Last week I finally attended my very first blogging conference; it only took 3 years to get an invite, no biggie 😉
Bloggers and Brands hosted the free conference, last Tuesday, for Vancouver area bloggers at the VanCity Theatre with the premise of connecting bloggers with brands. Basically, an avenue to help us bloggers down a path towards making money with our blogs.
I’ll be honest, when I first learned of this conference, I was skeptical. I was unsure how the list of sponsors (Telus, Canadian Beef and Canadian Chicken) would fit in with the focus of Princess of Pavement. I don’t know, maybe it’s the old-time journalist in me holding onto the ideals of not selling out, which at first glance, I thought this would lean towards. But, just as running did for me so many years ago (I was the girl who used to make fun of runners and look at me now!) Bloggers and Brands surprised the heck out of me!
First of all, I met some pretty awesome blogging chicks, one of who in particular (This is a shout out to you Beast Mode!) has inspired me 1,000 times over in just 1 week of knowing her and has linked me up with some other super awesome running specific blogging chicks. And, I also learned some pretty fascinating stuff – especially with regards to Telus.
Again, I must preface the following with brutal honesty – Telus was the one sponsor listed that I thought for sure I would have absolutely nothing in common with, there would be no way it could fit with my focus. But oh man, how wrong I was. Telus is a HUGE supporter of Type-1 diabetes – juvenile specifically.
I knew Telus was a sponsor of the annual JDRF Walk for Diabetes, but I thought it was just another big business stamping its name onto the disease of the week (cynical much?) I didn’t realize how deep their support for this cause ran. Since joining forces with JDRF, Telus has raised more than $7 million for the cause. Wow! They’ve also had over 4,200 of their employees participate in the walk – of their own volition. And they’re not just forking over dollars, they’re also using their expertise in technology to create things like Bantapp, an iPhone app intended to help make managing diabetes easier on the teenage generation, as well as creating a free, secure, inner-hospital social media hub for children and youth to interact with other diabetics while in the hospital! How cool is that?
I wonder how beneficial something like a common support network would have been for me back in the day?
Sitting through that presentation I was flabbergasted. I had no idea. And I kept thinking, why? Why, with so many other diseases on the market, would this huge telecommunications company be spending so much time on diabetes? And you better believe the journalist in me posed that question:D
“Because it affects so many children and youth,” said Telus spokesperson Jill Schnarr. “We want to use our technology and our expertise to help them better manage their disease.”
Note: I did add that it also affects plenty of us adults too, that it doesn’t just go away once we hit 18, no matter how much we’d like it to!
And so, who knows, maybe this is the beginning of a new blogging relationship. I mean, seriously, how could I not want to work with a company that gives so generously to a cause so near and dear to my faulty pancreas?
Have you ever been surprised by the generosity of other big business?