Recap of Steep & Deep EO Canadian Conference 2012

 Last week my wife and I packed our bags and headed to beautiful Whistler, British Columbia where I had the pleasure of presenting at the 2012 EO Canadian Conference alongside an impressive line-up of speakers.

I hadn’t been to Whistler in over 20 years, so it was amazing to see the transformation that the lovely mountain town of my memory had undergone since hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. With all the fine dining and shops in the village, Whistler has all the amenities of a larger city with the quaint charm reminiscent of a European mountain town; and the Château Whistler Fairmont was an excellent venue for the conference.

Kudos to the organizing committee; the conference was extremely well done! From a traditional welcome by the First Nations dancers at the Squamish L’il Wat Cultural Center, to insightful presenters from a variety of industries, to the exquisite ice sculptures at the Winter Wonderland closing party, absolutely every detail of this event was perfectly planned and executed.

One of my personal highlights included speaking alongside Charly Pall from Google Canada. We have been talking a lot around the Top Draw office about the rapid growth of all things mobile, and Charly presented some mind-blowing statistics that confirm what we’ve been saying. Charly pointed out that there are now officially more mobile devices being activated every day than humans being born. Amazing to think about, isn’t it? We are in the middle of a digital revolution and businesses need to capitalize on the amazing opportunity that this quantum leap in mobile growth provides.

I also really enjoyed Sean Durfy’s presentation about his time as CEO of West Jet. With a no-nonsense approach to business, this guy really wears his heart on his sleeve. And it works. Under Durfy’s direction, WestJet has won – and continues to win – many prestigious “Top Employer” awards because of their corporate culture. One of the most impressive elements to Sean’s presentation was a video created by WestJet employees that highlights how much they care about what they do. For many companies, the “care” element is just lip service, but at WestJet it’s genuine. Their people are invested and they really do care. Pretty inspiring stuff.

Another highlight of the weekend was having my beautiful wife Kim attend the conference with me. It isn’t often that both of us can break away from our respective businesses for trips like this, so it was fantastic to have some time away together. Kim welcomed the opportunity to meet and engage with so many of my EO colleagues. She also took a lot of excellent notes during the presentations and discussions and graciously offered to make them available in PDF format. Thanks Kim!

I also want to say a heartfelt thank you to the Top Draw team, as many of them had a role in gathering information for my presentation at the EO conference. It was all new material pulled together specifically for Steep and Deep. Adriel and Taylor were instrumental in making it a success; thank you guys. I’d also like to say thanks to my fellow EO members for all of the great feedback. One always thinks afterwards of ways that certain elements of a presentation could have been improved, but I’m pleased that so many of you benefited from the information I shared. I also want to give a shout out to the Edmonton EO members for representing our fine city with such a high turn out for the conference.

In closing, Steep and Deep was a fantastic event that accomplished all that it set out. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, we did a lot of networking and we received a lot of takeaways that have provided immediate value for our businesses. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference.

The slide deck from my Think Digital! presentation is available on our website, in addition to the presentation slides, Kim’s conference notes are available as well.