Canada 150&Me alumni Shae Guy is a new entrepreneur who will be hosting a few conferences starting in the new year. We interviewed him to get the behind-the-scenes story of his new initiatives and to ask his advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs! Check out the interview below.
-Is your conference, the Entrepreneur conference, your first one? Or have you launched previous conferences/events before?
This is our first conference and we have no prior experience in planning an event this large scale, so we are hoping for the best!
The event is taking place on May 25th 2019, at the Ross Glen Hall at Mount Royal University. This conference is aimed towards anyone interested and/or involved in business and entrepreneurship. The speakers will be Arlene Dickinson, David Meltzer, Lacey Koughan, and MNP Calgary.
-What was the spark that led to these conferences?
I had attended a Student Voice Conference in Spring of 2018 and it really inspired me to create a bigger and more powerful event that would pull students towards it while still having fun.
The Student Voice conference brought together approx. 25 Albertan students and we got to attend the Spring General Assembly of the Public School Board Association of Alberta. Trustees and superintendents from across the province attended and we spoke directly with the Education Minister. The conference showed me just how engaged Albertan students were and inspired me to bring together larger groups to inspire social change while still having fun!
This conference differs strongly from the Student Voice Conference I attended. This conference has a larger audience, a different goal being that we want to connect entrepreneurs/business owners and create a wealthy environment with a potential for networking and growth. We are breeding revolutionary business owners and are promoting sustainable business and innovation.
-What has been the hardest part about getting these projects off the ground?
Personally, the hardest part of getting this project off the ground would have been coordinating logistics and finding ways to make it fit together. There is a lot to figure out when it comes to such large scale events, we have to plan transportation, venues, speakers, and sponsors.
-Did Canada150&Me have an impact in this new initiative?
Yes, it did. Canada150&Me gave me connections and an unbelievably large amount of confidence which has proven to be invaluable with regards to my ability to do the work for these events.
-Are these events a one-time thing or do you have more coming up?
We have tons of student events coming up! We are currently planning an additional 7 conferences across Canada for 2020. We have conferences in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, St. John, Halifax, Toronto, and Ottawa. The conference in Ottawa will be a national event and the projects we have chosen as 1st place will be sent to Ottawa to compete in a national award. More details are being worked out, but needless to say, we are extremely excited!
-How did you get all these great speakers, especially Arlene Dickinson?
Honestly, we just contacted their managers/speaker coordinators. The speakers we have are super passionate about what they do so it was pretty easy to get them on board!
-What advice would you tell others who might be interested in launching their own conference/event?
I would say that you need help! Do not try and do it alone, branch out and make connections and recruit people to help you. It is also super important to make sure you can fund the event. Lastly, I would also encourage them to find out what their audience would want to see, you want to make your event meaningful and good enough for them to want it again.
-What does the future have in store for you? Any other exciting things coming up?
Right now, I am pretty busy between Spark Networking, my part-time job and my schooling. I would say the most exciting thing coming up/happening for me would be that I am studying at the Lethbridge College for Criminal Justice.
If you want to attend any of his upcoming conferences, get your tickets here:
We’re also giving away 5 tickets to the Entrepreneur conference, share this blog on any of your social media platforms and you will be entered! Don’t forget to tag us and use the hashtag #ExperiencesCanadaGiveaway! Draw will be on October 1st.