Monthly Archives

February 2018

Guest Speakers Trudi Sambola (Car Sales) and Grant Arnott (Click Frenzy): DM Forum Event Review

By Business

On Tuesday the 27th of February, myself and our Marketing Assistant Intern, Maddie, attended the DM Forum hosted by Frank Chamberlin. The evening boasted two guest speakers; Trudi Sambola, Director of Transformation and Marketing Strategy and Grant Arnott, Founder of Click Frenzy. The attendees were primarily alumni from Monash University, who are now employees of medium-large enterprises in Melbourne.

Sambola chiefly spoke of the necessity to slow down and reflect as a marketer. She reported that it is imperative to understand the importance of setting aside time to work and think slowly during busy and demanding periods that come hand in hand with a marketing career. She stated  taking this time enables hard workers to achieve clarity, improve their creativity and most importantly, enjoy their work and life.

Arnott was the crowd favourite, and had the crowd laughing as he told the inside story to the darkest, and most famous time in his career – When Click Frenzy crashed seconds into its launch.

Arnott’s entertaining story carried an important message on the back of his light hearted words. He reminded the audience that it is important to never give up, even in a crisis. He said that no matter how mean the back lash tweets are, how mad your colleagues are, or how much you feel like a failure; going back to the drawing board with dedication to do better next time will see you through.

Frank Chamberlin’s ever generous hosting provided guests with a complimentary copy of Marketing Magazine and a Monash notepad. Furthermore, as always, the famous DM Forum sandwiches were something to write home about, I don’t believe there was a single person who didn’t have to excuse themselves due to a full mouth when they were asked a question.

In conclusion, the guest speakers were interesting and interactive as they engaged the audience with their own personal stories. Frank was a warm and welcoming host, and the light meal was delicious. The only downside was the lack of networking, as most people arrived right on 6pm and left immediately after the speakers’ presentations.


Things of Note:

  • Location: Monash Conference Centre
  • Cost: $32
  • Highlight: Grant Arnott (Click Frenzy)
  • Top Tip: Get there early to network



  • Networking opportunity: 1 / 5
  • Speakers: Trudi Sambola (Car Sales) and Grant Arnott (Click Frenzy): 4 / 5
  • Venue: 4 / 5
  • Food: 4 / 5


Total: 13 / 20

Crescent Institute: Gavin Smith at the Crescent Institute Event Review

By Business

On Tuesday February 27th, Business Growth Partners Director Natalia and I had the pleasure of hearing Gavin Smith (President at Bosch Australia) speak at the Crescent Institute. The event was held within Mercer Wealth’s offices at 727 Collins St, Docklands.

Gavin provided a very candid and honest depiction of his journey from a socially awkward young man to the warm leader that he is today. He repeatedly reminded everyone that there was no secret to his success other than to embrace opportunity whenever it appears. He even highlighted the fact that it was very rare to see someone like him, one who started out in the information technology department, leading an organisation’s senior executive team. Gavin enlightened the crowd by explaining how Bosch proved naysayers wrong in embracing the potential of internet-connected appliances and cloud computing. Furthermore, he also noted how Bosch is majority-owned (92%!) by charitable organisations and continues its founder’s legacy of making the world a better place.

The event was well-organised, with Crescent Institute providing ample time to mingle and network before and after Gavin’s presentation. The venue was neat and tidy, and the catering was varied and delicious. The majority of the attendees appeared to be employees from large organisations, but there were a handful of entrepreneurs looking to strike up a conversation with Gavin after the event. All in all, there was no shortage of smiles and business cards exchanged.

I would definitely attend another event by Crescent Institute, and I look forward to its next networking evening.


Things of note:

  • Location: Mercer Wealth, 727 Collins St, Docklands
  • Highlight:Gavin Smith’s anecdotes
  • Cost:$32.41
  • Hot tip:Head to Tower 1 to find Mercer


  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 4/5
  • Speaker: 5/5
  • Networking opportunity: 4/5

Total: 17/20

2018 NGV Summer Party Event Review

By Art

I attended the NGV Summer Party. The Summer party is an annual event the gallery hosts for members. It provides members with the opportunity to party whilst also seeing in the current exhibition, Triennial which has a diverse range of emerging local and international artists.

I have been a member of the NGV for a number of years and this event was well organised and managed, however numbers seemed to be lower than usual as the party usually corresponded with a major exhibition. NGV also seriously needs to consider a new drinks supplier. The Winery they currently use has a sound reputation when it comes to good wine, however the wines provided for this event did not taste great.

There were many learnings at this exhibit including the merging of digital and traditional art.

If you are a member of the NGV the summer party is an event not to be missed.

Business Growth Partners has worked with artists and galleries in the past and looks forward to continuing that relationship into the future

Things of note:


  • Venue: 5/5
  • Catering: 4/5
  • Speaker: NA
  • Networking opportunity: NA

Total: 9/10

City of Whittlesea Economic Development Team: Coffee and Connect Networking Series – February Event Review

By Business

On Friday February 23rd, I attended the Whittlesea City Council’s monthly Coffee and Connect networking catch-up at Santos Café and Bar in South Morang.

