Digital Durham: THRIVE Online

Wednesday, May 26

10 AM to 3 PM

Tickets: $35

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: $25 until April 30th.


10:15 - 11:15 AM

Session 1 - Digital Trends for Digital Customers

Panel moderated by Darryl Julott of Digital Main Street

Panel Members, Mastercard, Facebook

11:20 AM - 12:20 PM

Session 2

It's getting Reel: The Power of Video for Social Media Marketing and Small Business

What is deal with Reels? How can video engage an audience? During this one hour presentation we will cover the basic how-to on creating engaging video content on your social media pages. We will also cover examples of small businesses that have leveraged their expertise on social media to create international recognition and how you can use your area of knowledge to help grow your following!

About The Presenter - Jen Pandelidis, JSP Communication & Training

Jen has worked in social media and communications for over 8 years. With experience in not-for-profit and small business, Jen has been able to help several organizations build out social media strategy, increase followers and engagement.

Jen holds an undergraduate degree from Brock University and post-graduate certificate in Corporate Communications from Seneca College, as well as Masters of Education from Ontario Tech University. Jen has taught courses through Durham College and has held positions at Trent University, Nestle Purina, and the Oshawa Community Museum.

Alongside her passion for social media, Jen is passionate about education and with her own small business JSP Communication & Training, hopes to offer training and social media strategy consultation to small businesses.


Breakout groups:

1: Digital Transformation

2: Video

3: Reputation Management

1:00 - 2:00 9 Steps to Digital Transformation

No matter the size of your business, a full digital transformation can help you grow your business. It’s a virtual part of any business strategy and should always be top of mind.

Join Sean Stephens, CEO of Treefrog Inc, as he shares with you the secrets to digital transformation.

In this session, you’ll learn what digital transformation is and how it can help amplify your business. Sean will share his expertise on the nine steps to digital transformation and the things you need to make it successful.

About the Presenter - Sean Stephens, Treefrog

Sean launched into the world of the web in 1997 when dot-coms were plentiful, and the rules were changing daily. He immersed himself in the technology of websites and servers, databases, and programming languages.

In 2001, Sean moved into his current role as CEO of Treefrog Inc.

Sean is an active speaker and regularly speaks to groups about various subjects relating to Internet technologies. Drawing on his diverse background, technical knowledge, and creativity, Sean puts practical tips and ideas forward to help people learn how to grow their business.

2:00-3:00pm Session 4 - From Reviews to Revenue: Managing Online Reputation in 2021

In this session we will dig into how small businesses can manage their online reputations to ultimately make them stand out to customers needing the services they offer.

About the Presenter - Andrew McBurney, Review Robin

Andrew is a co-founder and partner at Review Robin, a software company designed to help businesses get more online reviews and manage their reputation online.

3:00pm - Giveaway, Wrap up & Next Steps



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.