Lessons From Discover Your Personal Brand Conference – The All Star Panel

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak again at the Discover Your Personal Brand Conference.  DYPB 2016 was different from 2014 in a number of ways.

The focus was more toward small business and the caliber of speaker, panels and attendees was awesome. There were many inspiring young Canadians in attendance that really gave me a lift about the future of our country. All held within the back drop of Telus’ state of the art office in downtown Toronto, an environmental LEED building, bursting with technology and balanced with space and light.

The opportunity to attend conferences is always a big investment, even if its local so it was great to get such a rich experience. 

After introductions from the motivating conference organizer and founder Bobby Umar and keynotes from the always excellent Mark Bowden and inspiring Real Food for Real Kids founder Lulu Cohen-Farnell the highlight of the first evening for me was the Personal Brand Leadership All Star Panel. They were;

Cameron Gordon, Head of Communications, Twitter – Moderator
Erin Bury, Managing Director at 88 Creative
Jennifer Ettinger, Founder & President at Fit Your Style
Jagmeet Singh, MPP, ONDP Deputy Leader
Bobby Umar, Founder, Raeallan & DYPB

Full bios and more details on the schedule and other speakers can be found here 

Here is a Summary of the questions and panel answers;

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How to Be a Conference Guerrilla – Part 1 – Pre-Conference

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Recently I was the keynote speaker at the HR Leaders Conference taking place on a boat on the River Danube in Bratislava, Slovakia. It was a great conference and of course the location was pretty unique!

In our time crunched lives and with the option of virtual events, physically attending conferences can be a hard decision. I consider the speaker line up, the networking sessions or in some cases the professional development credits. I also consider the cost, both in terms of dollars and ‘lost production’.

However very few people actually measure the ‘return on investment’ of attending a conference. This is important because ‘getting out there’ adds value to your organization and your personal brand.

There is a lot more to it than showing up. Here’s how to plan like a conference guerrilla.


The meetings and conference industry runs into the $100’s of billions each year, so there are always plenty of conferences to choose from. With so much latest research and information available to access and use at the click of a mouse, going to a conference to hear the latest leading edge speakers should not be at the top of your priorities.

The true value of attending a conference are the relationships that you develop.

What is your goal? Is it to find new business for your company, network to find your next job or are there certain industry contacts you want to make?  Are there less expensive ways you can accomplish this goal other than conference attendance?

You might also want to review where your personal brand stands right now with a Personal Brand Audit

Review & Research

First step is deciding which conference to attend. There can be a number of factors worth taking in to account;

Read More »How to Be a Conference Guerrilla – Part 1 – Pre-Conference