This past week we hosted our 2nd annual BizCom Summit and we’re still on a high! Having so many creatives all in one space is my happy place and leaves me inspired for weeks.
We started BizCom last year after our first full year of hosting conferences in our office. It’s all all about bringing our community together, learning through one another, and taking your business to that next level.
At the beginning of 2018, alongside Alta Events, we started hosting monthly workshops in our office. They were such a hit, butsince we have limited office space, we decided to take it up a notch and end the year with a bang, hosting our very first BizCom Summit!
We had so much fun last year, so we decided to do it all over again! It was open to all and we had over 130 attendees gather together in the beautiful Mercury Mosaics space.
The evening started with our friend Marcus from MisFit Coffee mixing up cocktails and our friend Carrie from Catered by Carrie, who served up some nummy eats. Then we moved into a couple different breakout sessions, ending with a media panel. All of the speakers were from our network that we either work with or have had a huge impact and influence on our business here at c2s.
A huge thank you to our event sponsors and the brands we love that donated their time and products to make this event a huge success!
We love supporting local! Thanks to a lot of local vendors, like The Royal Foundry and BET Vodka, we were able to have everyone taste some incredible craft spirits that are made right here in the midwest. If you haven’t tried either of this craft spirits, I encourage you to ask your local liquor store to get them in stock if they don’t already.
Another huge thank you to Katie Storm Photography and Chelsie Lopez Production & Marketing for capturing the moments by photographing and video-graphing the night. Lee Wickstrom from Vonder Cosmos for recording the audio for you all to download later if you missed it.
And of course, another big thank you to brands who donated product for fun giveaways! Because of brands we love and partner with, we were able to give one lucky winner an Elkay sink of their choice, Fiskars goodies, and a Cambria cheese board. Congrats to all of the winners!
Here were the lucky winners of the Elkay sink!
“Sell Your Story and Content that Converts” – Chelsey @modernwell
Love how Chelsey from ModernWell captured the event so perfectly in her own recap too. Hop over to check out her recap too as she’s sharing everything she learned, which even opened up my eyes more.
Videography Credit: Chelsie Lopez
And lastly, a thank you you to all of our speakers who donated their time and knowledge to share with everyone. I know how much work goes into a presentation and we are so grateful! Here’s some of our favorite things we learned throughout the night. We recorded each of the sessions and they will be available for download soon.
But in the meantime, here was our top take-a-ways.
A Quickstart Guide to Building a Successful Brand & Influencer Partnerships with Christine Scherping from A Friend of a Friend
During this session Christine covered how to find your ideal partners, pitching tips, contract negotiations, best practices and more. Whether you’re a brand looking to partner with influencers, or an influencer looking to partner with brands, there are key tips to build successful partnerships and she shared all that she knew.
It was cool to learn firsthand from Christine as she does this everyday for a living through her firm. She’s dedicated to the brands and influencers that she works with in developing meaningful relationships between brands and their target audience, via a combination of influencer marketing, media relations, and events. This wasn’t the first time I had heard Christine speak and every time, I just keep learning more and more.
Here are a few of our favorite takeaways from Christine:
- Be considerate of how many sponsored partnerships you do because your audience can tell if you’re being genuine and authentic
- Diversify other communication channels – like email marketing
- Never buy followers or engagement
Content that Converts with Hook Agency
- Do keyword research
- Content that solves the problem for a prospect if they were trying to do it themselves. One of the examples of this: We got a lead today from a blog: “How long should a blog post be.” This was successful because it gives people who are trying to do it themselves tools to do so, and then we can be there when they decide they don’t actually want to do it on their own.
- Content that talks about a competing solution, and also tells them ‘there’s another way!’
- Content that helps them at an earlier point than you’d normally help, but introduces your solution.
- Content that explains the entire strategy in detail, but also demonstrates all of the work to do it right.
- Content that lists the 5-10 solutions they could use (including your competitors) and sells your specialty within it.
Pretty, Practical, and Performance, A session all about Pinterest with Alyssa Greve from Cambria
Alyssa is a dear friend of ours, which sprouted by her taking our initial branding photography to launch our c2s business! She has coached us over the years on our own social and shown us at c2s what opportunities there are. Alyssa is surrounded by some of the top thought leaders in the U.S. and has seen firsthand how the power is untapped. The opportunity for businesses in the Pinterest world is wide open. And any business, no matter who you are, Pinterest is where it’s at.
Through her position at Cambria, Alyssa has been able to partner directly with Pinterest to strategically use the platform in the most efficient way. In this session, she will share pro tips, best practices, and the opportunity available in Pinterest for businesses today. So many users are searching in the platform and there is market share waiting to be captured!
Top takeaways from Alyssa:
- Pinterest is a search engine, you need to show up there
- Vertical pins perform best on Pinterest
- There is much more longevity to this platform and you may not see results right away, so stay patient
Breakout Session #4 | How to Deal with Your Success with Mercedes Austin from Mercury Mosaics
Mercedes Austin is the Owner/Founder/Mover & Shaker of Mercury Mosaics. Originally from Minneapolis and having grown up in an architecturally-significant home, Mercedes has always had a passion for unique interiors. An artist all her life, she was always experimenting, but never with one focus. Combining a passion for math, architecture, design & painting – mosaic tile and all of the possibilities within the medium presented a perfect match to hold her attention. Mercury Mosaics started as an answer to a personal goal of being an artist full-time.
Coming from the service industry, Mercedes has always made great service and taking care of people an extremely high priority – period. It began with a focus on small-batch-made home accessories – accent mosaic tables and colorfully tiled mirrors – with commissions locally. Soon, clients getting small home accessories wanted things for their kitchens, bathrooms, and fireplaces, installed permanently. Seventeen years later, it has grown to work with clients nationally and internationally: B2C and B2B!
