April 29, 2014

Toonswaggn' the #BConnectedConf.

I went to the BConnected Conference in Ottawa (our nation's capitol!). The people made this event all that it was.

You know how when I go to a conference I like to do toonswag? Well, I was pretty wasted from making my book but when Dino Dogan from Triberr, got on stage my fatigue disappeared and the drawing practically drew itself.
"It's ALL about size!"

He definitely qualifies as animated. Dino's a fountain of information, expression and unbridled friendliness!

This is Julie Elsdon-Height, the woman behind the blog Sober Julie.

She did a session on photography, and though I was busy trying to capture her fantastic 'look' I did glance up to see a couple of amazing photos of Mocktails she'd created (look, she's got a book on Mocktails!). This woman is living sober, but she's so much more than that; she's wonderful. We shared a taxi one morning and I'm grateful for that because even just a few moments with someone away from the conference hubub can mean so much...*waves at Julie!"

I was at the BConnected Conference to hangout with people, but also to speak.

We often hear about blogging sessions on how to do SEO, how to do content marketing, how to work with brands and so on. Everyone says we must engage and be authentic and create community. But few offer tips or a framework on how to effectively reach an audience through emotional storytelling. So I do sessions on empathy and visual storytelling - I gave a talk on using emotional triggers and I used some parenting stories from my blog as examples.

It's a wonderful feeling to be looking out at all the faces and see them watching my animation on the screen and not yawning at all.

More toonswag:

This smiler is Lyne Proulx, founder of the Ottawa Mommy Club online parenting magazine.

She organized the BConnected Conference with a rocking social media team. It was their first big event and I found it to be intimate, focused and classy. Lyne is gracious and polished and (as I found out after the conference was all over) she has an EPIC sense of humour and will go out of her way to make sure you have your swag bag.

One thing I love-love-love about conferences is meeting people I know from the Innerwebs. There were many that I wanted to draw but didn't get a chance, but I did hug Christine-Lee McNaughton in person from Life On Manitoulin.

Christine is warm and real - just like she is online - and she was also one of the conference AmBassadors. This gal lives on Manitoulin Island, which is a unique place in Canada that I want to see. Christine! Can you hear me? Get the guestarium ready. And no more hydroplaning!

Have you ever met someone in a series of coincidences? It's like that for Heather Boyd and me - every time our paths cross, something coincidental happens and this event was no exception.

Heather is a very talented wire jewelry artist: I met her when I won a pair of her camera earrings at an ELAN schmoozer here in Montreal. When she came to meet me in Ottawa, she surprised me with these:

Dayum it feels GOOD to have an alter ego dangling from my ear.

Look familiar?

Go see Heather Boyd Wire - she has totally cool jewelry and cake toppers and she can even do amazing personalized stuff. Obviously.

So Heather offered a pair of her camera earrings to BConnected as a door prize and guess who won them? They picked my name! But since I already have a pair, plus these gorgeous tailor-made earrings, I insisted they draw another name. I am nice!

Heather actually won a prize herself, which was a Wii Fit and a WiiU and a bunch of related gear from Future Shop, one of the BConnected sponsors. She insisted on giving it to me (I did not argue) and that's why this happened:

Don't try this at home.
Photo by my long suffering and loyal BFFF TrashCanRoxanne.

I know you're wondering WTF did you do to the Wii JC??

But that's another story for another day.


  1. Lol...can't wait to read the rest of the story, Jc, after seeing that picture! I absolutely LOVE your drawings...and the ones in this blog post are the best. You totally captured everyone perfectly! It was great to meet you at the conference, and your presentation was fabulous. I'm with you...don't you just love Heather and her wire creations? Those are great earrings!

    1. Thank-you for stopping by here Sandy. I had a wonderful time in Ottawa and I'm glad you came to say hi to me. I sometimes get an attack of shyness.

      ps. I'm a fan of Heather!

  2. Uh oh…mud related incident! Love the toon swags. Your description of Dino Dogan is exactly how I imagine him to be from his emails. And how cool to have toon earrings of yourself!

  3. I love your toonswags! I could look at them all day, I swear. And how cool are those earrings?

  4. Those earrings are AWESOME. I hope to run into you at BlogHer in San Jose??

  5. JC, such great memories here. I'm so glad we met IRL, and hope we get to do it again soon. Without the mud, of course. You are a gift.

  6. Your toonswags are amazing! I can't wait to see the rest of the story!

  7. Oh my gosh!!! I never got a chance to publicly thank you for being such and amazing, inspiring person. So glad we got to meet in person, AND you always have a place to stay when you visit Manitoulin Island! I'll even cook for you ;)


Cuz You Rocketh.