It was a small but friendly event, with a handful businesses from around the Whittlesea area gathering to share stories and advice in the venue’s outside entertaining area. The open-air environment lent itself well to the comfortable atmosphere and the complimentary food and drinks ensured that everyone stayed for a while.

There was a diverse group of people in attendance, ranging from someone who had moved down from Brisbane to take over a local clothing business to representatives from banks and credit unions. Readers who are based around Melbourne’s Northern suburbs may find it useful to attend and connect with local businesses.

It was interesting to see the City of Whittlesea asking attendees to choose the event series’s next name. I would have very much liked to have learnt more about what the council has been doing for small businesses in-person instead.

While I may not attend this event again, I am interested in a larger event that is centred around the council’s small business growth efforts.


Things of note:

  • Location: Santos Café and Bar, 2/795-801 Plenty Rd, South Morang
  • Highlight:The friendly faces
  • Cost:Free
  • Hot tip:Bring a jacket in the colder months


  • Venue: 3/5
  • Catering: 3/5
  • Speaker: 2/5
  • Networking opportunity: 4/5

Total: 12/20

Australia China Business Council Luna New Year Event Review

By Business

I attended the Australia China Business Council Luna New Year celebrations.

Luna New Year in 2018 coincided with Business Growth Partner’s Welcome Back Drinks which were held on the 19th February.

This year is the year of the dog. To celebrate this occasion the Australian China Business Council kicked off the festivities with a lion dance. This was followed by speeches from leaders within the Chinese business community as well as sponsors of the organisation. People born in the year of the dog are honest, faithful, has strong intuition and efficient.

Australia China Business Council is a group where there is a strong understanding of the purpose of networking with business cards being exchanged freely. There were a diverse range of business owners and employees in the room from large corporate organisations to individual consultants. There were of course a large range of Chinese businesses from various areas including property development, finance and as well as import/ export industries. Business Growth Partners through our parent agency Syneka is a member of this organisation.

The event featured a unique raffel with red envelopes being provided to some winners. There was also plenty of food on offer with seafood including oysters being provided.

The speech component of this event was extremely long and I was glad that I did not wear high heeled shoes as I would have been struggling. A lot of guests had made an effort to dress up for the event with many women in red, pinks and orange for the occasion.

If you were interested in looking at joining this networking group this event provided a good cross section of attendees.

  • Location: International Chamber House, 121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
  • Highlight: Lion dance!
  • Cost: $60
  • Hot tip: Make sure that you get in early so you have  time to network as some people leave before the event ends


  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 5/5
  • Speaker: 3/5
  • Networking opportunity: 5/5

Total: 17/20

MATRADE: Hi-Tea and Business Networking Afternoon Event Review

By Business

On Thursday 22nd of February I attended the launch of the new event management software, Evenesis.

The event was hosted by the IT Company, Y Us at the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation or otherwise known as MATRADE.

Y Us has become one of the technology experts in the Malaysia event industry and has developed an event management system called Evenesis.


Founded in 2009 by Yusno Yunos. The event management software now has a presence in Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and about to be introduced into the Australian market.

Evenesis hope to improve the user experience on the day of the event and on-site by creating faster lanes and a smoother registration without any delay, this includes facial recognition.



The CEO and Founder, Yusno Yunos spoke and introduced Evenesis. His pitch was  interesting and he presented really well.

All attendees had the opportunity to check-in to the event through facial recognition.

Unfortunately the facial recognition did not work for my face when I went to try and check-in to the event. The Consulate General of Malaysia, Westmoreland Palon was also not able to use the software system himself as he has an identical twin!


The event was held on St Kilda Road from 3pm-5pm which was a convenient time as it was close to the end of the work day so all attendees were relaxed.

After listening to the speaker, we moved into the next room where there was a large spread of afternoon snacks and tea and the opportunity to network.

A lot of the attendees of this launch were actually involved within the company Evenesis and investors who had flown out from Malaysia to attend.

I had the chance to speak with Westmoreland Palon, the Consulate General of Malaysia attended and enjoyed conversing with him.


Things to Note:

Location: Level 7, 432 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, 3004

Highlight: Was a interesting product launch and the afternoon tea was delicious

Cost: Free by invitation

Hot tip: Make sure you get there earlier before speaker begins to introduce yourself to the attendees


Overall Rating

Venue: 4/5

Catering: 5/5 – There was a wide selection of afternoon tea

Speaker: 4/5

Networking opportunity: 1/5

Total: 14/20


Startup Grind Melbourne: Startup Grind hosts Rick Klink (OpenMarkets / Paritech) Event Review

By Business

On Thursday February 21st, I attended Startup Grind Melbourne event where it invited Rick Klink from OpenMarkets/Paritech to speak about his transition from corporate life to one of an entrepreneur and the ever-changing cryptocurrency landscape.