One thing led to another, and Mercedes has transformed from a solo-artist to full-blown creative entrepreneur leading a company that services clients all over the world.
To sustain this success and continue the level of care that is her standard, Mercedes has curated a group of some of the finest craftspeople and humble hard workers who are known as the tile elves. It is with this passion that fulfills her to now create jobs for other artists and be a part of their journey on their way to create art as their full-time job.
Mercury Mosaics is like a bakery for tile. It’s a special factory, studio, and showroom located in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District and is one of the fastest-growing companies in the US.
Favorite takeaways from Mercedes:
- Get out of your own way
- Trust your gut – always!
- Think outside the box
- Take your emotions out of it
Media Panel | Jason DeRusha from WCCO, Elizabeth Ries from Twin Cities Live, Kelly Kegans from Mpls.St.Paul Home&Design Magazine and Jill Miller fromProjects in Person Moderated by Aaron Komo from Carmichael Lynch.
For this panel we really wanted to bring in a mixture of individuals from our favorite human circle that have breathed new life into us when it comes to media! Some of which are TV anchors, news editors, business owners, PR firms, who know what they’re doing and still are always trying to figure it out.
Aaron Komo, Carmichael Lynch Social Engagement. Aaron thinks social-first in all facets of his work and life. He applies strategic and creative thinking to craft stories that are meant to mobilize. His expertise is that of your favorite lifestyle influencer. From experience with food and fashion to home and design brands, he knows what’s trending and why or why not to play into it. Aaron is originally from Hawaii and island hopped to Manhattan to study music at NYU. His untraditional journey to the advertising industry pushes his work beyond the expected. He serves on the Twin Cities Pride Board of Directors and volunteers with the BrandLab’s Fearless Leadership Team while leading personal and professional equity, diversity and inclusion efforts designed to champion ongoing awareness and advocacy for marginalized communities. Also, Capricorn and ENFJ.
Jill Miller launched “Pip,” Projects in Person, a DIY Workshop in 2016. Located on Mainstreet in Hopkins, the workshops guide attendees to build a variety of projects from cutting boards to headboards. Snagging her first media appearance three months after opening, Jill has now had 30 live TV appearances covering all major networks and has been featured in Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, the Star Tribune, and more.
Jason DeRusha is more than the morning news anchor at WCCO-TV: he’s the chief restaurant critic for Minnesota Monthly magazine, he’s a social media innovator on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Jason’s been at WCCO since 2003; he was the first reporter to blog for the TV station’s website; he’s also an active volunteer in community hosting and emceeing fundraisers.
Elizabeth Ries is a television and radio personality in the Twin Cities. She co-hosts Twin Cities Live weekday afternoons from 3-4:30 pm on KSTP and delivers celebrity news and pop culture updates during her Dirt Alerts on myTalk 107.1 at 8:20 am and 12:20 pm. She also co-hosts a podcast called “Best to the Nest,” focused on making your home a happy and healthy sanctuary. She grew up in Apple Valley, but now lives in Minneapolis with her husband Jay, daughter Bernadette and son Franklin. They also share their home with a German Shorthair Pointer named Gracie Lu and a flock of chickens in the backyard. Elizabeth is passionate about cooking with as much home grown produce as possible and wants to add a hive of bees to her yard next!
Kelly Ryan Kegans is a writer and editor who specializes in producing home and design content. For the past 25 years, Kelly worked on staff and in a freelance capacity for daily newspapers and magazines at the local, regional, and national level, including serving as Senior Deputy Home Editor for Better Homes and Gardens magazine, where she worked for 12 years prior to moving to Minneapolis. Four years ago, she relocated to the Twin Cities and is the editor of Mpls.St.Paul Home&Design magazine and is a field editor for BH&G and Midwest Living. Kelly’s work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Magnolia Journal, Traditional Home, Do It Yourself, Country Home, and others. Kelly enjoys the ebb and flow of scouting homes and gardens, writing and editing stories, formulating stories, planning photo shoots, assembling creative teams, visually packaging stories, and prop styling for photo shoots. At home, she tends to go overboard buying garden and design books, collecting too many houseplants, attempting to purge an overabundance of magazines, and creating and recreating vignettes.
Top takeaways from the panel:
- If you’re pitching media, put in the subject line your deadline date.
- Don’t pitch more than one media outlet, give someone a first chance at it and have a deadline for them before you go to the next
- Tell a story.
- Follow up on emails.
- Building real life relationships matter.
Last but not least, we are SO excited to announce that moving into the New Year, we are going to do our workshops a little differently. Instead of having them monthly in our office we’re taking it to The Royal Foundry and will hold quarterly workshops. Check back tomorrow and we’ll have all of our new workshops announced and live to grab your ticket here on the blog!
Photography Credit: Katie Storm Photography
One of the places we give back every year is to the kids at St. Jude and help sponsor the St. Jude Ride & 5K run featuring Ryan Dungey and friends. We’ve been apart of this organization for the past two years and I also serve on their committee helping every chance I can to raise money for those kids. Which means, every event and moment I have to share this event, I’m talking about it at the other events I put on. We were honored to have our friend Matt chat briefly about this event, what it means, and how to get involved. Hope to see you on the course this next year with us!
These ladies from Pickle & Board flew all the way in for our conference from Providence, RI!! They sent us a message on Instagram that they were flying in for the event and I almost dropped dead. One of the many highlights of the night. So appreciative for the Instagram community and brining together good people like these.
And if you wrote a recap on BizCom, drop your linke below so we can help share!