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!

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). 

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/

Giveaway Alert: Win Two Epic Winery Passports

Epic Windsor Winery Passport

Do you use Facebook? Do you love wine? If you’ve answered yes to both of these questions then it’s your lucky day because Blab is giving way two EPIC Winery Passports on Facebook and you could win! Follow this link to the original post, complete all the qualifying actions as stated and cross your fingers because you might have the best excuse ever to visit some of our amazing local wineries.

Not familiar with the passports? These little booklets contain information/maps/directions for all of our EPIC local wineries as well as discounts/special promotions for pass holders at the wineries and other businesses in the county. Use your passport to get a freebie or discount at a whole bunch of awesome local restaurants, shops and more. Plus, once you collect a stamp from 5 wineries, you get entered to win a quarterly draw! To learn more about EPIC wineries and the passports, check out their website.

Contest closes Thursday February 9th 2017. Enter now for your chance to win and good luck!

Windsor EPIC Winery Passort Draw

Have You Heard Of The Mannequin Challenge?

Forget about the Ice Bucket Challenge or the Harlem Shake, the Mannequin Challenge is the newest and hottest trend online. It started in late October with students in high schools across America, but since then, thousands of videos have been uploaded to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Still wondering what it’s all about? The videos feature groups of people – including the occasional celebrity – freezing in formation while someone else films. Some videos are silent while others are set to music but  many feature a specific soundtrack: Black Beatles by Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane.

Are you jumping on the bandwagon and filming your own video? Don’t forget to use the #MannequinChallenge hashtag!

Facebook Celebrates Halloween

Facebook Halloween Emoji Reactions

One of my favourite days of the year is finally here! This morning I was super excited to see that Facebook had embraced the Halloween spirit by releasing a set of spooky reaction emojis. I made it a point to use them as much as possible before they disappeared. What did you think of them? Were they super cute or did you find them to be inappropriate on specific articles?

PS Happy Halloween from Blab!

 

Blab Celebrates Social Media Day

Each year on June 30th, the world comes together to acknowledge and celebrate the value of social media and how it’s impacted our lives for the better. Cities across the globe celebrate with concerts, events, panel discussions, tweetups and engaging activities that bring the community together as part of a larger discussion. Blab wanted to get involved on a larger scale this year so we’ll be facilitating a discussion about the history of social media on Twitter using the hashtag #WESMDAY2016 while also running a contest and giving away gift cards to four local business that are doing a fantastic job creating and growing their social presence. To enter our contest, click here. But don’t wait too long, it’s only open until midnight tonight!

Social Media Day is an important day of celebration for businesses of all sizes. The tools social platforms provide allow companies with 2 employees to compete on the same level as companies with 2000 employees and the medium in general does a great job of breaking down the barriers of traditional advertising, allowing interaction and engagement for all. As a small business, we know that it’s very important to promote and support other local businesses, especially when their digital presence helps push Windsor into the spotlight online. Regardless of size, industry or target market, the businesses chosen for our Social Media Giveaway have all demonstrated the importance of “finding your thing” online and working hard to do it better than anyone else. The following businesses that were selected for the giveaway each have a social strong-suit that’s worth highlighting and is something we can all learn from:

 

Cafe March 21st
A charming cafe in downtown Windsor that specializes in pour-over coffee, Cafe March 21st is bursting from the seams with personality. While small in size, the space is quirky, fun and completely unique and owner Henry does a fantastic job of transferring that personality online. The cafe’s social accounts are filled with fun photos, cool updates and customer-generated content that perfectly conveys the brand’s personality in the digital realm. Using social media as an extension of your brand while staying true to its personality can be a difficult task, but the crew at March 21st has nailed it!
Cafe March 21 Collage

 

