Today, I'm honored to announce that I've joined the team at Global Shea Alliance as 2013 Global Shea Conference Social Media Liaison. You can read the Global Shea Alliance announcement here. For those who don't know, I have traveled to Africa previously, in particular living for a time in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I taught soapmaking classes. I have a heart for women entrepreneurs as you know, and this opportunity allows me to once again extend my great passion to serve in faraway lands.
The Shea Conference will take place March 4-6, 2013 in Abuja, Nigeria. On March 7, there will be a Shea Expo for one-on-one networking and showcasing of shea-based product lines. While I will not personally have my feet on Nigerian ground for this event, IBN will be there in force with member participation and representation. Here's more about this exciting event, and by the way, there's still time for you to register!
From the Global Shea Website:
“The sixth annual Global Shea Alliance international conference will bring together hundreds of business people representing every aspect of the shea industry. Attendees come from over 35 countries and include CEOs of major corporations, investors, financiers, transport and logistics service providers, as well as shea nut and shea butter producers, exporters, wholesalers and retailers.
This year’s conference will spotlight the economic, social and environmental impacts of shea that lead to success in the 21st century marketplace. Shea 2013: Global Perspectives will take place at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria on March 4-6, 2013. The conference will feature experts and industry leaders facilitating a variety of workshops and training sessions.
Presentations scheduled for the conference include:
International Opportunities and Challenges
Innovation and Research
Sustainability and Industry Marketing Strategies
Thinking Global, Marketing Local
In addition to public meetings and workshops, exclusive Global Shea Alliance member meetings will cover such things as elections and exciting additions to member benefits. The organization will also unveil a new website, so stay tuned for that!
Follow the #sheaconf2013 Twitter hash tag so you don't miss the chance to follow the action. Checking the hash tag link regularly throughout the conference is a great way to locate your fellow conference attendees and learn along with everyone together!
IBN Presence On The Ground
I am excited to introduce you to two IBN members who will be on the ground in Nigeria to, among other things, assist in IBN's efforts to empower attendees to use social media to support their conference experience and boost their business networking goals.
Stephanie is a certified soapmaker and the CEO of Embodico, a line of bath and body products handmade in Morrisville, Vermont. In addition to assisting IBN, Stephanie will lead a soapmaking workshop for conference attendees. Stephanie has been an IBN member since 2009, and I've been privileged to enjoy many of her products over the years. (The lemongrass soap is a *must* in every shower!)
In addition to leading Embodico, Stephanie is a wife and a mother of four. Stephanie has traveled internationally previously, most notably with me on #IndieCruise MasterMind (three times!), as well as on an international mission trip to Morocco with the lady I'm about to introduce you to. Follow Embodico on Twitter.
Lela Barker is the founder of Bella Luccè, and of Lucky Break Consulting in Columbia, South Carolina. She is also the author of 155 Words You Need To Know: Practical Wisdom For Creative Entrepreneurs. (I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that you need Manuka Honey Drizzle in your bathtub!) Lela has been an IBN member since 2005, and she is also the Executive Director of From Morocco With Love, which sells Moroccan handmade products and donates all of the profits to the people of Morocco.
In addition to assisting IBN's efforts, Lela will sit on a shea sustainability panel and lead a workshop on how to bring cosmetic products to market. Lela is a wife and mother of two and has traveled extensively to source international ingredients for her products, and also with me on #IndieCruise. Follow Lela on Twitter.
How You Can join the Fun!
If helping to improve the lives of women worldwide, and in Africa in particular, is one of your passions, then I invite you to register for the Global Shea Conference — yes, there's still room for you! If you cannot attend personally, then join me on a virtual trip to learn about shea production in faraway lands, and to find out how we can work together to the people of Africa.
As you follow the action on Twitter, note that I will be joining Megan Guidrey, Global Shea's Communications Director, as co-manager of their Twitter account. Tweets by me specifically will be marked ^DM, while Tweets from Megan will be marked ^MG. That way, when it matters, you'll know who you are speaking to. The same format will be follow on the Global Shea Facebook page. I am thrilled and honored to be working with Megan.
Remember to follow the #sheaconf2013 Twitter hash tag so you don't miss the chance to follow the action.
You can see the people on Twitter who are attending the conference by checking out our Shea Conference 2013 Twitter List.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seat belts. We are headed to Nigeria, and we are number one on the runway for departure.