My Best Takeaways from Social Media Camp 2016

SMC group shot

Have you ever been to Social Media Camp?

I have attended five of the seven editions.  I have had the pleasure of hearing addresses from Mari Smith, Jay Bauer, Scott Stratten, Sue B. Zimmerman, and many, many more Social Media Thought Leaders.  And learned a great deal from Vancouver Island based experts like Juhli Selby, Don Power, and Sean Smith.  I have met folks who have become either friends or clients or both, and I regret I was unable to attend all seven of the conferences.  I also go away with many new innovations in the ever-changing world of Social Media or fine tune the skills I am currently using.  And yes, I learn how to stop doing some things I am doing for best results for my clients and myself.  Social Media Camp 2017 is May 3, 4 in Victoria, BC.  Check out the website – – tickets are already on sale for next year.  What’s the best thing about Social Media Camp?  Sharing it with students and friends……….from left to right in the photo above, this is Suelle Stewart from Suelle Stewart Creative , Beverlee Caron from Duncan Christian School , me, and Evelyn Koops Champoux from Visual Edge Graphic Design We are all members of the Cowichan Valley Social Media Club , we all met through the Club and here we are today learning together.

I still hand write notes.  It’s not so much that I can’t post notes on a tablet or a smartphone – I LIKE to hand write notes, it seems to help me learn.  Here, from my handwritten notes are some top takeaways from Social Media Camp 2016:

One of this year’s Keynote speakers (yes, they actually have more than one keynote speaker – the talent that is obtained is amazing) was Mitch Joel.  If you use social media at any level for business, he is darn near a household word.  And he most certainly didn’t disappoint.  His presentation emphasized how people used to buy things to own – (how many of us still have 100’s of DVDs or even earlier, because somehow we wanted to see ‘Dirty Dancing’ or even ‘Love Story’ a million times) but now we are fine to pay for access – the best example is Netflix.  We are becoming accustomed to renting for the time we need it – we don’t need to own it anymore.  He talked about all sorts of new future plans – like renting an office for just an hour to get ready for a client presentation, or for a completely private executive meeting, or a place to work while away from your regular office or home.  This, and other new developments really appealed to me.  He told us the story about Facebook trying to buy SnapChat for $3Billion a few years back.  The SnapChat folks said no and are now controlling 49% of all video views.  Really.  No wonder Google hires him regularly and he is considered ‘The Rockstar of Digital Marketing’.  And he was there in the flesh sharing his latest ideas at Social Media Camp. A little tee hee from me.  I stood behind the great Mr. Joel as we lined up for coffee.  I told him how much I was looking forward to his presentation.  His reply ‘do you follow my blog?’ Thank gosh I could honestly say ‘yes’.

Mitch Joel


Jordan Bower really impressed me.  His topic was Corporate Intimacy – A challenge to Brand Storytelling.  I like to think I am a pretty good storyteller, but I hope to be a MUCH better one after Jordan’s presentation.  He had awesome examples.  Has anyone of us forgotten the subtle but fabulous story told in the Old Spice commercials?  There needs to be a storyteller, a story, and an audience to have an effective storytelling experience – duh.  But there also needs to be a dilemma, emotional waves, and the reaction to the dilemma by the characters must be revealed.  That sounds a little complicated, but I took enough notes to hold an effective seminar on storytelling in the Cowichan Valley.

Sunny Lenarduzzi talked about SnapChat.  Everyone talked about SnapChat, particularly after Sunny’s presentation.  Yes, to those of you who immediately jump to the association with Bob who practically invented soccer in Canada – Sunny is Bob Lenarduzzi’s daughter.  But wow, she is much, much more than that.  She creates weekly YouTube videos on all sorts of social media updates and topics.  She gave the audience such a compelling overview of SnapChat that most of us could hardly wait to get back home or to our hotel rooms to sign up to use SnapChat for business.  I will surely check this platform out thoroughly, but I suspect it isn’t an ideal platform for my owner/operator client demographic.

Sunny Lenarduzzi

Something I noticed continually?  No matter what ‘level’ of speaker, from Mitch Joel to Sue B. Zimmerman to Steve Dotto and many, many more – all must have handles on almost every Social Media network.  Which is the one they consistently provided for the audience to contact or follow them on?  TWITTER.  A big takeaway for me was getting back onto Twitter in a really list-driven way.



