a peek inside the fishbowl

14 Jun, 2012

Social Capital Conference 2012 is here!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa

Last year I had the good fortune to find myself on a steering committee of something called the Social Capital Conference. I can’t remember how I got there exactly, but I certainly remember the whole experience. Social Capital was an experiment of sorts, a tiny seed that sprouted into something much larger than itself… as great ideas are inclined to do.

A bunch of us knew that Ottawa people have a thing for social media, that was a given. We’re early adaptors who love to use the tools and to share our knowledge with others. But the question remained: was there actually enough interest to sustain a whole conference about it? If we built it, would they come? It was Lara Wellman who first asked that question, or was it Kevin Costner? Hmm. :)

We got our answer soon enough. The conference sold out. We were elated, not only because it SOLD OUT, but we had a lot of really positive feedback come on the heels of those first efforts, which was very invigorating because hosting a conference is a LOT of work mixed in with an equal about of worry. e.g. Will we have enough coffee? How many tablecloths do we need, and omg why does it cost SO MUCH to rent an orange tablecloth??

We realized there really was interest in an Ottawa-area social media-related conference and that people would come out and support us.

Today we find ourselves approaching conference number two. Social Capital 2012 is a bit bigger (although not by much) and there are new and different sessions to choose from, but it will still be very much an intimate learnathon. (This is a term I coined half-jokingly to use as a placeholder when we were putting the website together and it kind of stuck. Funny eh?)

I won’t be speaking this year, but I will be hosting a roundtable for group blog-coaching sessions. Bring your questions about the art and business of blogging and I will do my best to help you!

The best part of this kind of event – other than the learning aspect of it of course – is the networking and one-on-one time that occurs. The social time that happens before*, during, and after the conference is very important. It’s been my observation that people who work in social media are amazingly generous. It was very easy to walk around Social Capital, find people I wanted to talk to, shake their hand, and ask questions. It was a wonderfully casual and easy-going atmosphere and I made a lot of great connections that day, both for business and personal reasons. And you don’t get this at regular business-type conferences, you really don’t.

Anyway, if aspects of social media are part of your work world, or even if you’re just interested for personal reasons, I urge you to check it out. You can buy your ticket online here.

It’s going to be GREAT. And if you know someone who might be interested we’d love it if you could forward the information to them too. The more the merrier.

* Speaking of social time, we are hosting a pre-conference mingle at Spin Kitchen & Bar! There’s more information about it here.


2 Responses to "Social Capital Conference 2012 is here!"

1 | Karen

June 14th, 2012 at 9:25 am

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OMG, orange tablecloths.

Hilarious.

2 | CampingGirl

June 14th, 2012 at 9:49 am

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I am fairly new to blogging and do it as a fun hobby. Is the conference geared towards people like me or is it more for people who want to make a business of it?

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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