The 2015 iMedia Conference Recap | By Elliot Rose

In typical Gen Y fashion, I learned of the iMEDIA Conference while creeping LinkedIn, when Ameet Khabra, Search Engine Strategist for Top Draw Inc., posted that she was sharing her presentation titled @AdWordsGirl: Why I Love AdWords and You Should Too. After visiting iMedia’s website, I messaged Ameet and she let me know her presentation was sure to leave my #CurrentMood ‘blissful’.

The iMEDIA Conference was started three years ago by Morgan Hrynyk. Her mission was simple: to shine light onto the dark corners of the online and social media advertising world. Her goal was for the web’s new generation of users to gain a greater understanding of the platform by unraveling it into individual strands, such as AdWords, Search Engine, Social Media, etc. Hosted at the MacEwan University on March 14th the conference featured two Keynote Speakers, thirteen Breakout Session Facilitators, and a collection of over 250 attendees sharing ideas about the TED Talk-style presentations.

The Breakout Session Facilitators stayed true to their title by providing presentations that were conversations, encouraging dialogue with insightful Q&A’s throughout sessions, and sharing personal anecdotes. Attendees were able to engage with both the Facilitators and each other throughout sessions and when gathering around the smorgasbord in the lunchroom. In terms of audience engagement, iMEDIA nailed it.

The Breakout Session Facilitators were some of Edmonton’s frontrunners in the online and social media sphere, with the likes of Justin Archer, founding partner of the award-winning Edmonton-based advertising and PR agency, Berlin Advertising, on the roster. As well, Ryan Frankson, an award-winning reporter and editor, and Director of Social Media for the Edmonton Oilers, was also involved – speaking to one of the NHL’s most influential and engaged social media portfolios. Another facilitator was Adriel Michaud, partner and director of SEO at Top Draw Inc., who manages a corporate blog, featuring posts such as Fostering Entrepreneurship in Students.

The two keynote speakers included Erin Bury and Chris Labossiere. Erin brought the ‘entre’ in entrepreneurship when she opened the conference with creative approaches to Instagram, how to be creative with a flair, and why we don’t need to re-invent the Ice Bucket Challenge this summer (ahem, Twizzlers). Erin hails from Toronto where she is the managing director of Creative 88, a digital marketing and design agency. Erin also writes a monthly column for the Financial Post, is the tech commentator on CTV News, and has had multiple appearances in The New York Times, Forbes, CNN, and Canadian Business. She maintains that her real claim to fame, however, is being retweeted by Oprah… twice.

For the grande finale, iMEDIA presented one of the best in the west, Chris Labossiere. He is the co-founder and CEO of Yardstick Software Inc., one of the fastest growing companies in Canada (according to Alberta Venture). He is also one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 and has been an active community member for 20 years volunteering with various organizations. Chris wrapped up the iMEDIA conference by paying homage to the importance of continually evolving your company, your community, and yourself.

The 2015 iMEDIA Conference was another empowering step forward, a reminder that Edmonton–especially it’s downtown–is ripe with talent and poised to be a national leader in online, design, and advertising industries.

Banner Photo courtesy of Erin Walker Photography 

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