Monthly Archives

March 2018

Melbourne Business Networking: The PM Club “Autumnal Networking” Event Review

By Uncategorized

On Thursday the 22nd of March, I attended the PM Club “Autumnal Networking” Event hosted by Melbourne Business Network. The event was held at the Courtyard in the RACV Club on Bourke Street.

The event started off with an opportunity to network. As you walked in you were given two drink tickets for the bar. This was shortly followed by platters of canapes that were brought around by waiters.

It was a great chance to be able to have a chat to the other attendees. The live music gave the event a relaxed feel. However, it was slightly too loud and made it difficult to have a meaningful conversation.

Following this, President of the MBN, Bev Friend, made a small speech about the importance of making valuable connections during networking events. She also talked about how important it is that we are happy at work. During her speech, Friend mentioned that she did not wish for attendees to swap business cards, rather, she wanted the crowd to have meaningful interactions. Unfortunately, this set an atmosphere that made it difficult to collect business cards.

As usual for a Melbourne Business Networking event, we played a few games that involved the coloured sticker on our name tag. As we paired up with people with the correct colour, we talked about ways to improve the happiness at our respective work places.

Primarily, the people that attended the event were employees of various Not-For-Profits, and a few people who worked in small businesses. Although these kind of games can make people uncomfortable, everyone enjoyed talking about ways to create happiness during work.

I would attend this event again, as it was a good venue, good catering and all the attendees were really nice. Bev Friend is a good host and always has something to say from the heart.

Things of note:

  • Location: RACV Club Courtyard
  • Highlight: The Food
  • Cost: $30
  • Hot Tip: Have some fun things about yourself ready to say!



  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 4/5
  • Speakers: 3/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 3/5


Total: 14 / 20

Women In Business Luncheon with Susan Alberti Event Review

By Business

On Friday the 23rd of March, I was fortunate enough to attend a Women in business Luncheon with Susan Alberti, hosted by Business in Moonee Valley. Susan Alberti was an incredible speaker. She has a unique way of filling every eye with a tear and every heart with hope.

Susan shared her life story. She has been devastated with the passing of the closest people in her life. Her best friend in her childhood, her husband in her early adulthood, her daughter and her parents.

Where most people would not have been able to go on, Susan was always able to eventually find motivation. She is a known philanthropist, raising large funds for medical research, particularly for type 1 diabetes, as well as donating her own money. As a successful business woman in her own right, Susan strives to promote women in sport and business.

The event was held at the Australian Events Centre. Whilst it took over an hour to get there from South Melbourne, it was worth it. It was a beautiful centre, and the tables were arranged so all attendees had a perfect view of the stage.

To complement the great venue, the catering was delicious – a choice of fish, beef or vegetarian risotto for lunch, and citrus tart for dessert. However, it was stated around the table that canapes are often better suited to this kind of event.

I am always inspired to hear the challenges and triumphs of women in business. I feel extremely grateful for the women who have led the path for gender equality in the past, and am very motivated to take the torch and further improve conditions in the future.

The atmosphere at the event was fantastic! Women talked about the struggles they have experienced, and practical steps they have taken to better gender equality in the workplace. I left the event feeling inspired to make a difference.


Things of note:

  • Location: Australian Events Centre
  • Highlight: Susan Alberti
  • Cost: $90
  • Hot Tip: Get there on time to network!



  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 3/5
  • Speakers: 5/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 3/5


Total: 15 / 20

Culture Amp: People Geekup by Culture Amp – Melbourne 2018.03.22 Event Review

By Business

On Thursday March 22nd, I visited Culture Amp Melbourne’s new office to learn about the current state of diversity and inclusion in organisational teams at its March People Geekup event. Sue McNamara (Head of People & Culture at ‎Cbus Super Fund), Didier Elzinga (Co-Founder and CEO at CultureAmp), and Valeria Ignatieva (Co-CEO & Founder at ‎DCC Jobs) answered prepared and audience questions around various issues of diversity and inclusion. One interesting point of discussion was how Cbus has made great effort in ensuring that the majority of its roles could be fulfilled by someone working remotely.

The evening began with half an hour of networking over some refreshments before the panel discussion officially began. While the panel was scheduled to end at 7.30pm to allow for another half-hour of networking, it actually ended close to 8pm.

The audience was comprised mainly of human resources staff members from various medium-large organisations with the majority of them being female. It was great to see representation from varying age ranges as well, although, it would have been nice to have seen more diversity in terms of ethnic background.

I really appreciated how the discussion covered a multitude of topics within the scope of diversity and inclusion. One example centred around how, even in 2018, applications are not given a second glance because the applicant does not possess a Western surname.

All in all, while the discussion was very interesting and relevant, the event was not suited to Business Growth Partners because it did not cater to small business owners. HR staff members and team leaders would greatly benefit from the type of advice and knowledge that was shared at this People Geekup event.


Things of note:

  • Location: Culture Amp office, 31 Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Highlight:The discussion
  • Cost:Free
  • Hot tip:Get in early to secure one of the comfier seats


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

Total: 13/20

When is it the right time to spend money on marketing

By Business

Money and marketing… the two concepts are often intertwined.

