The Elmhurst Inn & Spa in beautiful Ingersoll Ontario- what a perfect place to share information with the Workplace Planning Group board of Directors of f on a weekend retreat.
I would be going there to explain “How Email and Social Media Work Hand-in-Hand to Grow Business”, this being a critical part of my program covering online strategies. The trip would take an hour and forty-five minutes. It looked to be a gloomy Saturday morning drive, with rain in the forecast-but at 8 am there wasn’t a drop in sight.
This would be my first visit to Ingersoll though I have been London for numerous conferences, as well as Woodstock for a wedding. Ingersoll is right in the middle of the two. Getting out of the city is always a great thrill for me: the new sights and sounds of the world, the expansion o f infrastructure, from roads to new buildings, and transportation trucks going east and west on the 401 with plenty of products headed for various destinations, all showing that the economy is alive and well.
Whenever I’m on the road I like to play a game that involves looking out for great licence plates and trying to figure out what they mean. Even though I have a CD playing most of the time my visual focus is always on the road, On this trip it was a surprise to see black Nissan zipping by with the place WUT FUN. He was zipping by too fast to honk! I saw three water towers and lots of horses and truck carrying new 2012 Mustang GTO’s (heavy and expensive payload)
Of course I had my trustworthy GPS system guiding my every move, but in this case “Kate” remained silent most of the trip (yes it has name-but that’s a story for another time). However as I neared my destination increased Kate’s volume so she can guide me to the Elm Hurst Inn, and as soon as I had exited the highway she announced “you have arrived”
“Where?” I asked. But of course , she didn’t answer.
So I continued straight and stop at a local gas station to look at my back-up map which is when I realized had just passed the entrance. I went into the gas station to find out where the centre of town was then doubled back to locate the hotel. Since I had arrived bit early I headed back centre of Ingersoll to get a coffee, stretch and get mentally prepared for the presentation.
Tim Horton’s was the busiest place in town that morning the drive-thru was busy and walk-in traffic was making it a hectic place for everyone to get their morning breakfasts. But , hey, I won a free donut, so it was worth it! (Mind you, I had to drive all the way to Ingersoll to win it)
I started back to the Elm Hurst Inn. This time taking the opposite way, I found the exit easily.
On arrival , I walked to the main desk and was advised that the meeting was in the basement in the Heritage door, so I took a mini elevator one floor down and made my way there. To my surprise there was huge portable screen and projector set up with lots of space to speak and move around.
I proceeded to meet some of the board member of the Workforce Planning Group and get acquainted with how they wanted to use social media. There group included a real cross-section of types: some were social media- savvy users, others were online but very limited experience. At the table to the left of where I was standing they all had blackberry tablets (“tech corner” is what I called them), few others had Blackberries many were comfortable with social media.
Had handed out my business cards and advised everyone that they could connect via LinkedIn (many of them were users) Twitter and Facebook. At one point one of the participants following me and had one my followers following them, great to see on –line networking happening quick!
I had 90 minutes to present my material, and my presentation had three parts to it. After each section there was a brief Q &A regarding the topics and there were some great questions being asked. We got into how to use :Constant Contact with Social Media” to do a successful email marketing campaign, and how content is an important way to engage and interact with your network. We shared key strategies , and the two –way conversation is one of the goals that is crucial to growing and managing your business.
There were also slides showing how populated the social scene is and pointed out that it was not easy to find the top three on the slide (they were there). The social scene will become even more populated in the years to come, and it take time to see how effective these new social templates become.
At the end of the presentation I received a gift card for a local restaurant, courtesy of the board; an add a bonus one of the participants had a referral to give me regarding opportunity to write article on social media for the local paper (awesome).
As I head back to Toronto it was exciting to visit a new place in our great province and to see some new people and admire what a great country we have.
I have loved the journey through Toronto, Kingston and Ingersoll over the last few months. The moral of the story for me: enjoy the journey and admire the destination we learn and see new things everyday.
Jim Pagiamtzis sharing insights on raving fans