Trinbagonians have taken to social media like a duck takes to water and while many have used platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to start and promote businesses, not everyone understands how to harness the power of this media to market their products and services. The Caribbean Digital Expo aims to teach just that.
The Expo is an initiative of Caribbean Ideas, a local online company formed four years ago by Brevard Nelson and Chike Farrell, a duo intent on connecting the Caribbean digitally and will bring people together to discuss digital media consumption in the Caribbean as well as form a platform for technology providers to show off their digital wares.
It will be the first time in the Caribbean that a Facebook business leader will be in the Caribbean to speak at a conference - Jennifer Kattula, Head of Agency Marketing at Facebook is one of the speakers expected at the conference along with Sean Killen, Regional Director, Caribbean at Research in Motion (RIM), makers of Blackberry. Killen is responsible for directing Caribbean business including corporate strategy, business development, marketing, and sales.
“There is potential for more digital media consumption in the Caribbean, hence we saw the need for such a conference. We want to see discussion across the target audiences - business leaders, entrepreneurs, marketing and communication practitioners and service providers in order to move this industry forward,” Nelson told Metro.
While traditional media does have its role in mass media, Nelson says it’s time for local businesses to learn how to harness digital media to remain cost-effective and efficient when your marketing budget is cut. When Farrell of Microsoft and Nelson, then Corporate Communications Manager at Guardian Holdings, came together to form Caribbean Ideas many questioned their decision, asking why they wanted to launch a business during a recession. But they were adamant. For three years they ran this business part-time.
However about a year ago, when they realised their business entity was becoming larger than they had imagined, they quit their jobs and went into it full-time. To future entrepreneurs Nelson said, “I would not advise anyone to just leave their job to start something. We were passionate and had a clear vision of what we wanted to build therefore we were willing to take the risk. You have to learn how to bob and weave and adapt as an entrepreneur. You learn along the way. There is no safety net, there is no security, it’s a risk. The only option here is to succeed.”