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Join us on October 11, 2019


educate + Inspire

Join us at this innovative one-day conference on October 11, 2019, at the historic Perry Hotel in downtown Petoskey, Michigan. It’s time to elevate yourself in business and we’re here to make that happen. Learn from other women in business on topics that include social media marketing, branding, copywriting, photography, businesses management, and so much more. Let’s get our learn on and take the world by storm together.

Get your ticket today. Only 50 tickets total will be sold.



TWO Inspiring KEynotes

During lunchtime, a keynote panel featuring 5 successful women will share how they’ve learned to nurture a dedicated customer/client. To wrap the conference, Erin Bemis from Google will share her path to success and the challenges and sacrifices she made along the way.


3 Professional Tracks

818 Conference covers it all in just one day! Attendees will choose from among three tracks: Professional Development, Personal Growth, and Marketing. There is something for everyone!


5 Roundtable Discussions

Empowered women take charge, and that’s what you get to do at 818. You choose the five roundtables that interest you most. Rotate throughout the day to expert-led conversations that will inspire and educate.

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Empowered women get things done. That’s what our roundtables are all about. We’ve ditched the large group lectures to embrace intimate conversations, personal small group learning, and networking.

The 818 Conference is not your ordinary conference. It is designed to create momentum. Along with with an expert panel of women business owners, fellow 818 attendees will select five expert-led roundtable discussions throughout the day to elevate them in business.

818 Conference Roundtable Topics:

Google for Business - Erin Bemis, from Google, will teach attendees how to utilize Google tools to maximize your productivity. Erin will provide a deep dive into Google tools with examples and best practices, and she’ll able to answer your questions and provide you with small-group assistance. Bring your computer and have your Google account open and ready to roll!

Pinterest for Marketing – Kelley Grant, owner of Pinning Partners, is a Social media specialist, Pinterest guru, food blogger and brownie expert. This mom of three (and one of the way) might say y’all a few times because she’s from Texas, , and she knows a thing or two about Mexican food. Kelley will share with you how to pin with a strategy that will increase your website traffic for more sales and leads.

Instagram + Instagram Stories - Don’t just randomly post to Instagram; learn the very best tips, tricks, and advice from Kendall Rayburn, an Instagram Pro with more than 40,000 followers!

Facebook Advertising- Learn how to create an ad campaign and optimize your ad to reach your target audience, taught by our very own social media expert, Sommer Poquette.

Phone Photography – Steph Castelein is a travel & lifestyle blogger who has positioned herself in the Northern Michigan region as both a skilled and fun-loving photographer and videographer. Steph is going to teach you how to take the very best photos and video for your social media posts and websites using your iPhone. Capture, edit, and publish professional-quality photos and video with Steph’s help. This is a hands-on roundtable, so come prepared to capture photos, download apps, and practice what you learn.

Branding + Typography 101 – Laura Beck’s jam is branding and design and she’s here to help you learn best practices on choosing fonts, color palettes, and graphics that represent your business. Let’s play with design!

Copywriting - Create a consistent voice for your business, including social media captions that represent your brand and your penchant for proper grammar and style.

Traditional Media - Press releases, Radio, TV, Print – We’ll help you be seen and prepare you for answering questions on live television and radio. Dianne Litzenburger has been on both sides of the notepad and microphone - from asking questions to answering them. She will share her expertise about the inner workings of traditional media.

Creating Valuable Content– What should you post on social media and when? We’ll help you create a three-month social media content calendar that is relevant for your target audience and includes trending hashtags.

Startup 101 - Legal and structuring advice: Learn from someone who has been there, made mistakes, and can share with you their personal advice with tips, insights, and possible pitfalls to avoid.

Money Mindset - Pitching + pricing for your business – Charge what you’re worth, determine your value, and overcome what’s holding you back from making the money you deserve. This session will be led by Kalin Sheick, owner of Sweetwater Floral and Lavender Farm in Petoskey. She knows what it means to be self-made and how to build a business from scratch, but charge appropriate costs because, like she’s said on her Instagram stories, “Sweetwater Floral and Lavender Farm is a business, not a hobby.”

Your Personality Type Impacts Your BusinessMarcia Ward, Ph.D. and clinical psychologist with more than 20 years of experience and a passion for helping people understand themselves and overcome challenges, will help you learn more about your personality type and how this influences the decisions you make, the people you hire, and your clients. Let your personality type help you grow and conquer the world.

Employee Leadership: Jennifer Shorter, third-generation proprietor, knows all about leading a team. From making a decision to hire an employee or a contractor, or whether to hire full-time or part-time, Jennifer has decades of experience and a wealth of timely advice. Leading a multi-generational team and building them up to be leaders themselves, Jennifer is a rock star and will help you lead your team in the right direction. She’ll share her linear leadership style and provide examples of how she works with multiple ages, personality types, and scheduling needs. Now’s your chance to pick her brain on her thoughtful leadership.

