Photo by Amaya Daley
By: Alexa Prins
On March 8 and 9, MacEwan University was taken over by marketing and communication professionals for the 8th annual iMEDIA Social Media Conference. Each year, the conference offers an opportunity for industry professionals and newbies to get together and learn the latest and greatest in their fields.
The iMEDIA conference takes place over two days where attendees can choose breakout sessions and master classes taught by industry professionals. This year’s conference featured keynote speakers from Facebook and Endy and offered over 30 breakout session speakers.
The iMEDIA conference is helmed by managing director, Morgan Hrynyk, a NAIT grad. Hrynyk transformed iMEDIA from a conference tailored to mommy bloggers to a conference where you get to connect with hundreds of other digital marketing people.
“The NAIT Marketing program does incredibly well to help their students understand what to expect on the other side. I am able to apply the skills I learned at NAIT to run this business,” said Hrynyk.
Due to Hrynyk’s NAIT experience, she is a cheerleader for post-secondary marketing/communications students. All the volunteer spots at iMEDIA are
reserved for students.
“When you’re a student, meaningful opportunities to connect with industry can be the thing that gives you that special edge. With iMEDIA, we always want to give our Student Ambassadors a meaningful experience where they can ask questions, connect with industry and get practical experience to use as portfolio builders–experience is key in digital marketing!”
The students who volunteer are grateful for this experience and take it very seriously. At this year’s conference, volunteers were responsible for many tasks. These tasks included creating ‘Instagrammable Walls’, helping speakers in their breakout sessions, monitoring social media content and event setup and take down, all while networking with industry professionals.
iMEDIA is certainly not your average conference. Hrynyk and her team breathe new life into iMEDIA every year with a fun theme and swag to match. This year, the theme was “exploring the digital landscape,” and they created luggage tags, adventure-themed notebooks and lunch bags that were given to attendees.
“iMEDIA is also very process focused and we love finding new ways to enhance the iMEDIA experience for our community,” said Hrynyk. “That seems to be the overarching theme of iMEDIA, community.”
It is very laid back and when you attend and you feel like you are with a huge group of friends all working towards similar goals. Sharing expertise, stories and experiences together over many cups of coffee is what iMEDIA is all about. It is inspiring for current NAIT students to get involved with iMEDIA and be a part of the magic that happens every year.