Thanks to all the WPO and GYB members who contributed in so many ways we hit record attendance numbers. 672 paid registrants attended. Accolades to the team to make it happen and to have the opportunity to showcase Vancouver, BC, and Canadian talent as keynote speakers, singers and dancers. Participants rated this as one of the best conferences they had attended. See below for some of their TIPS.

WPO Vancouver Conference

WPO Vancouver Conference

At WPO Vancouver Conference

Canadian talent who presented included:

  • Chip Wilson, Founder and Chair of LuLu Lemon Athletica. Shared his success story, including the pitfalls and highlights. Most important take away for me was he realized that after the company reached a certain point in revenue, he would have to bring other leaders on board to take the company to the next level. He went public at 100 million and has become one of Canada’s billionaires, listed on Forbes list of top 100.
    It doesn’t matter what size your business is, the key is to know when you realize that you need other strategic skills to “grow your business”.
  • Rebecca MacDonald, Founder and Chair of Just Energy Inc., a 2.3 billion dollar firm. She got three standing ovations and spoke for over an hour with no power point, no visuals — just herself facing now an audience of 700. Inc Magazine reporter wrote an article about Rebecca’s Speech, titled: How to Deliver a Speech that Gets a Standing Ovation. Here are some of Rebecca’s “pearls of wisdom” as observed by the reporter, Allison Fass:
    “Nobody got to a big business without starting small.”
    “Always pay your supplier even if you have no money to pay yourself.”
    “I made a lot of mistakes, but I never made the same mistake twice.”
    “Surround yourself with smart people.”
    “I love hiring the best and paying them more than the market.”
    “I never ask others to do something I’m not prepared to do myself.”
    “If Rebecca MacDonald can do it, everyone can do it.”
    “I thought $1 million was a lot, $10 million was a lot, $100 million was a lot, $1  billion was a lot. Now I want to shoot for $10 billion.”
  • Rainbow Creek Dancers, featuring Robert and Redge Davidson. Renowned artists Robert Davidson and Reg Davidson founded Rainbow Creek Dancers in 1980. Most of the songs and dances were taught to Robert and Reg by their grandmother, Florence Edenshaw Davidson.
    I continually learn from the wisdom of the First Nations people and was proud to see the international women dancing and enjoying the traditional songs and dance.
  • Sarah McLachlan closed the event singing a repertoire of her songs and taking requests from the 700 plus women in the room, stunned by her performance, and commented that it felt like she was in their living rooms as it felt so intimate. Sarah is not just a singer, songwriter and Grammy award winner. Sarah did not charge us for her performance but instead wants us to believe and support her passion: helping underprivileged young people. While Christmas is over, it is never too late to help support her goal.
    Sarah has teamed up with students at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver to release a new holiday single. The free single is available for download at the school’s website, where you can also donate to help fund the school’s free music lessons to Vancouver youth.
    Visit the site, watch the music video, download the song and give the gift of music this holiday season here: Space on the Couch for Two Free Music Download!

Marsha Firestone, Sarah McLachlan, Barbara at WPO Vancouver Conference