Vision Boards - Manifesting your destiny: it can truly happen. This empowering session will allow you to dream, share, and most of all CREATE. Sommer Poquette and Marcia Ward promise that you’ll love every minute it of this roundtable. And if you’re a skeptic? They’ll change your mind.

Erin Bemis Girl Boss Boot Camp Keynote Speaker

Erin Bemis

, Keynote Speaker + Roundtable Educator

Erin is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Focused on communications, digital marketing and operational success, the clients of Bemis Consulting are primarily Associations, Chambers of Commerce and large corporations. Here’s a little bit about her journey to today:

Her passion for small business stems from being raised surrounded by entrepreneurs. Post college, she entered the nonprofit sector, eventually becoming CEO of a successful Chamber of Commerce and earning consecutive titles of Michigan Chamber of Commerce of the Year. Next, she became top of the team as a Regional Development Director for Constant Contact, an email marketing company, and is currently a National Speaker for Google’s Grow with Google team.

Having educated tens of thousands of attendees, combined with over 20 years’ experience working for and with small businesses, nonprofits and associations, she has seen it all: the good, the bad, and the unmentionables too. She holds degrees in Marketing and Business Administration, along with a minor in French that she has never used.

What you really want to know about Erin is that she is a Northern Michigan native, is one of 13 children, has three sons, a husband and a mortgage. Her four main addictions in life are travelling, music, boating and bubbles.


Our Incredible Sponsors & Partners

We are partnering with incredible businesses to give you the best experience we can dream up… Read below to learn about some of the great businesses who will be taking part in The 818 Conference.

Northern Copy Express

We will be working with the talented ladies from Northern Copy Express, who will share with you the 411 on all things print for your business.

Simply Sweet by Jessica

Simply sweet is your go-to bakery for all important celebrations! Jessica has a huge variety of sweet treats for your party, event, wedding, or just to cure a wicked sweet tooth!

Lotto Love

LottoLove is the first ever scratch off card with a social mission and the only lotto that makes everyone a winner! For every card purchased LottoLove donates to their charitable partners to fulfill their social mission of helping people receive: clean water, solar light, nutritious meals or literacy tools.

Kindle Candle Co.

Kindle Candle Co. creates clean-burning, phthalates, paraffin, lead and cruelty-free candles. Jill curates each fragrance that include a blend of essential oils combined with soy and coconut wax and pure cotton wicks, that are clean, and safe to burn. She tests samples on her helpers, (her twin 7 year old candle enthusiasts) and slowly hand-pours every jar! She is delighted to share them with other likeminded people..

Petoskey Chamber of Commerce

Stikovich Legal Counsel

A message from Stikovich Legal Counsel! Most people don’t want to hire a lawyer – they need to. I understand that. That is why I created my practice to focus on the needs of my clients. Instead of following the “old school” way of rotely filling out forms and templates just to get the job done, I listen to my clients to determine their goal for resolution. Then I tailor a plan of action to meet that goal. I keep my clients informed every step of the way. Rather than charging a high hourly rate, most matters are handled on a flat or fixed fee. Some matters are more complex and require an hourly rate – this is generally for matters that require court appearances. With those types of cases I will provide a budget so you are not surprised by legal fee invoices.

Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts

Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts is a unique northern Michigan gift shop located in downtown Petoskey, Michigan specializing in Petoskey Stones, mixed stone jewelry, Minnetonka Moccasins, and so much more! Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts was founded in 1946 and has been serving the Petoskey community and its visitors for over 71 years, and through three generations of the Shorter family. They offer $5 online shipping and complimentary in-store gift wrapping for purchases. 

Sunglass Shoppe

The Sunglass Shoppe carries an amazing collection of unique and handcrafted frames from around the world. Located in Petoskey, Traverse City, and seasonally, Charlevoix, Michigan. Prescription optical and sunglasses available. The Sunglass Shoppe-Unique Optics has the largest selection of Maui Jim’s in Northern Michigan. They also carry Costa, Smith, Oakley, Ray Ban, Zeal, Tom Ford, and many others.

Stephanie N Baker | Photographer

Stephanie is co-creator of the 818 Conference and an award winning portrait, commercial, and wedding photographer living in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

Elsilu Events

Elsilu Events is northern Michigan’s premier event planning boutique. Julie and Heather are total bosses in the planning industry and sure know how to put on an incredible event… take it from me (Stephanie)! I photograph quite a few of their events and they are the best. Elsilu will be applying their creative genius to the 818 Conference to give you the best experience possible! Just you wait, this conference is going to look GOOD. We can. not. wait.

LakeShore Dry Goods

Lakeshore Dry Goods is the creator of Sunrise Bliss t-shirt hair towels made with organic cotton. Sunrise Bliss is a line of t-shirt hair towels made with organic cotton designed to towel dry hair gently while improving its health. The soft, firm and absorbent fabric reduces breakage, frizz, tangles and dry time.

Lite 96.3


Lite 96.3 FM has not only teamed up with us to spread the word about the 818 Conference on the air, but to also teach all of us about media buying. (There’s so much cool stuff to learn!)

