Blab Explores The 2017 Small Biz Expo

Windsor Essex Small Business Expo Blab Media

Windsor Essex Small Business Expo Blab Media

Last night was a blast! Shoutout to The Windsor-Essex Small Business Centre for putting on an awesome event. Over 70 exhibitors set up shop at The Caboto Club to sell food, alcohol, beauty products, apparel, giftware and more. Blab had a cocktail table in the B2B lounge and had a chance to chat with so many awesome individuals and entrepreneurs about social media marketing. Got to catch up with some good friends and even made some valuable new connections. Blab shared the lounge area with friendly neighbour Biz X Magazine and a handful of other local service based businesses.

The event was the perfect excuse to show off Blab’s new popup banner and print material (sell booklets and social postcards) courtesy of Imaginative Group. It was really great to see how consistently the brand was communicated across all pieces. There’s still something to be said about a nice and functional print piece. Definitely a solid investment!

While fitting everything on a small cocktail table was a challenge, it ended up being the perfect amount of space to showcase my print and add some personality to my display. It’s really important to stay true to your brand, no matter which customer touchpoint you’re exploring.

After a few hours of mingling in the lounge, I managed to escape and grab some food! I picked up some dinner from Cedar Valley Selections (seriously their fattoush salad is amazing) and I couldn’t leave without a few delicious treats from Licia RubyAni & Fabi and Sweet Revenge Bakeshop. By the end of the night, over 500 attendees passed through the doors to shop, eat, drink and mingle. What a great way to support local!

Blab Attends Digital Summit Detroit 2017

Detroit Digital Summit Marketing Event

Another year, another Summit event! In 2016 Blab attended Digital Summit Detroit for the first time and had a blast. There was so much information to be absorbed, so many networking opportunities and an awesome lineup of talented guests speaking on a variety of digital/tech topics. I even got to meet Ann Handley from Marketing Profs and listen to the real life Siri chat with the crowd on stage. This year may not have had me feeling as star struck, but it was just as valuable in terms of content and experiences.

The event was two full days of learning from 7:30am to 5:30pm at Cobo Centre downtown. Sharing my referral link online got me a free book, t-shirt and even VIP lounge access so I was looking forward to experiencing the event in style. Day one started with a four hour pre-conference workshop where I learned everything there is to know about email marketing. What a valuable workshop! It was packed with internet research, industry knowledge and even actionable takeaways. The rest of the day was spent  attending a 6 other sessions covering topics such finding success with Facebook Live posts, creating shareable content, marketing to millennials and how artificial intelligence can help your business. We even got to hear from Jonah Peretti, co-founder of Buzzfeed and Huffpost. What an awesome experience!

Day two started with networking over coffee and was followed by 12 other informative sessions on social ads, online reviews, storytelling, going mobile, UX design, harnessing the power of content and more. I learned about new software, gadgets and best practices that will ultimately make Blab a stronger and smarter local competitor. Another successful year and I haven’t even had time to go through all my notes yet!

Proud Sponsor Of WEtech’s 2017 Nerd Olympics

Nerd Olympics Logo

Super excited to be a sponsor for WEtech Alliance’s 2nd annual Nerd Olympics. The event brings together the Windsor-Essex tech community in a fun, team-building competition to challenge the mind & body. It kicks off with the official Opening Ceremonies and Nerd Torch lighting ceremony before the first event on Tuesday September 5th.

Sixteen Tech Company teams will compete in a series of events spread out over the course of three months and just like the real Olympics, they’ll be able to win Gold, Silver & Bronze 3D printed “medals” for each event. The whole event will culminate with the Closing Ceremonies happening at the Tech Awards on Friday November 17th with a presentation of the coveted Nerd Cup.

As a social media challenge sponsor, Blab will be providing all teams with a unique social media challenge that they’ll need to complete for points. The best part? Blab will be at the closing ceremonies to present the challenge award to the team who did the best job. Stay tuned to Blab and WEtech Alliance’s social channels for updates and announcements as the event progresses and don’t forget to follow along during Blab’s challenge week from September 25 – October 1st to see the entries submitted in real time online. Let’s go nerds, you got this!

Panel Discussion: Marketing And Growing Your Business

Blab Volunteer Marketing Panel Discussion

A few weeks ago Blab was approached to volunteer as a panelist for the New Canadian’s Centre Of Excellence. The organization is a community based, direct-service agency that assists, supports and promotes the full and equitable participation of immigrants and refugees in all aspects of social, cultural and economic life in the Windsor-Essex Region. Blab has volunteered for many sessions here in the past hosting workshops, hands-on-learning sessions and more.

