The Orroral Valley bushfire continues to burn out of control in Canberra, Australia, on Feb. 1.
An idea born from a Facebook post in early January has raised $10,000 and counting for Australian Bush Fire Relief.
The Rainmaker Digital Summit, billed as ‘A Virtual Business & Marketing Summit to Benefit the People and Animals of Australia,’ runs through March 2, and consists of recorded sessions from more than 40 international speakers. The recommended minimum donation is $50 USD; for $100 USD, attendees receive lifetime access to the materials. Each price point also includes bonus materials, as well as an opportunity to win additional prizes.
The summit materialized after California-based digital marketer Kelly Noble Mirabella posted the following on her Facebook page on Jan. 6:
I have been thinking that with all the SUPER talented Marketing friends I have maybe we can all come together and put on an online summit with all the proceeds going to the Australian Fire non-profits. Each person can record a 30-45 minute session or give a guide book about their specialty in Marketing, Social Media and/or Business. Any takers?
Reactions and comments quickly poured in on the post, with dozens of digital marketers from various backgrounds offering their services. Within 24 hours, Mirabella had 21 volunteer commitments; the summit currently features 42 on-demand sessions, plus one from Mirabella herself.
Mirabella, one of the world’s leading chatbot experts, said that the inspiration to start the summit came to her after a December visit to Australia.
“In December I had the opportunity to go to Sydney Australia for the first time to speak at a Kerwin Rae K2 Mastermind. While there I met some of the nicest people I have ever come across,” Mirabella shared on Facebook. “But as I walked around this beautiful city the sun was darkened by the smoke and ash rained from the sky. It broke my heart. As someone who has been evacuated from my own home due to fires … I knew I had to help.”
Registrations for the summit are handled by a Facebook Messenger bot. “ZERO cost associated with this campaign and did it WHILE I WAS SICK with the flu then bronchitis,” Mirabella Tweeted today.
Volunteer contributors to the summit include Andrew and Pete, founders of the popular UK marketing event Atomicon; Jessika Phillips, founder of Social Media Week Lima (Ohio); Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang, founder of Classroom Without Walls; and Owen Hemsath, founder of The Video Marketing School. Sessions cover a wide range of topics, including Facebook Advertising, SMS Marketing, Blogging and Micro-Influencers.
Sponsors for the event include Agorapulse, ManyChat, Bobby Klinck, Kim Garst and Quicc.
According to NBC News, torrential rains around Australia could extinguish the fires that have ravaged Australia by week’s end, but scientists have expressed concern about the long-term viability of the forests.