Facebook is the big bad blue beast that takes and takes but never gives back, right?

We received somewhat mysterious invitations to an event at the Vancouver Urban Winery called Facebook Connect, or #FBConnect. The event couldn’t be found on Facebook, search engines or even within Eventbrite’s own search tool; we were cautiously intrigued.

When we arrived we found Railtown’s coolest location decked out with Facebook swag and food & drink lining the room. This was definitely a legitimate event.

The event hashtag was displayed prominently on the wall, which we thought was ironic until we remembered that hashtags are a major part of what makes Instagram tick – a Facebook property.

The room was one of the most impressive that Vancouver has assembled recently. Most of the major agencies and brands that are headquartered here were represented and the inevitable exchange of ideas between those personalities may have been the most entertaining part of the night.

The main event was a tri-fecta of brands who had advertised successfully on Facebook. The primary focus of the talks was a profitable shift of ad budget away from search platforms onto Facebook’s network – nothing shocking here.
Case studies aside, what was much more interesting to us was the opportunity to interact with a real live Facebook rep. Facebook’s advertiser support has been notoriously difficult to interact with, so a face-to-face conversation was golden for us. We gave our absolutely uncensored feedback about their products and the reps were incredibly receptive.

It turns out that Facebook Connect is an effort by Facebook to reach out to its partners here in Vancouver. They’ve identified that, while we may not be as big as the US, we are a market to be considered. As an agency that has had some challenges in communicating with Facebook, we are stoked about this development.

Overall, I’m sure that tonight’s event won’t have any direct impact on any recommendations that we make for allocation of advertising budgets, but it sure did make us feel better about the future of of relationship with Facebook as an advertising platform when it’s appropriate.