Bloggers and Brands Conference #BloggersBrandsYVR

On April 30th, the first ever Connecting Bloggers and Brands Conference kicked off in Vancouver at the Vancity Theatre. It was a Tuesday so I had to take a half day off to attend this conference. This first ever time ever that a conference of this type has been in Vancouver and was free so I wasn't about to miss it! The goal of this conference was to connect bloggers to local and national brands and to find better ways to work together and hopefully foster some long term relationships between both parties.

The conference started at 10am in the morning with breakfast and time for networking. They spoiled us with this yummy breakfast!

There were in total of five sponsors: TELUS, Canadian Beef, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Maple Leaf and Microsoft. Above is Chicken Farmers of Canada - they are @chickenfarmers and @ChickenDotCa on Twitter. 

Heather Travis, giving me a thumbs up, is responsible for managing all the Canadian Beef's social accounts. She even set them up when they first came out! Canadian Beef is @LoveCDNbeef and @CanadianBeef on Twitter. They also have Facebook and Google+ accounts and they are very active on all their social sites!

Microsoft was there helping WordPress bloggers turn their blog into a Windows 8 app for free. Too bad my blog is under Blogger...hrm...maybe it's time to make the switch?

Microsoft's Surface tablet. They are on Twitter as @microsoftcanada.

TELUS was the title sponsor of the event and they had a little lounge set up in front of their booth where bloggers could sit, chat and chart their mobile devices.

And to make things sweeter, TELUS lured me in with lots of candy and macarons! They all were TELUS themed - green and purple. The macarons were from Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe! The green was lime and the purple was...some kind of berry I think.

The sweets were also surrounded by TELUS critters! Two things I love! I did not want to leave their table. XD

TELUS also hosted a contest on Twitter to win a HTC One phone. The Food Gays were the lucky guys who won it at the end of the day!

After the networking part, we moved on to the first keynote of the day. Jill Schnarr of TELUS talked to us about corporate social responsibility. Throughout her presentation, we learned about a lot of things about TELUS that we never knew of before! Like, they are the number one healthcare IT company in Canada and they are more involved in their community - which is the world - than we previously knew about! TELUS really fervently believes to ‘Give Where We Live’ and they've stepped up to be a leader in the telecom industry in helping out charities and non-profits, donating $300 million and volunteering 4.8 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. At their international sites, such as the one in Central America, they have help build a school for the children in their community. The video we watched was really inspiring.

TELUS also has more than 1 million social media connections. They've made customer service their number one policy. All their accounts are monitored almost 24/7 so that they can respond to you - the customer - in a timely manner. That's dedication!

After the presentation, we braked for 5 minutes to get our bagged lunches made by Peake of Catering in the foyer. We had the choice of roast beef (above), chicken salad (below) and other special orders - vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.

I chose the chicken salad and inside my bag was also a banana and cranberry oatmeal cookie.

Next up was Janice Croze, from, who talked to us about how to monetize our blogs.

 How to make your blog ready for PR or advertisers. Good, consistent content will help out a lot.

Media kits are very important. Disclosures are too.

Katie Drechsel, Manager Communications, Digital and Social, TELUS, @Kat_drex and Heather Travis, Director Public Relations of Canada Beef Inc., @HeatherTravis took to the stage next to let us know what they as representatives of their brands, what they look for in bloggers. The number one take-a-way was to be engaged. Build up relationships with the brands, even if you get nothing in return - because if you really love a brand, you shouldn't need to get paid to spread the word about them. It's a two way street - help them and they'll help you! They also not looking for people to rehash what they say - put your own unique spin on things!

Lastly, four established bloggers shared their secrets to success with us. Michelle Sutter of PoweredyMom, Eschelle Westwood of Mumfication, Kerry Sauriol of Crunchy Carpets, and Julie Nowell of 3chickensandaboat. A lot of them say to be genuine, have fun and you must put in the work. Making something from blogger is hard work but nothing worthwhile is every easy!

Wow, information overload! I learned so much from all the presentations and hopefully I can push myself to change my blog for the better using the lessons I've learned.


All the sponsors were nice enough to give us some swag to take home! Yay! Thank you to everyone who made the Bloggers and Brands Conference happen! BUT they are not done yet! The Bloggers Brands team is traveling across the country with stops in Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax. So if you live in one of those cities and would like to get connected with brands, this is your chance!

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Liquid_Independence said...

That was a fun day. I got the chicken salad sandwich too. Good times :) I started with blogger as well, and then transitioned to WP after the first year.

Jenny said...

Was it hard to transition?

Liquid_Independence said...

It was a bit challenging but not impossible. There are lots of tutorials online to show you how to do it. It took me a couple of weeks because of all the plugins I had to install afterwards to fix problems like broken links, redirects, etc. The self hosting part is easy. I'm using bluehost. But the tricky part is getting all the previous content of the original blog, including pictures, onto the new one. But you have a more technical background than I do so it might be easier for you. If I had to go back and do it again, instead of converting my old blog I would probably just start a new WP blog.