For the last panel, four successful mom bloggers answered questions everyone had about their experience and the road they took to get where they are now. Michelle Sutter of PoweredyMom, Eschelle Westwood of Mumfication, Kerry Sauriol of Crunchy Carpets, and Julie Nowell of 3chickensandaboat all had a lot to say - it is possible to make a living out of blogging, but you can't be afraid to put in the work!

I learned a lot of useful things that I will apply to my blog (which has been way overdue for a facelift) and I was glad I attended the conference. I made some new friends as well! The Bloggers and Brands Conference is making it's away across Canada, so check out their site to see where they are next!

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