Metro Vancouver youth launch new conference to empower local businesses

Christina Guan

By Christina Guan

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Most young people spend their days in the classroom learning from seasoned professors with decades of experience. For a team of ambitious local students however, the tables have turned. Harnessing their status as digital natives to empower local businesses, a team of students and alumni from Simon Fraser University are launching OMG Social Media Conference, whose mission is straightforward: to simplify social media for small business owners.

The event, slated for August 15, 2013, is the vision of co-founders Salina Siu, 24 and Lesley Yuen, 23. After attending several social media conferences last year, the young women realized a common problem linking each event. “Small business owners are overwhelmed with the pace of social media and technology. Conferences tend to cover the newest and most exciting advancements,” said Yuen. “But for a crowd struggling to get any online engagement, walking them through the process of creating a social media marketing strategy is much more useful.”

A study done by Balihoo showed that 71% of social media participants are more likely to purchase goods from a brand that they follow online. Acknowledging the potential of social media to empower local entrepreneurs, the social media-savvy duo set forth to make their vision a reality.

“As the online media generation, we are extremely familiar with social media – a luxury that we often take for granted,” said Siu. “But it is something that is becoming more and more crucial in the success of small business owners and we want to help bridge the gap between these generations.”

With two months until their conference, the team is finding support from sponsors like HootSuite, who was named, “2012 Best Company to Work for in BC”, SFU Beedie School of Business and TELUS. “To launch our initiative, we’re hosting a kick-off party for our months of hard work and we’re inviting all kinds of local entrepreneurs to be there,” said Yuen. “It’s important for us to share our unique vision with them and make them realize what a difference social media can make in their business”.

On June 20th, the OMG Social Media Conference Launch Party will bring together over 60 Vancouver small business owners and social media experts at HootSuite’s new headquarters in Mount Pleasant. With a presentation from HootSuite themselves and a panel of social media experts, the evening promises to be jam-packed.

Event registration is free can be accessed at omglaunch.eventbrite.ca. For more information, follow @OMGmedia on Twitter or visit omgsocialmedia.ca.

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