I spent the end of last week at the 2nd Annual ShesConnected Conference, here in Toronto. The conference is designed to bring together influential digital women with leading brands, in an interactive forum. I was pleased to have been invited back for this second year, but I initially wasn't sure about attending. I've got a lot going on in my life right now, so the time was precious. And, given that my experience last year was "mixed" to say the least, I had my doubts. But, I looked at the plans, and spoke with a friend who was one of the advisers, and I decided to take the time and go.
I'm glad I did.
Every organisation and event is allowed its growing pains, and I'm all about the second chances. This year's event was expanded, and went for a day and a half. This allowed for the scheduling of lots of time for mixing and mingling with brands and other digital women, as well as for good content in the panels and keynotes. Last year felt much like a set of marketing pitches. This year felt like learning from each other. I felt that I truly was able to make some connections this time around.
The vibe at the conference was extremely positive. I had a number of brand representatives comment to me how friendly and open the digital women were. The brand reps asked questions and engaged in conversation. Not just talking about their products, but truly conversing with the attendees, and they all seemed to really enjoy themselves. (I hope that was the feedback that the conference organisers received from them as well.)
I apparently was having such a great time that I forgot to take any pictures! The only images I have to share are a handful from the fabulous Thursday night #ShoesConnected after-party, hosted by Town Shoes in Yorkville and STLTO wines, and organised by the superb @TJZMommy. This was a great chance to unwind, discover a new Italian wine, dance, chat, and shop (if one so desired, but I was being frugal in advance of our trip).
The party featured great music and wine, as well as great prizes for attendees. A three month supply of Adult Essentials vitamins was just one prize up for grabs.
If you are a digital woman wondering how you can connect with brands, or a brand wishing to connect with influential digital women, you can find more information on the ShesConnected Network and their upcoming events on their website.