Communo members who attended the annual Summit in Calgary on July 5th were treated to a full day of inspiring keynotes and actionable takeaways from a list of impressive speakers who challenged us to re-think our work environments and persevere through challenges to achieve our business dreams.

Over 100 businesses took advantage of the free Summit, a perk that comes with Communo membership. Members from across the country, including Vancouver and Ontario, gathered at the Calgary Compound and left feeling motivated and better connected to other members.

“The Communo team did a great job of curating speakers who inspired me, stretched my brain and made me feel like I may have found some kindred spirits in my journey as a communicator. I’m really glad I invested the time and I look forward to the next one,” said one of our members.

The Summit is a chance for members to gather, network, build personal and professional relationships and, most importantly, glean business and marketing insights from some notable entrepreneurs.

At Communo, it’s our belief that no industry is changing more quickly than marketing services. Only the most resourceful and determined agency principals and solopreneurs will succeed. Meeting that challenge head-on requires new ways of thinking, new ways of doing things and an open mind to imagine what is possible.

We started the day with one entrepreneur who embodies the word perseverance. (He’s also just a really nice guy!)

James Boettcher

If you’re from Calgary, you’ve likely heard of the mouth-watering delicacy known as Fiasco Gelato. What you likely didn’t know, is that CEO James Boettcher started out as a graphic designer! One of his clients was an ailing gelato shop in Calgary, which he took over on a whim with only $1,800 in the bank. Today, it’s a national brand that employs 40 people with revenues in the millions. It didn’t happen overnight – there were many hurdles and roadblocks along the way, but Boettcher persevered.

His story inspired those in attendance and is a welcome dose of encouragement for many creative entrepreneurs who struggle with fear of failure, taking risks and the desire to not just earn an income, but pursue truly meaningful work.

“Hearing James talk about perseverance was worth the price of admission. That talk will stay with me for a long time. It’s easy to complain and think about giving pu when things aren’t going your way, especially in the business world. But, his speech was a good reminder to suck it up and keep going,” said one attendee.

Joe Tankersley, a world-renowned futurist and former Walt Disney Imagineer, spoke about the future of the gig economy and how rapidly the world of work is changing. He also encouraged members to use digital platforms, like Communo, to improve their business models and outcomes. Many entrepreneurs in the room have already embraced the sharing economy and were assured by Tankersely they’re on the right path.

Don’t believe the pundits who say #GigEconomy is old news – it’s *Productivity Plateau* is on the horizon @Commun_o #TheWayWorkShouldWork #AnnualSummit #SharingEconomy – Kare Jacoba, CopyGhost

Jilaine Beddoe

How to deal with the stress of being an entrepreneur, especially a business owner who deals with peaks and valleys of business flow, is an important life skill – a message that Jilaine Beddoe shared with the audience.

Beddoe, the owner of Junction 9 Yoga and Pilates, offered solutions and some accessible steps on how to increase health and wellness while building a life you don’t need a break from.

Other inspiring speakers included our own leader, Ryan Gill, who shared his 7 hacks to success in the sharing economy. These lessons can be found in his handy guidebook, titled Community, Inc. available here.

Many of us watched in amazement as creative guru and Conference Doodle founder Aaron Russell sketched highlights of each keynote. Russell is a Communo member and graphic recorder in Calgary who provides artistic “doodles” at conferences, workshops and meetings.

Patrick Lor, the co-founder of iStockphoto and managing partner of Panache Ventures spoke about how and when to hire to help to help your agency grow

Patrick Orr, Communo’s VP of Growth and Marketing, unveiled an exciting roadmap into the future and outlined where Communo will be one year from now.

Dani Durand, VP of Member Success, talked about how to maximize the benefits of Communo membership while Owen Reader, Chief Engagement Officer at Cult Collective, spoke about how to use the Communo platform to grow your business.

The day wrapped up with the Communo Stampede Party – Boots, Beer and Barbecue. You didn’t think it was going to be all work and no play, did you? As Communo membership continues to grow, we are able to host bigger and better events and continue to bring in top-notch speakers.

Drinks were had, friendships were made and we celebrated another great Summit with our Community.

“Building tribes is so crucial to all of our businesses and that’s what Communo is becoming for me. It’s really amazing to have nearly unlimited marketing expertise from every facet of the industry at your disposal.”

Don’t miss next year’s Summit and remember, while your membership allows you to come for free, you can always buy a ticket for a friend so they too can be inspired and learn more about #thewayworkshouldwork at Communo.

For more info on next year’s Summit, you can email [email protected]

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