It was my first time attending the F.W.E. (Forum for Women Entrepreneurs) Annual Fundraising Gala event though I had heard many great things, and I was not disappointed. Entering the pre-event cocktail reception I was impressed by the caliber of Businesswomen (and men!) who were in attendance. The ever busy Premier Christy Clark even made an appearance, and of course special guests Ryan Holmes, Founder and CEO of Hootsuite; Michele Romanow, Co-Founder of Buytopia.ca and SnapSaves; and Jamie Michaels, Head of Brand Strategy at Twitter Canada.
As an event planner myself, the event set up was stunning as the ballroom doors opened to reveal an icy blue scene of candlelit tables with mouthwatering towers of desserts (complete with tiny social media shaped toppers). The food provided by the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, which for me was slow cooked beef with potato puree, seasonal vegetables and gravy; literally fell apart at the touch of a knife with the flavors melting deliciously in my mouth.
Apart from the food and tasteful wine, the event was a fantastic showcase of just what the F.W.E. is all about including videos of business women who have been helped by the organization through e-series courses (the next one is coming up in April – more details here) and mentorship programs, including a touching and inspiring tribute to Y-Yoga and Nettwerk Music Group co-founder and CEO, Terry McBride; a long standing F.W.E. mentor member.
But it all came down to what we were all there to see, the all-star panel featuring the above mentioned special guests, Ryan, Michelle and Jamie.
As social entrepreneurs and specialists, these three were full of real and inspiring stories (about calling everyone in the phone book under a certain name to track down the one you were looking for) and handy tips on social for brands vs individuals (be sure to draw a line between the two), but there was one message that seemed to be repeated:
‘Social success comes down to producing content that is engaging (rather than being aimed at selling) and is the right type of content, providing the right type of communication for the right type of social platform.’
Basically, it’s important to remember that each platform is utilized in a very different way, creating a very different conversation. For example, Instagram is a visual conversation (a picture tells a thousand words) whereas Twitter is immediate, short and therefore more to the point and easily shareable.
For more information on upcoming F.W.E. Events, including their 3 day E-Series educational program held at The Vancouver Club in April (applicants welcome to apply from across Canada with bursaries available) click onto fwe.ca.