Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Companies that blog

Prior to taking a Social Media class, I would say why bother with blogging. There are so many out there, what makes you so sure your will be read, or why even bother, someone else is out there doing it already.

Then I learned what blogging can do for a business, especially a smaller business.  It doesn’t require a lot of money, just some time and even a little creativity.  Below are my top 3 that event companies should consider when blogging.

1.    Always make sure your content is up to date.  There is nothing worse than old pricing, or items that are no longer available.  It is so frustrating.  Like many, I try to save time (and gas) by doing a lot of research online.  I don’t always like to call the companies, but would rather look them up online.

2.    If someone leaves comments (positive or negative) or asks questions, be sure to answer and in a timely fashion.  There is nothing worse than being left hanging and waiting.  It could mean the difference between choosing that particular company..or their competitor.

3.    Depending on the nature of your business, in my case events, I love to see pictures of decorated venues, or invitations.  Although I like to use my own ideas, reading about others, and even better...seeing pictures will often help me out.  I am so visual!

What about you...what are your top 3????

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Party Bazaar

I love this page!  Although I do tend to have my own creative ideas for birthday partys, special milestones, etc, sometimes I need a little help in the creative department and this is my go to.

The Party Bazzar creates new posts about every two days.  For example, a major event like Canada Day and they have a wonderful post with a link with some great ideas on how to dress up.  They are also very interactive.  I have read their page thouroughly and found that they answer customer questions in a timely manner.

They post great pictures and keep the content up to date and relevant.

Their cover photos are ok, I would maybe suggest changing them up every couple weeks as they are a bit bland (building).  Their contact information and hours of operation are very easy to find.

I was a bit surprised to see so few likes.  I wonder if this is because of the business or just last of visits to the facebook page.  The facebook page is linked to their website, but you do have to scroll down to the very end of the page to find the link. 

What are you doing this Canada Day long weekend???....Visit the Party Bazzar if you need an idea or two!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

2010 Opening Ceremonies Olympics

I know this particular event took place some time ago, but with the Summer Games around the corner, I began to think about the opening ceremonies.  This is what is supposed to open your event, kick it off with a bang.  Although I felt a great sense of pride as I watched, I did find some of the "pieces" a little lackluster, lacking something.  I wanted to see what others thought as well.

I took to YouTube to watch some videos that had been posted and read some reviews.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that most people felt the ceremonies were truly magical. 

"I am a New Yorker and want to say how proud I am to have the Canadians as neighbors. What good people! I worked in Toronto some years ago and it was a lovely experience. You Canadians have every reason to be proud - of your country, and of your good people."


watching this in 2012 and literally got shivers and tears in my eyes from watching this especially when the canadians walked in i am so proud to be canadian


I went through many pages to try and find a worthwhile negative comments, but all I could find were jabs here and there about some of the artists, kind of petty in my mind, however, I don't think enough to really rate on the measurement scale.

All and all, this event was truly one of a kind and very, very successful. 

Where you there?  Did you watch?  What did you think?

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Social Media Release

Contact:  Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor, City of Surrey
Laurie Cavan
General Manger
Surrey Parks Recreation & Culture, City of Surrey

Grand Opening of the Water Playground at Unwin Park
 The community celebrated the offical opening of the new Water Playground at Unwin Park
Surrey, BC - June 11, 2012
  • Unwin Park has a rustic theme
  • water tower
  • water cannons
  • multiple in ground spreays
  • feature bridge that spans the 'lazy river' and flows though the centre of the playground
Unwin Water Park Grand Opening

Quote from Dianne Watts, Mayor, City of Surrey
"The water playground will created lasting memories and fun experiences in parks for many children and will act as a catalyst to help build and strengthen the local community."
"Through the Build Surrey program we are investing in new recreation amenities in each of our town centres in order to provide more opportunties for families to keep healthy and active."

Quote from Councillor Linda Hepner, Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Sport Tourism Committee.

"This spectacular water playground is a welcome addition to the New Community."

About the City of Surrey
As the 12th largest city in Canada and the second largest in British Columbia, Surrey is able to offer visitors a rich blend of diverse landscapes, abundant parks, rich cultural opportunities and superb recreational choices. Our friendly and diverse residents are always happy to make new friends.

