Monthly Archives

July 2018

Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce: Event Review

By Business

I attended ‘Embracing Disruption as an Opportunity’ on the morning of Wednesday 25th of July. The event was run by the Canadian Australia Chamber of Commerce (CACC) in conjunction with C2. The purpose of the event was to promote C2 as well as creating an environment to network, engage and explore ideas that enhance your business.

The breakfast event was held at Cargo Hall on South Wharf Promenade and ran from 7.30am-10am. I arrived at 7.30am with the room already packed with Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce members. Majority of the attendees were members of the Canadian Australia Chamber of Commerce. There was a long table filled with breakfast items including hot and cold pastries, fruit and muesli as well as tea, coffee and orange juice on offer.

Previously, I have attended another CACC event back in May and the selection of food was absolutely delicious. The Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce do not fail to disappoint with their catering.

This was an opportunity to network with the attendees. There were a mix of small business owners such as accounting firms and leadership coaches to large corporate firms such as Telstra, Porsche and Melbourne Airport.


After 30 minutes of mingling with the attendees and eating breakfast. We were moved to a dark room seated in a circular format with the panel standing in the middle of the audience. There were four members on the panel. The panel included the Martin Enault, the CEO of C2, Michele Levine, the CEO of Roy Morgan, Mike McGrath, the Chief Marketing Officer at PwC and finally Laura Anderson, the Chairman of SVI Global.

The panel discussed some interesting insights into the world of business and being disruptive.


The CEO and host of the event, Martin Enault then gave us an insight into what the ‘C2 Experience’ was.  As there was up to 80 attendees, we were asked questions about the future of work and what elements of business would be most affected by digitisation. This gave the attendees an opportunity to discuss our opinions with each other.


The C2 experience wants to explore and transform the way people think about the role of creativity in a business.  C2 is hosting a Melbourne first event on October 17-19th.  The event is priced at $2495 for the 3 day event.


Overall the event was entertaining to attend.  It wasn’t really much of a networking event but more of an introduction to C2. It was an entertaining to gain some insight into C2. There was quite a hype around C2 and their way around networking events. It was great to learn a bit more about what C2 does and how they run these type of events.

I really enjoyed listening to the speakers as they were quite high level in their roles and found their discussions interesting. However I don’t think I will be paying $2495 for a 3 day networking event in October.


Things to Note:

  • Location: Showtime Events, Cargo Hall, 39 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, VIC, 3006
  • Highlight:  The panel discussion
  • Cost: $30
  • Hot Tip: Be ready for a different type of networking


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

Total: 16/20


How to Build a Business on Purpose Event Review

By Business

Today Halftime Global held a seminar titled How to Build a Business on Purpose. This event aimed to help aspiring leaders of business learn from established business leaders.


The content revolved around the 5 major challenges that can hold entrepreneurs back.

  • Lack of Vision and Purpose
  • Poor Leadership Skills
  • Financial Problems
  • Ineffective Marketing & Sales
  • Lack of Mentoring

The presenters, Peter Irvine and John Sikkema, discussed the challenges they faced during their time building businesses and how they navigated these issues.

Both John and Peter have had extensive experience in building purpose-driven businesses. Peter was one of the Co-Founders of Gloria Jeans Coffees and was part of the group that bought McDonald’s to Australia. John is the Founder of Garrisons Financial Planning and the Chairman of Halftime Global, which helps individuals re-define their goals in life and business.


John discussed how his imbalance between work and life affected not only his personal life but his business as well. While growing his business John was trying to manage most of his business himself, which was leading to inefficient processes and financial trouble for the business. John overcame this challenge through a couple of different steps, he sold a forty percent of the business’ shares to a Multi-National company and took a step back from the business. Selling the shares allowed the business to clear it’s debt, while maintaining a majority of the business. Taking a step back allowed John to focus more on his personal life and allowed the business to operate more efficiently and independently.


Peter discussed in detail how a vision and purpose is critical for businesses looking to thrive. During his time at Gloria Jeans, Peter ensured that the business had a vision of what the future ideally held for the business. Peter also discussed how the correct approach for a business can make a difference. Through a story about a regional company specializing in fencing for farms, Peter demonstrated how vital correct messaging can be for a business. Initially the business was using many different traditional media channels to advertise, as a result they were getting requests from residential customers. While the influx of business was positive, it was not the correct target market for their business. Once Peter helped the client determine the correct approach the incoming customers were more suitable.


John and Peter were both advocates for having a network of mentors. They described a network of mentors as more of a personal Business Board. Ideally your Board helps develop your skills and business without having direct involvement with the business. They joked that your mentors would not meet collectively, like a Board of Directors would. They would be available to discuss how your business was tracking, and any problems that it may be facing.