Rick spoke at length about working at IBM during the personal computing boom of the 1980s and early 1990s and how the Australian industry was small enough that recruiters would approach students directly on campus. He spoke about how IBM invested significant training resources in its staff and provided him with the vigour to embrace change. This philosophy carried him to his pioneering work in surfacing end-of-day trade date through Paritech and CommSec and continues in his latest venture, an online stockbroking platform named OpenMarkets.

Given OpenMarkets’s work within the cryptocurrency arena, the event attracted attendees from those who are curious about the concept of blockchain to entrepreneurs on the cusp of their own initial coin offerings. It was very interesting to see how Rick, who could very easily be mistaken for a tradition stockbroker at first glance, openly embraced cryptocurrency through OpenMarkets and viewed it as a legitimate way of trading going forward.

As with last time, the event was held at MYOB’s Cremorne office, so seating was quite lacklustre and the food was decent.

Despite the venue’s shortcomings, I would still attend future StartUp Grind events because they represent a great opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and learn about the origins of some of Australia’s most successful leaders.


Things of note:

  • Location: MYOB, 167 – 169 Cremorne St, Cremorne.
  • Highlight:Rick’s anecdotes about computers that were the size of rooms
  • Cost:From $30
  • Hot tip:Find a good seat with a cushion


  • Venue: 2/5
  • Catering: 2/5
  • Speaker: 4/5
  • Networking opportunity: 4/5

Total: 12/20

Neil Waterhouse: eBay and Amazon Australia – Winning the Game in 2018 Event Review

By Uncategorized

On Tuesday the 21st, myself and Business Growth Partners Director, Natalia, attended the Winning the Game on the New eBay – What’s working in 2018. The event was hosted by guest speaker; Neil Waterhouse, a multi-million dollar seller and author of Million Dollar eBay Business From Home. The event was held at the Institute of Chartered Accountants, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000.

Unfortunately, our experience did not start off positively. Natalia and I arrived at the venue at 6:30pm to find that we were unable to use the elevators and there was no one in the lobby floor to guide us to level 3. We walked around the lobby floor but could not find an alternative way to get to level 3, or did we see any signage to direct us.

After this, we were slightly annoyed and decided to recheck the Eventbrite event page as well as the tickets we pre-purchased. We had the address, date and time of the event correct. 20 minutes had passed since we’d first arrived and we were close to leaving when Natalia spotted “level 18” in one of the last paragraphs on the event page. We were confused, as both the tickets and the location listed on the event stated “level 3.” Fortunately, the elevators carried us to level 18 without an incident.

Our evening’s bad start was indicative of the event ahead. Frustrated with the unprofessional management of the event, we slipped into the room which was set up as a lecture hall, and took our seats. Neil Waterhouse, the guest speaker was already underway with his presentation. Although it seemed as though he was extremely knowledgeable and experienced in developing a business model around selling on eBay and Amazon, he was not a very engaging speaker.

Almost immediately, Natalia and I realised that the people attending the event were those who were looking to make a quick dollar online, rather than small business owners that were invested in their businesses and looking to develop another channel to market. We also realised, that there wasn’t going to be a networking segment of the event, as much of the time was being taken by tedious questions from the crowd. At 7:10pm, we decided it was a waste of time and left.

In conclusion, we were disappointed with event. The management of the event was unprofessional, the speaker was unengaging and there did not appear to be any attendees that we would be able to create an exchange of value with.


Summary of event

  • Location: Institute of Chartered Accountants Level 18, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Cost: $10 per person
  • Highlight: No highlight.
  • Hot Tip: Do not attend this event if you want to network.



  • Networking opportunity: 0/5
  • Speaker: 2/5
  • Venue: 2/5
  • Food: 0/5


Total: 4/20

Welcome Back to the New Year Celebrations

By Uncategorized

Business Growth Partners hosted a Welcome Back to 2018 celebrations on Friday 16th of February.

The event kicked off at 4pm and finishing up at 7.30pm at our office in South Melbourne.

Similar to our successful Christmas/End of the Year event that we hosted in late December. Business Growth Partners decided to host these celebrations to start the working year off with some fun and networking.

As tradition, the prize was a voucher to the Kelvin Club, a heritage 150 year old private club located on Melbourne Place.

Kjetil Pederson from Exova was the winner of this prize!

We had a wide selection of food and refreshments available throughout the night.

All food was locally sourced from the iconic South Melbourne Market, located on Coventry and Cecil Street.

Over 50 attendees joined us to celebrate the beginning of 2018. The selection of businesses who attended including University professors, management consultants, architects, barristers, IT and web designers as well as engineering, law and accounting professionals.

We will be hosting various events throughout the year of 2018.

Business Growth Partners looks forward to an exciting and busy year ahead!