Windsor Rock Gym
It can be difficult to generate excitement for a business before its even opened, but Windsor Rock Gym has done a fantastic job of getting the community involved with their launch months before it happens by creating a visual progress checklist and posting updates online as the project nears completion. Often times businesses will begin their social media journey months or years after opening their doors. Taking the plunge before they’ve even become operational would pose a serious challenge for most, but not Windsor Rock Gym! Thank you for setting a great example for other businesses and proving that social media success is about more than sales.
Windsor Rock Gym Collage

 

Carrots N’ Dates
In a city full of amazing restaurants, photography can not only help differentiate you, but it can set you far apart from the pack. Carrots N’ Dates, a cozy cafe specializing in wholesome, gluten free and 100% plant based food, has a habit of pumping out some seriously impressive food photography and we couldn’t help but notice. Since launching in 2012 they’ve done a fantastic job of using visuals to share the wholesome goodness they serve every day. Their Instagram photos are a sneak peak inside their well-crafted menu and give consumers a chance to better understand the amount of care and effort that goes into each dish they prepare.
CarrotsNDatesCollage

 

Shop Eco
Ask any marketing expert and they’ll tell you that 2016 is the year of live video and while it offers incredible opportunities and value, a lot of businesses are shying away from it because they aren’t sure how to incorporate it and execute it properly. Shop Eco, a popular eco-friendly boutique in Walkerville, has embraced it on multiple platforms and continues to add value for their growing community with product reviews, updates, sneak peaks etc. It’s refreshing to see a small business dive right in and embrace technology, especially when it can sometimes be a scary transition. If you haven’t had a chance to check out their videos yet, you can visit them on Facebook or Instagram and see the value they provide firsthand!
Shop Eco Collage

 

 

Blab will also be heading out to Bull n Barrel at 4:30 for the Social Media Day Afterparty so if you’re a fan of social media or you just want to meet some like-minded individuals, come out and have some fun. Want to join in on the conversation online? Use the hashtag #WESMDAY2016 and let’s get chatting!

❤️📱🎉 Happy Social Media Day 🎉📱❤️

 

Monday Motivation: A Series

Make Yourself Proud

There’s just something special about a new year! It’s a fresh start, a different outlook and a chance to do things differently. As we embark on what is sure to be an incredible year, I’m taking the time to lay out goals and really reflect on how Blab can grow in 2016. That being said, I think that sometimes motivation can be hard to come by when you’re a busy entrepreneur that’s trying to find balance in your life. It’s because of this that I’ve decided to start a weekly blog series that’s designed to spread positivity and help you to start each week with a fresh new outlook.

As someone who carries their phone around 24/7, I know first hand that it can sometimes feel more like a burden than a convenience. I’m constantly checking emails, getting notifications, listening to voicemails and fiddling around with one thing or another no matter where I am or what time it is. I don’t even want to know how many hours each day I spend looking at that screen and frankly, I could do without that information! Since I spend so much time looking at my phone screen, I decided to use that valuable real estate as a place to display my weekly mantra so that every single time I check it, I’m reminded of what I’m focusing on over the next seven days. The best part about these mantras is that their all customized by me and for me. On Monday morning each week, I take a look through my favourite wallpaper app (appropriately named Wallpapers) and choose a quote I feel will best sum up my weekly goal/vibe. Sometimes it’s silly, other times it’s business related or poetic. Either way, it guides me through each week and ensures I keep my head in the game so no matter how busy, frustrated, upset or stressed out I become, I can always keep myself on track.

So far I’ve really come to appreciate how much this simple process helps me stay focused and I’m looking forward to sharing my weekly mantra with you on the blog each Monday. But don’t just take my word for it, try it yourself! Build up a stash of good quote wallpapers (or make your own) and every Monday morning, before you dive head first into your busy schedule, choose one that you want to guide you through the week and then spend the next seven days owning it!

Check out my past mantras from January below and share some of your favourite motivational quotes/sayings in the comments. Have you started embracing weekly mantras on your smart phone? Share it with us on social via our Facebook Page or Twitter account.

Blab Media Monday Motivation