Gary Vaynerchuk was in Montreal and we met him – here’s what you missed!

Editor’s Note: Last Friday, Gary Vaynerchuk spoke at the InfluenceMTL  conference and we sent two of our writers to cover the event. After a full day of panels, Q&A sessions, and keynote speakers, Sharanya Venkatesh – one of our most prolific writers got to meet her hero – Gary V. Here’s what happened at the conference.


There’s a question that every novice entrepreneur has – “Where can I meet people to help me get ahead?”

And there’s one answer: Conferences.

Although many people try to connect with like-minded people and mentors through email, social media, or even cold calls, no technology is able to create the same depth of connection between two people you get through a real life meeting. That connection is exactly what gets participating entrepreneurs like Mariya Pampova so excited.

The panel we went to was centered around online branding for influencers.

The Online Branding for Influencers panel was composed of people like Chuck Lapointe (CEO of Narcity Media) Olivier Kult(Maison Privee), JP Shoiry (republik), and Milca Les Curls (Youtuber)

Everybody has a different take on it – here were some key takeaways:

Each person has a different touch – that’s what creates their following. If you try to influence everybody, you won’t reach anybody. – Olivier Kult(Maison Privee)


Pay attention to who the influencers are influencing. Is it 14 year old boys? Are those the followers that you want? – JP Shoiry (republik)


Tout est branding. A share, a photo, a comment, even a like – anything you do online becomes part of your brand and the image you project to others. – Chuck Lapointe (CEO of Narcity Media)

Chuck Lapointe (center) is the CEO of Narcity Media, of which MTL Blog is a subset.

Next, we went to watch a keynote by Daniele Henkel, whose company provides non-surgical products for the professional health and beauty industry.

Great keynote by @daniele_henkel during @influencemtl! #jsuisinmtl

A post shared by McGill Dobson Centre (@dobsoncentre) on

In between panels and keynotes, we hung out and met some of the startups that had set up their booths.

MaxyMedia is an online marketing platform specializing in Facebook advertising that helps you generate leads and find your target market.

EZ-Couture provides high quality custom menswear and accessories for the timeless gentleman.

Last but not least, Gary Vaynerchuk gave us the talk we all needed to hear.


Here were the key takeaways from Gary’s talk:

  1. “Know your shit.” – Work on your craft, that’s the best way you can become an influencer.
  2. Google “How do I build an Alexa skill” to futureproof your skillset
  3. Everybody will be consuming way more audio this next decade, so get started on your podcast – it’s a timeless medium

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Sharanya Venkatesh

Sharanya Venkatesh is a U3 Geography and Social Entrepreneurship student at McGill University. Being a new member to The Dobson Chronicles team, she looks forward to learning more about the startup community at McGill and in Montreal.