DOYO Live, Youngstown’s first-ever content marketing and interactive design conference, will take place tomorrow at Youngstown State University.
It’s an important milestone in Youngstown’s decades-long recovery and, in my estimation it’s more proof that people from outside the region recognize the Valley as a place to learn, to grow and do business.
For more proof one needs only look to the technology companies emerging from the Youngstown Business Incubator (and other businesses choosing to relocate to the YBI campus from New York and California), America Makes and the power of additive manufacturing, and the millions-of-dollars in grants and gifts flowing into YSU for research and education.
Want more proof? People who left the Valley to find opportunities in other cities are returning with a new business acumen, fresh perspectives on the role technology plays in our personal and professional lives, and an impressive network of business contacts.
Professionals like marketing consultant, Dennis Schiraldi, who followed job opportunities in New York City, Cleveland and Columbus, only to return to Youngstown three years ago to be a part of the revitalization.
Following our talks at TEDxYoungstown, Schiraldi shared with me his vision for bringing a first-class social media marketing conference to Youngstown.
Note that Lori Shandor, co-founder of TEDxYoungstown, was instrumental in spurring that conversation (even if she doesn’t know it). TEDxYoungstown brought a lot of people together to talk about technology, business and opportunities.
In some ways, DOYO is a continuation of those TEDx talks, albeit with a focus on marketing and interactive media.
Eighteen months later, we’re seeing Schiraldi’s vision come to life.
Schiraldi now gets to add “Founder of DOYO Live” to his impressively expanding resume of experiences.
We also refer to Schiraldi as DOYO’s chief evangelist, a title he now proudly displays on his Facebook page and LinkedIn profile. If that title sounds familiar to you, it’s also the title bestowed on Jim Cossler, CEO of the YBI.
The title is significant because it recognizes these individuals as leaders who preach growth and opportunities available in Youngstown to people outside the region.
Cossler does this by luring great tech start-ups to the Valley.
Schiraldi is doing this by bringing leading social media, marketing and design experts to share their knowledge with professionals from Youngstown and beyond.
On a personal note, Schiraldi is also a part-time instructor in our department of communication at YSU. I’ve witnessed first-hand the evangelical power he brings to the classroom, energizing the next generation of social media marketers, right here in our own backyard.
In many ways, social media has made the world smaller. You don’t need to be in New York City or Chicago, Shanghai or Dubai, to meet amazing professionals, to network, and to learn about the future of social media and marketing.
You can do that right here in Youngstown.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is associate professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about social media and technology, sports and fans.