Today’s panel discussion featured myself and Kay Douglas from Douglas Marketing Group talking to clients about how they can market and grow their businesses regardless of industry. We met some very friendly people, answered lots of questions and even had a chance to chat about our own experiences in business. It’s always fun to talk about your own adventures in business, especially if it can help other people! I’m excited to see how these new businesses continue to grow and develop over the next few months. A community can never have too many entrepreneurs!

Giving back to the community is an important part of business. Even though Blab doesn’t have tangible products to donate or give away to those in need, having a valuable skill set to contribute can be equally as valuable. I know first hand how hard it can be to start, operate and maintain a small business in Windsor so why not help other aspiring entrepreneurs by providing insight, tips and support? If you’re interested in volunteering to help out a local organization in Windsor-Essex, be sure to check out WEVolunteer to match your interests/skills up with available positions in your community.

Happy World Emoji Day!

World Emoji Day 2017

We ❤️ emojis! Which one is YOUR favourite?

Since the early days of the internet, Emoji’s have been the best way to transmit emotion in the written medium. As internet technology advanced, so did the use of the emoji. Simple text symbols turned into a full-fledged animated series. The best part about emojis is that we’ve all used them at some point. World Emoji day celebrates the history of these emotional expressions and encourages us all to be exceptionally emotive. After all, communicating your feelings in written form can be difficult so why not inject some fun? Long ago the world used to communicate in images, before alphabetic languages were developed, and now in the modern age we’re back to using them again.

To celebrate World Emoji Day, Blab is hosting a simple online contest and giving away three emoji swag packs with tattoos, air fresheners and stickers. Visit our Facebook page for more information!

FUN FACT: The date of Emoji Day honours the date shown on the iOS Calendar Emoji (July 17). 

More Windsor Aims To Bring More Americans To YQG

More Windsor Campaign Launch

Super excited to be part of the More Windsor campaign launch today at Imaginative Group in Pillette Village. The campaign has multiple neighbourhoods collaborating in order to entice Americans to explore all that Windsor-Essex has to offer. The Downtown Windsor BIA, Wyandotte Town Centre BIA, Via Italia, Walkerville, Olde Riverside BIA, Pillette Village BIA, Belle River On The Lake BIA, Harrow BIA, Essex BIA and Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island are all on board to spread the Windsor love.

More Windsor will be rolling out a multi-medium marketing campaign including magazine ads, newspaper ads and social media marketing that will have these BIAs working together to promote everything they offer to our friends across the border. From incredible restaurants to award-winning events, there is so much to see and do in Windsor so why not share that with Detroit? Organizers are excited to have BIA’s and tourism organizations collaborating and working towards a unified goal that helps the whole community.

If you’re interested in learning about More Windsor, check out the website and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for cool local updates and promotions.

YQG Celebrates Social Media Day 2017

YQG Social Media Day 2017

Launched by multimedia company Mashable in 2010, Social Media Day celebrates social media’s impact on global communication. Friday, June 30th, 2017 marks the eighth-annual official global celebration. Join us and a host of amazing local sponsors at Lanspeary Lions Outdoor Rink at Lanspeary Park – 1250 Langlois Avenue in Windsor from 11am-1:50pm on Friday, June 30th. This location has a roof, so we’re covered, rain or shine!

WEtech Alliance, a non-profit organization helping accelerate tech-based companies in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, along with its Social Media Superheroes – a peer-to-peer group of over 30 local social media superheroes that represent a cross-section of our community, including school boards, the media, non-profit organizations and businesses – will once again be celebrating the occasion with their 7th annual Community Chalk Tweet, with this year’s theme centred around Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation.

WEtech Alliance has partnered with Windsor-Essex municipalities including City of Windsor and Town of Lakeshore, organizations and businesses including Cypher Systems Group, Motor City Community Credit Union and Strong Body Yoga & Fitness and media partners including Windsor Star,AM800 CKLW and CTV Windsor to make this a fun, FREE, community event open to all residence and visitors in Windsor-Essex.

The event will feature a giant outline of the Canada 150 logo painted on the ground by local artist DERKZ, with the community invited to fill in the outline by using chalk to draw and/or write their favourite things about Canada, Windsor and Essex County.

Participants will then be encouraged to snap a picture of their creation and upload it to social media using the official hashtag #SMdayYQG. #YQG and#SMday are also encouraged secondary hashtags.