The event was held in a general purpose meeting room that had been set up in a similar way to a lecture theatre. With many chairs set up in the center of the room the space felt rather small. Halftime provided a variety of sandwiches and wraps for attendees. The options were fairly run of the mill, with choices such as roast vegetable, chicken salad and egg and lettuce.


All in all the event was stimulating, providing fascinating insights into what it means to build a business that has a vision and purpose. I would attend events in the future put on by Halftime, getting the opportunity to listen to successful business people talk about the challenges they faced and overcame was fascinating.


Things to Note:

Location: 140 Williams Street, Level 22

Highlight: Invaluable insights into what it takes to be a successful business leader

Cost: $27

Hot Tip: Think of an engaging question.



  • Venue: 2/5
  • Catering: 3/5
  • Speaker: 4/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 2.5/5

Total: 11.5/20

Australian British Chamber of Commerce: Regional Prosperity Through Corporate Travel and Tourism Event Review

By Business

This week the Australian British Chamber of Commerce partnered with Quest Apartment Hotels to present a panel discussion on Regional Travel and Tourism.


The discussions were started with some opening remarks from Joanne Freeman, the Director of Trade for Australia and New Zealand with the UK Department of International Trade. Joanne reflected on the growth in regional areas, such as Bendigo and Ballarat, comparing their growth to the growth of regional cities in the UK.  It was fascinating to hear the similarities between Victoria and the UK, specifically in regards to the regionalisation of business and tourism.


The panel consisted of three members, Danielle Green MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria, Tourism & Major Events, Paul Constaninou, Executive Chairman from Quest Apartment Hotels and Paul Matthew, Visit Victoria’s Head of Regional Tourism and Strategy. The panel was mediated by Dr. Jeff Jarvis, Director of the Graduate Tourism Program.


There was a great deal of discussion in regards to the continued development of regional centers in Victoria. It was interesting to hear about the planned development of cultural destinations in major regional centers, including the development of Arts Centers in both Ballarat and Shepparton.


I also learned a great deal about Quest Apartment Hotels, as the event was put on in partnership with Quest. I spoke with Franchise Owners from Mount Waverly and Hawthorn.


The food on offer was very tasty, with a selection of finger food, ranging from Blue Cheese and Fig Tarts to Sliders and Sausage Rolls. A definite crowd pleaser was the Arancini, with Mushroom and Cheese!


All in all the discussions had at this event provided a great deal of insight into the travel and tourism trends within Victoria, as well as a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the regional development projects being undertaken by the Federal Government, Victorian Government and regional cities. I would definitely attend events held by the Australian British Chamber or Commerce in the future.


Things to Note:

  • Location: Quest Apartment Hotels, Level 2, 390 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
  • Highlight: Fantastic insight into Regional Developments, both current and future
  • Cost: $40
  • Hot Tip: Try the sausage rolls.



  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 4.5/5
  • Speakers: 4/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 2.5/5

Total: 15/20

Fresh Speed Networking Breakfast: Event Review

By Business

Lachlan and I attended the Fresh Business Speed Networking event on the morning of Friday the 13th of July.

Fresh is a networking community aimed at business owners expand their networks through relationship building in a empowering environment. There are 15 Fresh Hub’s around Melbourne and they host events every two weeks for members and their guests to attend. This event brought together all the Melbourne Hubs.

Lachlan and I arrived at the Metropolitan Hotel where the function room upstairs was set out for our Speed Networking event. Before the actual speed networking began, there was an opportunity to network with the attendees while making a coffee or breakfast.

We were quite impressed with the delicious food on offer at the Metropolitan Hotel. There was a various selection of breakfast items such as eggs, bacon and tomato. As well as a variety of fruit and cereal.  The catering was a real highlight for such an early morning start!

There was a guest speaker, Shaun Resnik from VitalMe. He presented and discussed the importance of active listening. This discussion was quite fitting as we were about to begin our speed networking. The room was busy and loud so actively listening to the business contact in front of you is very important!

Similar to other speed networking events in the past. There were two long tables where you are seated across from a business contact. There are 2 minutes allocated to chat and introduce yourself and your business to the contact in front of you before moving onto the next business owner.

One side of the table was Fresh Networking members and the other side was guests. As there was two of us, Lachlan and I split up so we didn’t chat to the same contacts. The Fresh Networking members all recommended that we joined each of their Hubs.

The type of businesses who attended were a mix. There were mortgage brokers, accountants, law firms, management consultants as well as business coaches, stylist as well as a behavioral specialist.

Overall, Fresh Business Speed Networking event was quite enjoyable to attend. The networking  environment is fast pace and fun. All members are welcoming of new attendees and are keen to continue chatting after your two minutes is over.