As a former accountant turned professional marketer this dilemma is something I come across quite often. As an accountant, it was my role to assist business owners to reduce their tax and their expenses. As a marketer, I now work on the other side of the profit and loss statement, helping business owners to grow their revenue base in a sustainable way.

We find that with many business owners the decision to spend money can be an overwhelming one, especially when it comes to undertaking a marketing strategy. Strategy in the form of a marketing plan is what we marketers consider to be a high involvement decision because it often requires a business owner to assess the effectiveness of activities they have been undertaking.

Add to this cyclic conditions of running a small business, and more often than not, the decision to undertake a marketing plan and pay for it can face continuous postponement.

The reality, however, is that nine out of ten start ups fail in the first year of operation. Of those that do survive, 40-50% are no longer in business after 5 years of operation. It’s a hard situation but one with quite a simple answer.

It was the playwright Plautus who famously wrote in one of his comedies “to make money you have to spend money”. He referred to this concept around turning something that was free into something that wasn’t.

A strategy in the form of a marketing plan is a piece of work that every business needs. Without a strategy, you are basically blindly running a business without being able to demonstrate to your customers why they should purchase your services. Unfortunately, so many business owners run blind, only to turn to strategy and planning after marketing tactics have failed.  The result is a lot of wasted time and money that could have been avoided had the business started with its plan and strategy.

It’s time that more small business owners don’t become a victim of this statistic. Why sabotage yourself from success by choosing to wait until you work on a strategy?

If you are unsure about the future direction of your business, now is the time to spend money on marketing, starting first with the strategy. Pave your way to success and get that marketing plan started.


Tim Smith’s Speed Networking Review

By Business

I attended Tim Smith’s speed networking breakfast on Monday 19th of March. The breakfast was a early wake up, starting at 6.45am at the Little Collins Street cafe, Henry and the Fox.

I was invited by Tim, from Sable International who successfully ran this event.

Before we began in our speed networking, we sat down and ate breakfast. I ordered the smashed avocado and cherry tomatoes on toast which was delicious. It was a great chance to relax and get to really know the attendees. .

The speed networking was very fast paced and loud but the cafe, Henry and the Fox was a perfect environment for a event like this as we were placed in a back room.

Similar to speed dating, there were two long tables where you sit across the table from a partner and have 30 seconds each to introduce and chat about your business. This is where it is important to master your pitch as 30 seconds is a very quick time frame to discuss your business!


The turn out for Tim’s speed networking event was really good, with up to 45 people attending. A few attendees stood up and spoke about other networking events around Melbourne that they find useful to attend such as Fresh Hub networking, Your Time Matters events and South East Manufacturing Association (SEMA). They host regular networking events every fortnight.

This event is a perfect opportunity to network and meet like minded individuals for someone who is new to networking.

Tim has a wide selection of networks from different industries. It is recommended that you join his mailing list as Tim sends regular emails with upcoming events each month.

Things to Note:

  • Location: 525 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000
  • Highlight: Meeting new people and learning about their business
  • Cost: $25 for breakfast
  • Hot Tip: Bring heaps of business cards and a pen


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

Total: 17/20

Business Builders Group Event Review

By Business

On Tuesday the 13th of March, I attended a Business Builders Group (BBG) networking event. The event was held at The Australian Institute of Company Directors in Collins Street. The event was hosted by Geoff Hirsh, founder and CEO of BBG.

The Business Builder Group is a referral marketing group that focuses on creating synergy and collaboration between small businesses. The Group is designed to help small and medium business owners and leaders to develop and grow their businesses.

The event began with a light lunch and time for networking. The lunch was really nice, mainly fresh sandwiches and a variety of fruit. However, the networking opportunity was limited due to the arrangement of the room. The tables were set up to only allow small groups to have conversations, rather than just standing room, which encourages people to mingle with many others.

After lunch, we were all invited into another room that was set up like a lecture room. Geoff was a great speaker and interacted with the audience constantly throughout his presentation, ensuring everyone in the room was engaged. However, the presentation was slightly disappointing as it was very clearly a sales pitch. It did not teach the audience anything, only the benefits of becoming a Business Builders Group member.

I would recommend the event to anyone who are considering becoming a Business Builders Group Member.


Things of note:

  • Location: The Australian Institute of Company Directors, Collins St
  • Highlight: Lunch was great
  • Cost: Free
  • Hot Tip: Be interactive!



  • Venue: 3/5
  • Catering: 4/5
  • Speakers: 3/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 3/5


Total: 13 / 20

ACBC: International Women’s Day Forum and High Tea Event Review

By Business

This International Women’s Day I was fortunate enough to attend the Australia China Business Council’s Forum and High Tea at the Regent Theatre’s Grand Plaza Ballroom. The event presented three incredible female panellists; Holly Ransom, CEO of Emergent, Lydia Khalil, Research Fellow at Lowy Institute and Sarah Chibnall, Group Director of Communications at H&H Group.

