EDMONTON – Have a long-term dream in mind and just start nudging your life in that direction. This was one of many pieces of advice that International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield offered attendees at the first ever E-Town festival.
Conference planners had a short amount of time to take the dream of a unique entrepreneurial-minded conference and make it a reality, and in just over two months they brought together six talented keynote speakers, Edmonton entrepreneurs and many curious and innovative Edmontonians for two whirlwind days at the Shaw Conference Centre on September 12-13.
The effort the team put into making E-Town a success is a proof point for keynote David Usher’s statement that creativity is 95 per cent hard work and discipline and five per cent inspiration. Planners wanted to offer Edmontonians a conference experience like no other, and from the visual spectacle provided by AVW-Telav on the stage background, to storyteller Jana O’Connor’s unique approach to the emcee role, to the delicious food-truck feast, attendees were impressed. Speakers were equally impressed, and Bruce Croxon, CBC Dragon and co-founder of Lavalife, declared E-Town “a great beacon…a great indication that things are happening in Edmonton.”
Like any entrepreneurial-minded person knows, the ability to adapt is essential for success, and E-Town demonstrated this skill with the last-minute addition of keynote John Herdman, who delivered a moving speech about his work with the Canadian women’s soccer team that had attendees up on their feet applauding him.
The power of collaboration was filmmaker Tiffany Shlain’s message, demonstrated by her moving Cloud Filmmaking concept, and E-Town was certainly the product of cooperation between many partner and sponsor organizations. As planners start thinking about E-Town 2.0, Guy Kawasaki’s advice to “churn baby, churn,” that is seek feedback on your product and make improvements, will be top of mind as they prepare an even bigger and better E-Town for 2014.
Marketing and Communications