Things to Note:

  • Location: Metropolitan Hotel, 263 William Street, Melbourne, 3000
  • Highlight:  Meeting a selection of new businesses
  • Cost: $30
  • Hot Tip: Bring a lot of business cards


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

Total: 16/20

Club 3004 July 2018 Networking Event

By Business

I attended the Club 3004 July networking session at Lakeside Business Centre. Club 3004 is a networking group aimed at business owners based in the 3004 postcode precinct. The business network also attracts business owners based in surrounding suburbs and has been in existence for a substantial amount of time.

The event commenced with networking where we got to know other participants at the event. There was a large spread of cheeses and snacks available as we networked. I had previously attended Club 3004 about a year or so ago. Most people at this event were the same as those that had been there previously.

We were then ushered into a boardroom at the event where Mike Williams from Exit Value Advisors spoke about how business valuers evaluate the value of businesses. The discussion was insightful and raised important points around exiting a business, including the fact that there is a difference between a business valuation and the way that a business broker values a business. Most attendees at the event were service based business and Mike mentioned how these businesses need to separate the value that the business owner provides from the ability for the business to function on its own.

Once the formalities of the event finished, there was more time for networking, with most attendees choosing to remain at the event.

Over the years, Club 3004 has transformed from being a business group to very much a social group – where business owners can catch up for after work drinks.

Things to Note:

  • Location: Lakeside business centre, 4/150 Albert Rd, South Melbourne VIC 3205
  • Highlight: Topic covered was universally useful to all business owners
  • Cost: $25.00
  • Hot Tip: If you are a local business looking for an outlet – this is a great networking group for you


  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 5/5
  • Speaker: 4/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 2/5
  • Total: 15/20

Business Builder Group: Event Review

By Business

I attended the Melbourne Central Business Forum hosted by the Business Builders Group (BBG).

The breakfast event was ran from 8am-11am and held at the Australian Institute of Company Directors on Collins Street.

Business Builders Group is a networking group who meetings monthly. It is aimed at business owners that would like to grow through collaboration and learning. Emphasing on forming meaningful connections.

The event was run Business Builders Group Manager, Geoff Kelly and had up to 12 attendees. There are 35 members in the Melbourne Central Business Builders Group.

The event began with breakfast in a smaller room, a selection of croissants, tarts and fruit were on offer . The Australian Institute of Company Directors also provided tea, coffee and hot chocolate. This was the perfect opportunity to introduce myself to the attendees and network with like-minded individuals. The majority of attendees were business owners in industries such as financial services, printing services and a business coach. Each attendee regularly attends the Business Builders Group so they are quite familiar with each other. However they were extremely accommodating to myself as a newcomer!

A typical Business Builders Group event is structured with introductions of each member, followed by two key speakers who share their knowledge to the audience. This is called ‘Hot Seat’.

The first speaker was Kate Engler a PR Guru who owns the Publicity Princess. Her discussions were really engaging and I left with a new found knowledge of the PR Industry. She discussed the importance of publicity as a tool in your business to gain awareness. The second speaker was Ian Bosler, the CEO of Intertype, a marketing, sales and printing service who discussed a new product he was developing and was interested in our feedback as consumers.

As it was a seated event, there was an opportunity to network during the breakfast as well as after the presentations.

As I hadn’t attended a BBG event before, I found the discussions interesting and really enjoyed the relaxed environment in which the event was held.

I found the attendees had a genuine intent in coming to the monthly breakfasts and a desire to learn. Unlike other breakfast events which I have attended, where attendees rush out of the door at 9am to go to work. All attendees stayed at this event until 11am.

Things to Note:

  • Location: Port Phillip Room, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Level 26, 367 Collins Street, Melbourne
  • Highlight: The food is delicious and I learnt some great ideas from the key speakers
  • Cost: $29.96
  • Hot Tip: Arrive early so you have extra time to network


  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 4/5
  • Speaker: 4/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 3/5
  • Total: 15/20


nem Wine Tasting Evening Event Review

By Business

Alex and I attended the nem Wine Tasting event. We were invited to this event by Steven Lamande who is a partner at the firm. nem is a management consulting business that primarily works with small and medium enterprises.

The event was held at Berth, a venue in the Docklands that overlooked the harbour. The venue was beautifully decorated and looked kind of like a ship from the outside.

The evening began with networking. We were then ushered into the main dinning and were seated with the nem partner that invited us.

The speaker was the owner of Armidale Cellars. He had a in-depth knowledge of wines and was able to talk us through the different varieties. His approach as MC was light and informal with many jokes in between.

The event provided guest with a blind tasting from which we had to guess what type of wine we were being served. There were also cheese platters that were placed on every table to accompany the wines.

I enjoyed the aspect of blind tasting the wines as it provided the opportunity to get to know the other people on the table. We were able to watch the sunset as we were guided through the wine tasting.

The event attracted a mix of the firm’s staff, clients as well as their extended network.