Vilah Bloom

Vilah Bloom is a local, Petoskey handbag & accessories company dedicated to making women’s life easier, healthier and more beautiful. Originally known for our patented diaper bags that dispense wet wipes for life’s little messes, we now offer an array of designs for all stages of womanhood. As a lifestyle brand, we take pride in creating reliable and timeless silhouettes with modern functionality.

Lake Charlevoix Coffee Co.

Just the worlds best coffee beans locally roasted in northern Michigan! Seriously, they make the tastiest coffee that is rich and flavorful but smooth. Lake Charlevoix Coffee Co. is owned by panelist Brittany McNeil and her husband and they are giving each of you a bag of their magical beans!

Little Luxuries

Little Luxuries of Mackinac Island is a shopper’s happy place. Located on Main Street in beautiful, historic Mackinac Island, they carry a unique assortment of gifts carefully chosen to bring a touch of whimsy into your life. Their shop is all about life’s simple delights; Michigan-made treats, pretty paper, handmade home accessories, luxury bath products, and Michigan beer and wine are just a few of their favorite things. They work with more than 200 artists and designers to bring you gifts you truly won’t find elsewhere. Stop in and say hello from May to October, or shop their store online during the winter season.

Tom & Dicks PArty Store

Tom and Dicks party store is located just blocks from downtown in Petoskey! Consider making them your go-to party store for beer, wine, and snacks! Tom and Dicks is giving you each a mini bottle of champagne to celebrate all your accomplishments after the conference! 🥂

Keep it Real Social

Keep it Real Social is owned by conference co-creator, Sommer Poquette! They specialize in social media audits (optimization), strategy, and training. Sommer’s mission is to help businesses of all sizes use social media effectively for REAL results.

Gather - A Festive DIY Studio

Gather is a festive community art studio in Harbor Springs and also owned by conference co-creator, Stephanie Baker!


Your 818 Conference creators


Sommer Poquette

I grew up thinking I would always be a teacher. In fact, I have a master’s degree in early childhood education but in 2007, I stumbled into the blogging and social media marketing world and never looked back.

Over the last 12 years, I have coached, consulted, and trained on social media marketing for brands and nonprofits of all sizes. I have worked as a brand ambassador, subject matter expert, influencer for brand campaigns, created ad campaigns, and so much more. I have worked with top-notch companies and PR firms that are comprised of talented teams. A few brands you might recognize include, eBay, The Shaklee Corporation, Now Foods, Verizon Wireless, Method, and Stonyfield Farms.

I am here now as the CEO of Keep it Real Social because I love working with small business and nonprofits to help them use social media marketing effectively. I’m still teaching and educating but in a different realm and I love it.


Stephanie N. Baker

Hi, I’m Stephanie! I earned my girl boss status when I created my photography business ten years ago.  I worked my tail off and grew it to a six figure business in the first four years - tough to do when you live in a resort community and only have five summer months to earn a living. I have since opened a second business, a community art studio in Harbor Springs, called Gather.  I am continually grateful to be self employed. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done!

I live in Harbor Springs with my dog, Chuck, and cat, Donkey.  When I’m not working, you will likely see me on my paddle board on Lake Michigan, or running really far.  I’m training for my first marathon - wish me luck!

I have learned a lot along the way, and have a passion for passing that info onto others.  I firmly believe that we are circling back around to a world where small business is abundant and I love to support and encourage women to follow their dreams and open their own businesses.  


Our Mission

We’re here to gather successful women from all over Michigan and bring them to one place to help you start, grow, or perfect your business skills!

Whether you own a business, want to start a business, or are working for another business and want to hone your skills, this conference is perfect for you!

We have created a space where you can come learn from the best in a safe, constructive, collaborative, supportive environment. No competition here, just love and support and a whole lot of drive.

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Afterglow Pizza Party

The conference goes from 8am-6pm, but afterward we invite you to come for a complimentary evening with Dr. Marcia Ward, a psychologist and all-around inspiring woman. She will talk about personal development, how to manifest your destiny, and lead you through creating your own vision board. Bonus, there will be a cash bar to help you get the creative juices flowing. (If you wish to partake!)


Why 818?

A lot of thought went into naming the conference and we struggled to find something perfect and not already in use! When we thought about incredible women that have shaped history, we immediately went to the suffragettes. Women earned the right to vote on 8-18-1920. The women who fought for this right are true leaders and our conference is a reminder to not give up on your beliefs.

Apply to be a speaker

If you have experience or knowledge in an area that you think would benefit The 818 Conference and would like to be an 818 educator, please contact us, we would love to hear from you!

Sponsorship opportunities

We would love your support in helping to educate, inspire, and connect 818 Conference attendees throughout Michigan. Learn more about how you can get involved and reach these influential women.


3 Day Retreat in 2020

In May of 2020, we will be taking everything you learn in this one-day conference and expanding it into a three day workshop where you actually create your own personal content alongside your educators. You will leave the 818 Conference Retreat with a complete set of creative content to immediately implement in your day-to-day business life. Click here to be notified when more information is available!