More information can be found on the city's website .  You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube or subcribe to a Feeds.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Social media and Post Secondary Institutions

It's not just businesses diving into social media, its post secondary institutions as well!  As an employee and student of BCIT, I am very interested in what is going on.  As facebook is essentially the only platform I use, I found the BCIT facebook page quite quickly. 

I think BCIT is doing a good job.  They are using the platform for student recruitment, staff recruitment, attendance to upcoming events, etc.  BCIT had an open house not too long ago and this was a great platform for making prospective students aware of the event.

This assignment forced me to look at other institutions as well.  I checked out SFU's page tonite and found that they too have a facebook page, twitter and youtube.  The links are right on the home page, very easy to find.  They even participate in Flickr.

Post secondary is actually a competitive business and I guess institutions also have to keep up with the times.  I find social medial very useful for shopping around, asking questions without committing to a phone call, or impersonal email.


Thursday, 24 May 2012

My Top 10 Summer Activities

My normal day to day life usually involves one event or another but come summertime, its all about activities to entertain the family, especially my 4 year old.

1. Playland- I love Playland.  Although the PNE may have more rides and attractions, Playland is less expensive and the crowds are a bit smaller as well.  They have a great deal called the Guardian Pass.  Only $12.95 for me and my son is free.  Mini donuts and cotton candy are a must for us!!
2. The Vancouver Zoo-Another great way to spend the day.  Admission can be pricey so I always plan to spend the day there.  I pack a lunch to help cut down cost.  The zoo sure covers a lot of ground, so be sure to wear good, comfortable shoes.
3. Crescent Beach-There are so many beautiful beaches but this one is my favorite.  It tends to be a bit quieter, especially on weekdays.  I bring a big blanket, packed lunch and the pail and shovels.  We build sandcastles, walk in the water and collect shells.  Don’t forget the sunscreen!!!
4. Annieville Water Park (Delta)-Again, there are so many water parks around, but this one is close to home and a big favorite.  Although my son is a bit older now and actually stays with me, there was a time that I was worried about him running off.  This water park is fully enclosed with a latching gate!!!  There are benches and picnic tables.  There is also a great park and big area with covered tables, etc so that you could make a day of it. 
5. Sungod Rec Centre (Delta)-A great rainy day adventure.  They have several pools, our favorite being the river.  We love coming here as a family.  The prices are extremely low and so much fun.  They also have an ice arena and we have been known to go to Family Skate as well.
6. Science World-Again, a pricey activity, but so my fun, and a great learning experience as well.  Great to see all these great things through the eyes of a 4 year old.
7. Shuswap (Celista, BC)-This is by far one of our big family favorites.  It’s a long drive, but well worth it.  We park our trailer up there at the beginning of the summer and try to get back as many weekends as we can.  Fishing, boating, jetskies and hanging out on the dock.  A wonderful family getaway!
8. The local park-a great way to get outside for a free activity.  I love taking my son.  He has a great time and burns off lots of energy.  Mommy and Daddy have been known to swing, slide and run around too!
9.Queens Park Petting Zoo-not just a petting zoo, but waterpark and playground in one.  Admission is by donation, so  very affordable.  It’s close to home for us, so again a big plus with gas prices the way they are.
10. My back deck-no drive involved.  I have a beautiful deck, patio and bbq.  Love nothing more than having friends and family over.  Sit around, eat, drink and have fun catching up.

If you haven't already tried one of these great locations, I encourage you to at least try one this summer...no kids required, lots of fun for adults too!!! 

I'm always up for new ideas...what are your favorites?????

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Is it a good idea to use Facebook for sending out party invites????

My son's birthday is in February.  I was only just finally decompressing for the whirlwind we will call Christmas, that I was not looking forward to planning yet another party.

Like most other mom's, I work full time and have such a big load at home.  I am always one for finding ways of cutting down how much time I spend on something.  I do research online, viewing online flyers, before shopping to make sure I get the best deal.  I don't want to go to the bank, I do it online. Forms to fill in, why wait for the mail, download from the web.  So when it came time to to party invitations and send them out, I thought why not Facebook???!!!

