Today’s guest post comes from Chris Dagenais, Account Manager at DDB Public Relations in Vancouver. Chris was among the lucky few who attended the 2012 Grow Conference last week.

“Disrupt!” was the mantra last week as hundreds of eager young entrepreneurs and bold investors were united under one roof at the 2012 GROW Conference in Vancouver, powered by Eventbrite. The conference is a high-energy tribute to all things start-up, showcasing the experiences, learnings, and advice of influential business pioneers from across the continent.

Canada’s Rain City lived up to its moniker as the clouds burst open overhead just in time for the conference’s first speaker. It was a fitting climate for the event, as the seeds of innovation present in the room began to blossom under the sage wisdom provided by industry leaders and start-up gurus.

Although the speaker sessions and workshops brought together an impressively diverse roster of experts, a central theme ran throughout the conference, pointing to the climate of new business in today’s economy: if you want to make a start-up idea come to life, you need to turn the market on its head! Instigate! Disturb, agitate, disrupt! The rousing message of bucking convention resonated with event-goers, who pounced on the opportunity to rub shoulders with conference speakers in a series of one-on-one and group dialogues that unfolded around the central program.

While much of the practical content of GROW focused on investor acquisition and brand marketing, Eventbrite’s very own Co-Founder and President, Julia Hartz, took to the stage to share a more personal, introspective insight about our business. Julia explained how Eventbrite’s employee culture, which has been nurtured and carefully cultivated since day one, translates into a positive end-user experience. It is a common challenge for many quickly growing companies to maintain a sense of interconnectedness and engagement among their employees. Aside from fostering poor team morale, an ailing company culture can often also result in a mediocre consumer experience. Julia described her team’s ongoing efforts to ensure that the values of transparency, community, and empowerment start from within the company and work their way outwards to make the Eventbrite user experience an enjoyable one for a rapidly growing event market. The bottom line: you can’t have a great business without great people!

Check out the video of Julia’s presentation here, and to learn more about the GROW Conference, its speakers, goals, and future dates, visit


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