Large conference takes place June 13 to 15 in Calgary at the Eau Claire Cineplex

Mario ToneguzziSocialWest, the largest digital marketing and social media conference in Western Canada, is virtually sold out, indicating how big this industry has become in recent years.The event, founded by Mike Morrison, a well-known Calgary businessman and founder of Mike’s Bloggity Blog, takes place June 13 to 15 in Calgary at the Eau Claire Cineplex.

It’s the third year for the event.

“I think it’s Canada’s biggest social media conference, if not very close to it,” said Morrison. “So social media and digital marketing and we have speakers that come from all across Canada and we have attendees that come from all across Canada.

“What I think makes SocialWest really unique is that we don’t hire professional inspirational speakers. We hire the people who are doing the jobs. I picture them having left their desk 20 minutes ago to come and give a presentation.”

SocialWest founder Mike Morrison, a well-known Calgary businessman and founder of Mike’s Bloggity Blog.

Speakers include CBC ad guru Terry O’Reilly, and spokespeople from Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Hootsuite.

SocialWest is geared for anyone using social or digital marketing to do better business. Nominations are now open for the second annual Hashtag Awards, celebrating individuals and organizations who excel in digital marketing and social media across Western Canada.

“Nothing is more important than marketing and communications and now we have these tools called social media to make marketing, communications so much more effective and so much more real and so much better in fact because it’s more targeted,” said Morrison.

”I think some companies and some businesses poo-poo social media away because they hear this and they hear that about the negatives but every type of form of communication has negatives. I think what SocialWest does is say, ‘hey just because we’re not Toronto, Vancouver doesn’t mean that we can’t have this amazing conference that brings together 500 people across the country to talk about this new fascinating world of social media and digital marketing.’ ”

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.


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