The event will feature a soundtrack of music from local artists; an aerial drone powered by DarkRoast Digital to capture the footage of the artwook being created below; free snacks compliments of The Hub Powered operated by Samantha Buhler, Blab Media and Parker DKI; a free Canada 150 t-shirt from Hogans Printing to the first 150 attendees; a celebration of Canadian Innovation through the CANnovation project and other Canadian themed giveaways compliments of the Windsor Express, Rogues Gallery Comics and Playdium 5 Pin Bowling and the Stilt Guys will be on hand to entertain the crowd in a big way!

For more info about Windsor’s free Social Media Day celebration, you can visit the official website at http://smdayyqg.com/

Windsor Women In Business Show

Last night was fantastic! I spent the evening in a room full of incredibly passionate and motivated female business owners. From clothing and accessories to handmade items, medical services and beyond, the Windsor Yacht Club was bustling with energy. I met so many great women, learned about some pretty cool businesses and even enjoyed a cocktail. Blab was proud to be a sponsor providing free (and blue) #girlboss cocktails to attendees, a door prize and goodies for the 50 vendors.

Windsor Women In Business Show

While the event only lasted a few hours, I was able to catch up with some friends and meet some people I’ve only ever chatted with on social media. I discovered some cool new products, businesses and people as I walked through the vendor space enjoying my delicious blue cocktail.

Crossing my fingers that more events like this happen in the future. It’s great to go out and support the community while socializing and networking. As a female entrepreneur, it’s always great to meet more women who understand the struggle and the joy of entrepreneurship.

What are some of your favourite female-run businesses in Windsor-Essex? Share them in the comments below!

Blab Around Town: St Clair College Graphic Design Grad Show

St Clair College Graphic Design Grad Show 2017

As some of you may know, I teach part time at St Clair College Centre For The Arts in the graphic design program. While I’m no graphic designer (by any means) I am qualified to teach the Copywriting For Design class first year, first semester. My class focuses on teaching graphic design students how to write copy for ads, how to use copy in conjunction with design to create effective and appealing advertisements and most importantly, how to use their minds to generate ideas instead of their computers.

So many of my students enter the class frustrated and unsure as to why they have to use a pencil and paper instead of laying things out digitally on a computer but I know first hand that an effective brainstorming process should always start in your own mind so I teach them accordingly. Typically by the time they’ve finished their 3 year program, they can reflect back on that class and see the value it added to their lives. I’ve been told that it helps simplify their thought process for assignments, streamline their work time and gives them a better understanding of how and why they generate ideas.

I teach these students for just over 3 months and then I don’t see them again until the grad show at the end of the program where they’re able to display their work and personal brands. I always enjoy attending because it gives me a chance to see how they’ve grown over time and what type of style they’ve developed in the process. As per usual, I ran into many familiar industry contacts, caught up with some past students and also had a chance to chat with most of the designers which is always a pleasure. I brought home a whole bag full of goodies and branded material that I was able to grab from each of their tables. I scooped up candy, business cards, art pieces, pins, pens and even a cootie catcher.

 

So proud of this year’s St Clair College Graphic Design grads and so excited to see where life takes them next!

St Clair College Graphic Design Grad Show

Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week!

During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in 160 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. Global Entrepreneurship Week is about celebrating the entrepreneurs who make our economy and our cities better. It’s about encouraging everyone to explore the opportunities entrepreneurship presents while connecting people with success stories and peers from around the world who share a similar mindset.

Although I may not be attending any big events or competitions this week, I’m happy to be reflecting on my decisions and my personal entrepreneurial journey. When I first dove into the world of entrepreneurship six years ago and began jotting down name ideas for what would become Blab Media, I had no idea what the future would hold. I started my business as a way to find a job within a market that didn’t offer me enough options. At the time, it was a difficult decision and I was honestly quite scared. Fast forward to 2016 and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Ironically enough, I still have my ups and downs but that’s just how entrepreneurship works. Some days you celebrate and others you struggle but when you close your laptop at the end of the day, when you walk away from your desk and turn off the lights in your office, there’s this sense of accomplishment thats beyond compare. It’s knowing that even if you do fail, you’ve done something that most wouldn’t dare try. You’ve survived without a steady/constant income, you’ve worked ridiculous hours, you’ve sacrificed and you’ve had to pave the way for your own success. There is truly nothing comparable to the feelings that entrepreneurship evokes. It’s a fire in your soul that can’t be put out and I’d have it no other way.

 

Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week to my fellow entrepreneurs and to all the inspired minds of the future #GEW2016