Featured Speakers: Heather Clarke and Lori Byrne

“You’re So Creative!” Fostering Creativity When it Feels Like You’re Faking it

Just because it’s your job to be creative doesn’t mean you have an endless fountain of good ideas — and the motivation to execute them! How can you nurture your creativity so there’s enough for your home, family, blog, sponsorships and even your “day job” without feeling like it’s forced?

Heather Laura Clarke of Heather’s Handmade Life is an award-winning journalist, columnist and blogger. She grew up in Halifax and moved to Truro with her husband, son, and daughter to channel her inner Laura Ingalls Wilder. She writes for publications across North America, and is best known for her popular DIY home decor column in The Chronicle Herald. As a blogger, Heather works with top brands like Kent, Atlantic Fabrics and Ryobi tools to encourage people to paint, build, sew and create their very own handmade life.

Heather on Facebook: @HeatherLauraClarke

Heather on Instagram: @HFXHeather

Heather on Twitter: @HFXHeather



Lori Byrne, of Farm Fresh Style, is an interior designer by day, and a mom & wife, a creative, a blogger, and a writer by night and weekend. Her artist grandmother, whom her eldest is named after, is her biggest inspiration. She lives on an acreage in rural North Shore Nova Scotia where they take their sassy pony for walks, create beautiful messes in the studio and where they love hard. She loves to create, whether it’s through upcycling furniture, photographing their life, writing a story or baking a yummy treat to share. Lori’s life is best summed up by this goal of hers — creating a country life in full colour. 

Lori on Facebook: @StyleByFarmFresh

Lori on Instagram: @FarmFreshStyle

Lori on Twitter: @FarmFreshStyle

Featured Speaker: Sandra Currie-Samson

The Next Step: Turning Your Blog into A Course

The purpose of this session is to provide an opportunity for participants to discover how to share what they know with a larger audience to grow their business and increase their impact on others. During this session, we will discuss the value of creating a course from your blog, discover 5 questions you can use to design your course, and explore different techniques to engage, teach, and motivate your audience.

Sandra Currie-Samson is in the business of helping entrepreneurs and business leaders become masterful teachers so they can brilliantly engage their audience by understanding what motivates the adult learner and how to effectively achieve their desired outcomes.

She is a student of lifelong learning and her passion for learning is infectious allowing her to be an energetic and enthusiastic educator, trainer and facilitator – and she loves to help others be the same!

As a learning and development consultant with a M.Ed. in Studies of Lifelong Learning she has designed and facilitated training sessions for hundreds of participants. As well, she has led training on million-dollar technology implementations working with many large professional firms. Sandra is also an instructor in the Certificate of Adult Education at the College of Continuing Education, Dalhousie University.

Twitter: @sassysolutions

Facebook: sandracurriesamson1

LinkedIn: sandracurriesamson

Website: sandracurriesamson.com


Featured Speaker: Taylor Bare

SEO for Bloggers: 7 Simple Steps to Grow Your Audience

In this presentation attendees will learn to write for their audience, making both their readers, and Google happy. I will share 7 simple steps that bloggers and website owners can take action on to be more relevant, and more attractive to their audience. Attendees will leave with actions items they can use immediately to reach their audience more effectively and grow their influence.

Taylor Bare is CEO of TaylorMade Web Presence, a website and online presence development company. He has an extensive background in search engine optimization, WordPress site development, and web tools training for entrepreneurs. In the past he has helped companies reach the first page of Google and increase their online conversion rates through split testing.

At TaylorMade Web Presence Taylor and his team provide authors, speakers, and coaches with the tools and training they need to build their platform, get paid, and make a difference. Because Taylor believes small business owners and entrepreneurs should be able to make website changes on their own timetable, he teaches them how to take control of their web presence through the power and simplicity of WordPress.

With a certification in advanced search engine marketing techniques Taylor knows how to bring targeted website visitors, and as a certified Guerrilla Marketing practitioner he knows what it takes to turn visitors into sales.

Facebook: TaylorMade Web Presence

Twitter: @TaylorBare


Featured Speaker: Andrew Burke

Adventures in Micro-Fame

Andy Warhol once said everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes. Instead it now feels like we’re all famous to fifteen people. The old “rich and famous contract” has been broken – you can be either one now, or often neither. This talk explores the new world of “micro-fame,” drawing from personal experience to share its pitfalls and sometimes surprising benefits.

Andrew Burke is a Halifax-based independent developer, teacher, speaker, and occasional entrepreneur. He has over 22 years of professional experience helping people and technology work better together. Among many other things, Andrew has built the top-charting iOS diary app Remembary, is a co-founder of “BeanCounter” a SAAS platform for the vending machine industry, and teaches web development at Lighthouse Labs. When he’s not doing that he is the main force behind “Starshipsstarthere.ca” a photoblog with over 400 pictures mashing up iconic science fiction imagery with equally iconic Nova Scotian scenery. This, along with his 1500 or so Twitter followers, has made him mildly #halifamous – an experience he will discuss in his talk.

Twitter: @ajlburke

Instagram: @stshipstarthere and @remembary

Featured Speaker: Katelyn Bourgoin

The Octopus Funnel: Your New Automated Lead Engine

Your would be customers are selfish bast*rds. I’m sorry. But, it’s true. They don’t want to read your white paper, join your newsletter, or watch your sales demo. They just want highly personalized solutions to their unique pains. But how do you create a high-touch customer journey that works at scale? Enter the Octopus Funnel. Come learn how to build automated nurture funnels that take your customers from oblivious strangers to roaring fans.

Katelyn Bourgoin a serial entrepreneur with experience spanning the marketing, tech and hospitality sectors.

Since starting her first business at 25 years old, Katelyn has gone on to found three award-winning companies working with clients like Target and Holiday Inn.

Katelyn’s entrepreneurial journey has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. She was named as one of Nova Scotia’s top 10 young entrepreneurs in 2012, she sold her first business in 2013, she was named as a Forbes Influencer in 2016. And, in 2017, she made the difficult decision to close down her venture-backed tech startup after 3 years in operation.

Currently, Katelyn is working as a growth consultant specializing in CX (customer experience) for early stage startups.

Twitter: @katebour 

Instagram: @katebourgoin 

Featured Speaker: Alison Knott

Farting in the Wind: What Bloggers Need to Know about Google Analytics

Do not be afraid of Google Analytics! They’re critical in meeting your blogging goals – and Alison is here to help you understand them. No hot air in this presentation: only facts and helpful how-to’s…and the occasional fart joke.

Alison Knott is the owner of Eraserheader design, a one-stop web consultant and brand shop. She is a designer, national public speaker, instructor and coding queen with over a decade in the field. She turns the complicated simple, dreams in both RGB/CMYK, and prides herself on delighting those she works with. You can find great “What the hell do I do with my website now?” tips from her weekly Facebook live show Lunchpress.

Twitter: @eraserheader 

Facebook: Eraserheader Design