Twitter image

Beverly Theresa works at the very effective Top Draw digital advertising agency in Edmonton.  Her presentation was AMAZING.  She unofficially entitled her presentation ‘How to provide heroin to social media addicts’ and the message was very clear.  Relate, engage, tell stories to your audience, don’t sell, sell, sell.  It’s a message most of us know, but she presented in such a way and with such great examples that it was awesome


Beverly Theresa


And, I guess, the final takeaway was just a reinforcement.  Two things that came up again and again………one, the huge value of video on all social networks, particularly Facebook.  Two………the absolute necessity of a strong and clear message on a mobile device.  These aren’t new learnings – but a great reinforcement.

Want to further explore all my notes?  Just give me a call, the material is fresh in my head and I still feel the tingle of all that geekyness!


  Filed under: Blogging
  Comments: 10


  Comments: 10

  1. Thank you Brenda so much for your blog on Social Media Camp 2016. It is so well written with visuals of each speaker. I would love to see anymore of your notes as I had a CATASTROPE take place… the last session of the last day, some glitche took place with my iPad, it crashed and I lost all my carefully written notes on EACH session I attended!!! Arghhhhh…..I had an IT look at it today and I am forlorn to say that the notes are indeed gone forever. I depend on my notes so much to remember what I have learned. I also cannot present to Jeremy or the board on what I learned in a somewhat intelligent manner without notes. I am going to contact some of the speakers for the powerpoint presentations they offered us, it is just that they had much to say in addition to what was on the powerpoint. Oh well, no purpose in crying over spilled milk as they say….just a huge disappointment. So grateful for your notes…next year I will take notes by hand although my writing is hard to read, hence my note-taking on devices!!

    Beverlee Caron

    • Oh no, Beverlee! I saw you taking copious notes throughout the conference. I only have handwritten notes, but they are fairly detailed and I think Suelle and Evelyn did the same. I am sure we all will help. And yes, almost all of the presenters were pleased to offer their PPTs. Just let me know how I can help………..

    • Hi Beverlee, I sat with you at one of the presentations and also saw you taking notes. I have many pictures of the slides if I can help in anyway!

  2. I really appreciated your overview. Wish I had made time to attend social media camp… Maybe next year! My son is a big snap chat user – I am interested in this forum for businesses? I asked him the other day what he meant by asking his friends ” did you see my story”…I thought he actually wrote a short story for English 11?!!! Apparently it’s like a post on Facebook, but it’s a picture that tells the story. Duh, I’m feeling old! Thanks Brenda for keeping us informed on what’s new in digital marketing.

    • I think you would really enjoy Social Media Camp, Sonja. It’s best enjoyed in a little group. Even outgoing folks like you and I would find it fairly overwhelming with so many people. SnapChat is interesting and I signed my self up with a profile on SnapChat last weekend. I am not sure it’s an ideal platform for the small businesses that make up most of the Cowichan Valley. I am surely going to give it a good test drive. And, I am going to start a weekly ‘Ask Brenda’ Facebook Live video on Social Media is Simple’s Facebook Page. First one is tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. Video and mobile is where it’s at in Social Media these days! Thanks for the kind comment……..

  3. This was an amazing experience. Thank you Brenda I am so happy our paths crossed! I took lots of notes hand written but good luck reading my writing! I am looking forward to learning more and hanging out with you fabulous ladies!

    • I am very glad our paths crossed too, Megan. It was great to connect and I look forward to hearing more about your businesses. Hope to see you at our next Cowichan Valley Social Media Club meeting at the Maritime Centre in Cowichan Bay on Thursday, May 19th. All details on the Cowichan Valley Social Media Club Facebook Page –
      See you soon!

  4. Celeste Walmsley

    This was a great overview from the speakers you attended. I too have copious notes for the speakers I attended as well. So great when you can walk away from a conference like this with some great nuggets. I also found reinforcement that I’m on the right path and sometimes that’s all I need to know in this business. Kudos do you for taking the time to share your “tidbits” with us and marking down your learnings. I should make time to do the same. *smile*

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