Networking, Tweeting and Chocolate. Oh, My! | Toronto Teacher Mom

Networking, Tweeting and Chocolate. Oh, My!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Last week, digital women from all parts of Canada joined together in a networking opportunity during the ShesConnected Conference 2011 held right here in good ol' TO. As an adviser and panelist, I was really excited to see all the fabulous women and brands in attendance, who were equally as excited to be there. It was such fun to socialize with and meet fellow bloggers with whom I've chatted both online and off. And even with all the breaks we had, there were still so many awesome people that I never had a chance to speak to in person. Not that I had much of a voice anyhow...

But I still tried some caraoke.

Yes, you read that correctly. Ford, the title sponsor of the event, had set up karaoke in one of their cars and I thought it was such a brilliant idea. At various points throughout the conference, you could hear the music blaring and the horn a-honking. And you know I'm always in favour of music, honey!

Caraoke at ShesConnected 2011
Marcy Berg, Rachel McCaig, Diane Morgan and Lisa McDonald doing caraoke.
It was also really nice to meet chef Christine Cushing, who so kindly autographed her latest cookbook for me and offered either a bottle of her organic olive oil or homemade tomato sauce. I went with the olive oil. Did I mention she's really sweet in person? Speaking of sweet, send her a tweet @ccfearless and ask her for an interesting fact about strawberries and lemons. I was pretty surprised.

Christine Cushing at ShesConnected 2011
Chef Christine Cushing (@ccfearless), ShesConnected Conference 2011

The rooms at the Sheraton Hotel, where the event took place, were nice and cozy.

My Room at the Sheraton, ShesConnected 2011

And I really liked the view from my my room at dusk.

The View from My Room at the Sheraton, ShesConnect 2011

I really wish I had the chance to take a dip in their heated outdoor pool, though.

The View from My Room at the Sheraton, ShesConnect 2011
Sheraton Hotel, Toronto
But instead, I headed over with a bunch of gals to the ShoesConnected tweetup at Town Shoes on Bloor Street. It was a lot of fun hanging with Lena, Heather and Juan while I busted a move on the upper level. The D.J. was awesome!

ShoesConnected Party at Town Shoes, ShesConnected 2011
ShoesConnected Tweetup at Town Shoes
I also met the man behind @Loose_Button who gave away some pretty cool Luxe boxes.

ShoesConnected Party at Town Shoes, ShesConnected 2011
@Loose_Button and @Listen2Lena, ShoesConnected
The next day, I sat through some really interesting panel discussions and was happy that my panel was earlier on in the day. This was my first panel ever, moderated by the one and only @DuriAjrami. To my left was ShesConnected CEO and co-founder @DonnaAntoniadis. To my right was @JamesClarkeCA, Digital Marketing Manager of Maple Leaf Foods. He was great but I have to share something with you. James has a tendency to shake his leg. A lot. Donna thought I was the one making the table and stage shake incessantly. When I informed her it was James, she told me to put my hand on his thigh to get him to stop shaking. This is not how I imagined my first panel would be like. But I did it anyway. While he was in mid sentence. Eek. Sorry, James! Next to him sat @JulieCole of Mables Labels followed by @Jen_Banks from A Busy Mommy and the lovely Lina Saouma of Hallmark Canada. The discussion went well and I managed to answer a couple of questions even though my voice was hoarse. The highlight for me was when I heard Duri refer to me as 'famous.' At least, I think that's what he said. Me? Famous? ha! He must have been talking about these Social Media Rock Stars:

ShesConnected 2011 Panel: Social Media Rock Stars
Casie Stewart, Christine Cushing, Tracy Moore, Lianne Phillipson-Webb, Shannon Mischuk
We later discussed a blogger's worth...

ShesConnected 2011: What is a Blogger Worth?
Theresa Dostaler, Raymi Lauren White, Stephanie Holmes, Wendy Kam Marcy, Jennifer Ballamara McPherson
As well as Rate Cards, Guidelines and Disclosures.

ShesConnected 2011: Rate Cards, Guidelines and Disclosure
Deanna Tousignant, Alyssa Kingsbury, Jeannine Miranda, Lena Almeida, Andrea Tomkins
I learned a lot during these panels and the wheels in my head are still turning. There are so many things I need to take into consideration and I really need to re-evaluate my goals for my blog. The ShesConnected Conference was really fantastic and it was plain to see that a lot of hard work and dedication went into all the prep work.

In the meantime, I get to take with me all the wonderful experiences of networking and connecting with so many fabulous people. I also got to enjoy some super delicious chocolate care of @PurdysChocolate and the lovely @chancesmommy who was so sweet to bring me a chocolate Bear Paw from Manitoulin Island. It was SO good! And I can't forget the supply of @AdultEssentials vitamins that came in one of the swag bags. These vitamins keep popping up everywhere, I tell ya!

Oh! And I got to hand out my new mini Moo cards which I got to try out thanks to @Klout. Aren't they cute?

Mini Moo Cards

To all of the wonderful people I got to meet, I am so thankful for that opportunity and hope to meet again soon. To those with whom I failed to connect, I deeply regret not making a better effort to do so. I truly hope everyone enjoyed the conference and left with new friendships forged, connections made and some invaluable insights learned. I know I did!

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  1. Josee P
    Looks like you had a really good time. You are right you had a nice view from your Hotel. So what song did you Karaoke? :)

  2. Wow sounds like you had a great time. Meeting all of those people would be sooo wonderful.
    I really enjoy your blog.

  3. Really glad I got to connect with you IRL and hear your advice in the panel discussion.
    It was great fun! You are an inspiration :)


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