My mom, who doesn't use facebook, thought this was silly and I haven't personally received invitations this way so I decided to hop online and do a bit of research to see if this was an acceptable thing to do.  I  came across an article .

Now the article did not provide me the answer I initially sought out but it sure gave me a good chuckle.  What about you???  I decided to post to Digg to see what I could come up with...

Oh, just in case your wondering....I bought the paper invites and sent them off in the mail.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Party Bazaar

So I've been trying to think of a company that I use regularly that ties in with my events career path.  I must admit that although not often used, I do visit the website for Party Bazaar.  I find it really useful to look for items available online (instead of having to visit a store) and I find that they have some great ideas also listed on their website.  And for those of you who have kids, trying to come up with new parties can be challenging...do you know how to entertain a bunch of 4 year olds????

You can follow them on twitter, you can visit a facebook page or you can view videos on YouTube.  The YouTube is what interests me the most and what I find to be the most useful.  I am more likely to buy new products, or even old ones for that matter when I can acutally see the uses.  Trying to think up of new ideas, themes, etc can also get tricky at time and seeing what someone else has come up with is quite useful, and entertaining.  I can also see how many views they have received and how many followers they have.

When you visit their twitter and facebook pages you can see how many followers they have and how many likes, but how to you determine if this is helping their sales? 

I think they really could ramp things up even more by having online coupons or contests.  This would allow them to build a database (collect personal information).  From there they could see who is buying, what are the most popular events, items, even time of year.

Friday, 4 May 2012

My social media personality????

This particular blog has taken me all week to figure out.  I don't twitter, I only signed up, reluctantly to LinkedIn.  I do have a facebook account which I use to connect with some friends and family, but mostly to play some online games.  I don't blog.  So how am I supposed to determine my social media personality????

Off to google I go.....http://socialmediatoday.com/chrisstreet/381801/seven-personality-types-social-media.

This was quite interesting, I've discovered that I am....

* The Chameleon
This personality type are tricky, because they don’t actually have a personality to show on social media. They fit into whatever conversation at the time, and agree, agree, agree. You’ll never find them being questioning, or starting a debate – they are too concerned with everybody liking them to actually engage in a meaningful way. Watch the Chameleon, they’ll drag you down.

Clearly I need to step up my game.  I'm feeling a bit insulted...drag you down?  I'm just trying to be there, take part in communications and no insult anyone or start any huge disagreements.

I am now aspiring to be..an All Rounder what about you?

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Transparency is important.  How much is something that will vary between each person, the industry, or people that you are talking about.

Using an elective medical procedure as an example, I would say it is fair to be forthright about pricing, ensure that there are no hidden costs.  Put it all out.  Prospective patients will appreciate this.  Also providing a list of surgeons and their background and information is also great.  Why hide?  I've seen so many companies advertise their great, famous, top of the line doctor, to get you there.  Once there, you find out that he isn't operating much anymore, or only on certain days...but hey...you can have this guy...he's great (only one year out of school...not much experience, etc).


This blog touches on another part of transparency within the medical field that is also important.  I've seen this so many times.  There are so many products on the market today that essentially can do the same job.  Why does a clinic decide to use one versus the other.  You would hope it would be a doctor preference due to personal feedback from patients, proven ability to work, but unfortunately, its often about the drug manufacturer and what kind of kickbacks they are willing to provide, lower costs, etc.

I firmly believe having options is the best.  What works for one may not always work well for another.  I believe collecting more personal data about a person (such as drug reactions, etc) needs more emphasis and that its that information that should determine what drug a person is given.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

What do I want to be when I grow up

I've been thinking about this alot lately.  I am currently looking for a full time position and feel limited due to my lack of education and possibly experience. 

I'm thinking back and kicking myself for not being more focused on my future and having spent too much time having fun and living in the moment. 

I guess it goes back to high school, or maybe even further.  I never really like school for anything other than socializing.  Most of my friends were really bucking down by grade 11.  Selecting courses based on what they were going to do career wise, or with post secondary education.  All I could think about was the party, the club, or moving out of the house and living on my own.

Wow...I really wish I knew then what I know now.