Digital Durham Phone2019
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Digital Durham Symposium - SOLD OUT

Join us for this 1/2 day conference focusing on digital strategies, tools and technology to help you grow your business.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

8:00am - 1:00pm
Whitby Centennial Building, 416 Centre Street South, Whitby, L1N 4W2


8:00am - 8:30am
Registration, Welcome remarks Town of Whitby, Daniel Van Kampen, BACD Teresa Shaver
Digital Main Street Program - Details of the free training and grant of $2,500 for mainstreet businesses
8:30am - 9:00am
Taking Your Business Online
Simon Rodrigue from Staples Canada
9:00am - 9:30am
eCommerce Strategies to Help your Business Grow
Geekspeak Commerce
9:30 - 9:45am
Break and visit Digital Specialist exhibitors
9:45am - 10:15am
Shopify eCommerce - Shopify
10:15am - 11:00am
Facebook Live - 9 Common Mistakes to Avoid
Angela Kafadar of Video Power Up
11:00am - 11:45am
Digital Marketing Survival Guide.
The 7 Check Lists You NEED!
Sofie Andreou & Associates
11:45am - 1:00pm
Networking, Booths and wrap up



Simon Rodrigue, Staples

What I have leaded – A view of where eCommerce is going

Simon Rodrigue is a recognized leader in the retail transformation taking place in today, with over 14+ years of executive experience in the space. Most notably, Simon is the SVP and Chief Digital Officer at STAPLES Canada where he is a key member of the leadership transforming one of Canada's most iconic retail brands.

Over past the 14 years, Simon Rodrigue has led some of the largest and fastest growing online businesses in Canada including Walmart and The Home Depot and is recognized as a leader in Interactive Marketing, eCommerce and Social Commerce practices. Simon has launched supply chain transformations leveraging direct ship best practices, implemented master data management strategies unlocking the hidden value of product data and built some of the top eCommerce teams in Canada.

On DX3 conference

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Sofie Andreou Photo

Sofie Andreou, Sofie Andreou & Associates

Digital Marketing Survival Guide.  The 7 Check Lists You NEED!

My firm has become the marketing arm of several businesses. As such I see what's working and what's not working in the area of client attraction and retention through Social Media. I will share with you the critical elements of digital marketing success.

Sofie is recognized as the digital marketing leader in various groups including; economic development, Chambers of Commerces, small business enterprise centres, fortune 500 companies and the online business community. Her practice is focused on digital marketing services and training for both small, large, local and international companies.

Sofie is the author of the Your Social Strategy series. She delivers her popular and sought-after digital marketing training and seminar series to 100s of professionals monthly. She helps her clients reduce their marketing dollar spend while increasing their profits!

Sofie designed Online Marketing Principles, the third year computer & marketing class at Trent University. Sofie's books have been the textbook for that course for over 10 years now.

Regularly Sofie is asked to appear on regional television shows speak as the local expert providing updates on digital marketing as it impacts business practices of all sizes.

Sofie holds her undergraduate degree in Computer Science and her Masters of Engineering in Information Systems from the University of Toronto.

Sofie's passion include working with Entrepreneurs and mentoring University Students. She was the past Chair of the Bears' Lair Entrepreneurship Competition, is a founding member of StartUpPeterborough, is an active Board Member of the Peterborough Women's Business Network and Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, and was on the Trent University Business Council.

Sofie is proud to have completed 10 half-marathons and now that some technical issues are out of the way, she hopes to continue in a year's time. She has a passion for travelling with her husband and hiking her two dogs.


Angela Kafadar, Video Power Up

Angela Kafadar is the founder of Video Power Up, a digital marketing service company that offers a variety of seminars, workshops and programs to teach small business owners how to leverage the power of video to support sales and marketing for their business. Focused on showing entrepreneurs how to create their own marketing videos using their smartphones in order to gain a competitive advantage and level the playing field with larger businesses and corporations. With a main goal to make video marketing easy, but more than that, to help entrepreneurs step out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

Subject matter, Facebook Live!

Go Live on Facebook - they said, it will be fun - they said! Ok, but what happens when it's not? Going Live can be intimidating, so we going to review the 9 common mistakes people make when going Live, and how to avoid them so that your Facebook Lives get noticed.

We'll also talk about all of our favourite things for going Live that make our Lives better, like building our studio (on a dime).


geekspeak is an eCommerce services company focused on helping our clients sell more online. Founded in 2003, geekspeak’s team includes Project Managers, Strategists, Copywriters, Translators, Professional Photographers, Search Engine Marketing specialists and Graphic Designers. They work with clients large and small to help them engage customers with compelling content. Whether you need product content for a manufacturer website, online marketplace, retailer or distribution channels, you can rely on an experienced partner to address your product content needs.

Suzanne Hicks and Megan Kimmerer, GeekSpeak eCommerce

eCommerce Strategies to Help Your Business Grow

Now that over 80% of Canadians are shopping online, eCommerce opportunities are larger than ever before. But it’s not enough to set up an eCommerce store and hope to make a sale. This presentation will leave you with important tools you can use to properly merchandise and advertise your products online.

- What is eCommerce and why should your business care?
- How to optimize your content with engaging product descriptions, eye-catching images and more
- How to increase traffic to your site and drive sales through organic and paid strategies

Suzanne Hicks is a communications professional who enjoys working with a variety of clients and telling their stories. As a Writer and Project Coordinator at geekspeak, she’s worked with individual sellers who have just a single product to large brands like Perry Ellis with thousands of items. With an eye for detail and a commitment to quality, Suzanne works to ensure geekspeak exceeds client expectations. Whether it’s getting the perfect set of images to showcase products or descriptions that engage shoppers and drive sales, Suzanne is committed to helping her clients sell more online.

Megan Kimmerer is an avid content creator with a background in telling stories through various media, from magazine features to eCommerce websites. As a Copywriter and Project Coordinator at geekspeak, Megan specializes in shaping narratives for eCommerce success, working with brands like Staples, Rogers Media and New Balance. Whether it’s finding that perfect angle in a photoshoot or writing an engaging headline, Megan loves helping her clients sell with compelling content.

Kristin Pellerin Photo

Kristin Pellerin, Shopify

Kristin started her journey with Shopify almost two years ago as a Customer Success Guru and now is currently on the Plus Specialist Team providing dedicated support to our Plus customers. Prior to her time here, she was working in operations consulting for large companies around the world. She studied at Concordia University and is currently finishing up a Digital Marketing degree at University of Toronto.

Thank you to our Digital Durham Symposium 2019 Event Sponsors

Digital Durham Sponsors 2019