Editor’s Note: Today’s Guest Blog comes from Cara Bedford, CompuVision’s Director of Strategic Marketing. Our Connections blog posts aren’t just talking about technology, they’re about connecting with people. We were delighted to have Cara represent CompuVision at the Alberta Women Entrepreneurs‘ Leadership Day on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. This is her review. #BeCurious.
“If you have a great idea and you don’t have the juice and the ovaries to make it happen, it’s worth nothing.”
The day before AWE I mapped out my strategy for attending the conference, as I normally do for networking events. I have learned that networking without focus is a wasted effort and learning without goals gives away too much brain space. So this was what my day before looked like:
- I viewed who I wanted to meet and researched them
- I got my business cards ready
- I had some talking points (on cloud services for business) written down in my folder that might pertain to those I had researched and those I was about to meet
- I packed what I needed to take part in the workshop I had picked – “It’s a Small World” – as CompuVision is looking to expand into more markets, and worked out some questions beforehand
- I filled my bag with healthy snacks and water to make sure I personally felt full of energy all day
I was there to meet other women with an entrepreneurial mindset, and to help CompuVision reach an audience that needed technology to support them in their business. Technology is usually looked on as a pain point rather than an opportunity – and I wanted to introduce CompuVision to them as a safe place for women to try technology in their business, especially in the cloud.
While I didn’t lose this goal completely, it shifted in its execution.
After Ruth’s kick-off keynote, I now wanted to hear other women’s great ideas. That truly was it, in all simplicity: the idea.
What were the ideas that kept them going and made them have that juice to make it happen?
Ovaries united, all I wanted to do was listen. Then, maybe, just maybe, if there was a fit, CompuVision could help that idea grow through technology. My personal goal became quite secondary.
And this is where the good day became a great day.
Sometimes we forget to be present and fully aware of what is happening right in front of us. It’s a common thing in business as we go a thousand miles a minute. We usually are responsible for wearing multiple hats at any given moment of the day, all day. By asking others what their ideas were, I became present – I had found the right question to ask at the right time, the Holy Grail of being in a moment where it just works.
The AWE day continued after this point with Meet the Expert Sessions. I would like to see the organizers grow this to include more experts as it gave great time for networking to other like-minded businesses that were up at the tables with you. My criticism is there were not enough experts and it was too easy and quick to get through the rounds of tables.
Then came a panel discussion on disruptive idea building with Teresa Clouston, ATB; Elisse Moreno, Lifestyle Matcher; Meghan Dear, Localize and Robyn Henderson of Kids Uncomplicated Inc. Robyn was absolutely inspiring and captivating during this panel. Her message was heartfelt and genuine and it was like talking to other clients of ours such as the Stollery, Kids Upfront or Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern Alberta. (If by chance, Robyn is reading this I would love to connect).
Also Elisse Moreno I want your gorgeous shoes!
After a blessing from a Cree Nation Elder, as we were on treaty land, we ate a wonderful healthy lunch with vegetarian options, thank you organizers. Then the keynote for lunch, Julia Cordray, spoke on creating success from adversity. And wow, has she had adversity. I remembered her from the media storm on her app Peeple and it was great to hear her side of the story in person.
After lunch was the Fireside Chat – Karen Unland you asked wonderful questions. I kept having these questions in my head while the discussions were taking place with Carrie Belcourt, Founder of Mother Earth Essentials and Elvie Reinson, CEO of Ballast Environmental Consulting Ltd. Then like magic you’d ask them. Thank you for being such an intuitive moderator. (Also a huge fan of your blog, Seen and Heard in Edmonton).
The closing keynote was Nicole Bourque-Bouchier, the CEO of The Bouchier Group. Her talk was on breaking through barriers. From the moment Nicole started to the end, my mouth hung open. Every hurdle imaginable and yet there you were. These are the stories that make the entrepreneurial spirit sing and make you want to wake up and work harder the next day.
So now it’s the next day. I have an AWE swag bag with business cards and brochures in it, but I did something a little bit different than other events I’d been to. I wrote down the ideas from those I met. So really I have a bag full of ideas from wonderful businesswomen who are out there working on their ideas and giving it all they have.
So thank you to those I met, who shared with me their ideas and let me share mine, and to those who I haven’t met yet. Continue on the path of your great idea and I wish you nothing but success.