Last week I attended the ShesConnected Conference at the Sheraton Centre Hotel. Actually, CFC was one of the sponsors of the event and I was there as a representative.
There are conferences catering specifically to top digital women and bloggers. There are also others that address the needs of both brands and agencies. The ShesConnected Conference is a hybrid of the two, with the intention of bringing brands and digital women together, with the intent of seeing what they can learn from each other.
As sponsors, CFC was involved in a great deal of pre-event promotion, helping women find out more and more about chicken and how it can be a great choice for their families. During the event, we were featured in the exhibition hall, where we were going to get to meet over 200 digital women and find out how CFC can build relationships and find new ways to get our messages across.
I flew to Toronto on Wednesday afternoon and called it an early night. Thursday morning, I was up with the birds to get our booth set up and to make sure everything was ready to go before the event. While setting up, I had the opportunity to meet some of the other sponsors who are also stepping it up by using social media as a way to reach out to people.
The morning started a little slowly but by early afternoon the room was buzzing. I had an opportunity to meet most of the participants and ask them about their blogs and websites. Among the participants were mommy bloggers, food bloggers, make up and beauty trend followers and women who blog about important social and personal issues. There was a powerful energy in the room.
Social media continues to bring people together; it’s all about sharing information. At this conference, it was about women inspiring other women through their stories, good or bad, or sharing the latest fashions, trends and recipes.
Social media was once used as a primary means of helping people stay in touch with family and friends, the trends for brands are quickly rising. Recent surveys have shown that women are now using social media at a growing rate to follow trends and ideas, find ways to manage their homes and learn about products. Over 80% of Canadian women have made purchases and choices based on recommendations made by a blog. This, of course, creates a so-called “halo effect”, because the influence of these blogs, tweets and Facebook posts moves well beyond the original document.
Panel discussions were held throughout the conference. One of the most popular sessions was with keynote speaker Elisa Camhort Page, co-founder of Blogher, the world’s largest online community of women who blog. Elisa spoke about what brands want from bloggers and digital women. The day continued with other topics, including:
- Product Reviews vs. Blog Tours vs. Brand Ambassador Programs
- Social Media Rock Stars: Veteran, New and Rising Stars
- What Brands Want From Digital Women
- What is a Blogger Worth?
- Rate Cards, Guidelines, and Disclosure
- The 10 Rules of the Road, Putting it All Together
The feedback CFC received about its website, Facebook page and Twitter posts was amazing; people were really supportive of our growing online presence, giving us all kinds of, kudos, tips and advice– we had a chance to really connect with these top digital women and learn more about the kinds of information they want from us. It also gave us a chance to answer all kinds of questions about chicken and chicken farming.
We really valued the chance to attend this event and we look forward to keeping our online presence growing!