The panellists shared their stories of their professional journeys to the top of the ladder. It was identified that a battle women face in business is having to choose to either be shrewd and succeed or nice and settle for a lesser position. However, there was strong sentiment that women must “have courage and be kind”; we do not need to diminish our caring nature to achieve success in our careers.

The venue was incredible, and completely packed. Ornate chandeliers dangled from the ceiling and sheer elegant curtains framed the expansive ballroom. Tables dressed in white lace sprawled around the space, each one boasted multi-levelled serving platters loaded with both savoury and sweet baked goods. The trickle of pouring wine could always been heard in the midst of excited whispers and comments of agreeance.

The event was a lesson for me. It taught me about the struggles and triumphs that women before me have grappled with and fought to achieve. The speakers inspired me, and the atmosphere was electric with passion and perseverance, as we all dedicated ourselves to press for progress. It instilled in me the desire to take on the fight from women before me, as each generation paves the way to social, economic and political equality for both genders.


Things of note:

  • Location: Regent Theatre Grand Plaza Ballroom
  • Highlight: Lydia Khalil
  • Cost: $120
  • Hot Tip: Get there on time, doors do not open until 2pm, but you will miss networking if you are late.



  • Venue: 5/5
  • Catering: 5/5
  • Speakers: 5/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 3/5


Total: 18 / 20

Celebrating International Women’s Day at the Kelvin Club

By Business

I attended the Kelvin Club’s International Women’s Day celebrations. The Kelvin Club is a member’s club that has a diverse membership including a large number of women.

The event had two speakers Fiona Patten and pianist Monique Di Mattina who spoke about their lives and accomplishments as well as the challenges that the have faced in their careers.

The event featured canape’s and lunch in a relaxed setting in the upstairs dinning room. The tables were beautifully decorated with the Kelvin Club’s silver wear on show with purple flowers to complement. Most attendees at the event were members of the Kelvin Club – including male members, or were there to hear the speakers.

Like many other International Women’s Day events, it was difficult to network as most people were there to celebrate the day rather than to network.

This event would be suitable for someone who is considering membership of the club or has a particular interest in the speakers.

Things to Note:

  • Location: 14-30 Melbourne Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Highlight: The speakers
  • Cost: $60
  • Hot Tip: If you want an enjoyable lunch to celebrate the accomplishments of women – attend this event


  • Venue: 5/5
  • Catering: 5/5
  • Speaker: 4/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 1/5

Total: 15/20

Meetup: Free Speed Networking Melbourne Event Review

By Business

On the 7th of March, I attended a free speed networking event organised through Meetup. It was guaranteed that everyone will meet at least 10 different people and that no time will be wasted as the evening would be structured.

At the event, I did meet 10 different people. However, a lot of time was wasted as the structure of the evening fell apart quickly, and I spend at least 20 minutes during the event without a partner as the hosts were not moving participants along. I did end up meeting 10 new people, however, most people were looking for a job and not in a position where a discussion would have created value for each of us.

The event was held at Ross House on the 4th Floor, the Hayden Raysmith Room. Although the room was extremely plain, it was a good venue as it was reasonably expansive.  The hosts were expecting over 130 people to turn up. However, the turn out was more accurately numbered at 40, making the room seem very empty.

Although there were not many exchanges of good value during the discussions I had, I would recommend the networking event to networking beginners. The experience allowed participants to practice their elevator pitch and learn to sell themselves and their organisations.


Things of note:

  • Location: Hayden Raysmith Room, 4th Floor of Ross House
  • Highlight: Meeting many people
  • Cost: Free
  • Hot Tip: Practice your elevator speech beforehand



  • Venue: 2/5
  • Catering: 0/5
  • Speakers: 0/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 3/5


Total: 5 / 20

The Entrepreneur Club: Early March New Year Networking Event Review

By Business

Myself and my colleague, Ruby, attended the Entrepreneur Club: Early March New Year Networking Event on Thursday the 1st of March. The event was a meet up for professional individuals who are on their journey to achieving their entrepreneurial goals. It was organised to allow new entrepreneurs to connect with people on the same journey and share their stories.

The event was located at Spice Market in Collins Street. The venue was not the most suitable location, the lighting was very dim, there were not enough seats and the small area that the event was contained in made it awkward for people not currently in conversations to join existing ones.

Most of the people who attended were currently in-between jobs and were looking for positions. The rest of the crowd either worked in or owned a small business. Most people that myself and Ruby spoke to had an entrepreneurial idea that they wanted to develop in the future.

The event and conversations we had with the attendees taught us that there are many people with great ideas for start-ups that just require consulting to turn their light bulb moments into real and practical steps.

I would not re-attend this event. Although it was interesting to meet a diverse range of people, I did not enjoy the location, there was no food provided and I do not believe there was a synergy between the individuals.


Things of note:

  • Location: Spice Market
  • Highlight: Meeting new people
  • Cost: Free
  • Hot Tip: Eat beforehand!



  • Venue: 1 / 5
  • Catering: 0 / 5
  • Speaker: 0 / 5
  • Networking Opportunity: 1 / 5

Total: 2 / 20