I thought that the event was well planned and innovative in its approach.

Things to Note:

  • Location: Berth Restaurant & Events – 45 Newquay Prom – Docklands, VIC 3008 – Australia
  • Highlight: The variety of wines showcased
  • Cost: By invitation
  • Hot Tip: Brush up on your wine knowledge before you go to this event to add to the conversation


  • Venue: 5/5
  • Catering: 4/5
  • Speaker: 3/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 3/5
  • Total: 15/20

VTIC’s July Mixer Event Review

By Business

Each month the Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) holds a networking mixer for the tourism and events industry. This month I attended the event, held at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, one of the largest tourist destinations in Melbourne. Sea Life opened up their Mermaid Garden are for this event. A wonderful space that affords a spectacular view of the creatures of the deep.

There was a brief welcome speech from the General Manager of Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium, covering the philanthropy and promotions that Sea Life has undertaken recently and are planning in the future. One of the many events Sea Life has coming up is Sea Life Nights, taking place on the 31st of August giving the young at heart a chance to wander through the aquarium with a cocktail in hand.

Many of the attendees for the mixer were from the tourism industry, ranging from Business Development managers from hotels to single operator tour operators.

To encourage conversation between individuals from different industries VTIC organised fish varieties to be added to the name tags that were collected by attendees during registration. The idea behind the fish names was to find your fellow fish and use that as a sort of ice-breaker to initiate conversation.


One of the many fascinating individuals I spoke with runs environmentally focused tours through the Yarra Valley, catering to corporate groups and tourists alike.

VTIC and Sea Life provided an array of finger food throughout the event, all of which looked and tasted wonderful. Ironically (and quite to my amusement) a significant portion of the food on offer was seafood, with sashimi and fish cakes making the rounds as attendees arrived.

Overall the event was a fantastic opportunity to network with a variety of people from the tourism industry in one of the most interesting networking venues I have seen so far.

Things to Note:

  • Location: Sea Life Melbourne, corner King and Flinders Street, Melbourne
  • Highlight: The stunning sea life on display
  • Cost: Free
  • Hot Tip: Take a large stack of business cards


  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 4.5/5
  • Speaker: N/A
  • Networking Opportunity: 4/5

Total: 12.5/15

Lunch with Yamini Naidu – Women Behind Closed Doors Event Review

By Business

I attended the Women Behind Closed Doors Lunch with Yamini Naidu event at the Stamford Hotel.

Women Behind Closed Doors is a networking group aimed at entrepreneurs and executive women. The group hosts regular events across the country. The event that I attended focused on a speech by Yamini Naidu a consultant who works to make workplaces a happier place.

I was early to the event and was one of the first people there, I was warmly welcomed in by Yamni and a event manager from Behind Closed Doors. The room was arranged into round tables that faced the front of the room so that everyone in the audience could see what was happening regardless of where you were sitting.

A diverse group of women trickled into the room by 12pm. However, I could not find any that were executives, with most of the corporate set being middle management. There were however, quite a few business owners – I am not sure though if they would fit the definition of an entrepreneur – I guess I would have to get to know then a bit better.

Yamini spoke before lunch. She discussed hygge which is a Danish word that means living with joy and happiness and the importance of incorporating it into the workplace. He intention with her speech was genuine. She spoke with confidence and from a good place. Discussing that humour should be an integral part of the workplace, and that everyone has the potential to drive humor in their workplace either through their actions when interacting with other colleagues or digitally through the use of emoji’s and Gifs.

I was unsure about the practicality of her advice given recent Fair Work rulings. There is also the challenge I personally find as a leader in maintaining respect and being considered humorous.

One of the attendees that I met was a middle manager at Seek. She told me that the business has always had humor in its culture. There are merits of being humorous for a brand such as Seek which began as a challenger in its industry. They must have great HR practices there to ensure that it is properly contained and does not offend anyone, which is great to see from a corporate organisation.

After Yamini’s speech lunch was served. This consisted of platters of sandwiches and salads as well as little cakes. Normally I am a huge fan of this type of food at events, however it tasted cold and rather… er… stale for some reason. I was surprised of the quality of the catering given that the Stamford is usually a great venue to host events.

As we were having lunch many attendees started leaving the room. We were supposed to have a session where people moved tables and networked with others but by 1:30 I was unsure of if this was going to happen, or if I would be better off going back to the office.

I decided to leave at around this time as I was not sure if it was worth staying as half of the room was gone.

There was a sense of the women in the room holding back at this event and not genuinely engaging with the content. I think some of this came from the fact that the group was marketed as being for women who were executives or entrepreneurs and the event instead attracting middle managers and business owners.

The most meaningful conversation I had at the event was on the elevator ride down where two women opened up about the topic and the event organisation.

Women’s networking events are always challenging I find. Either they are discussions time and time again about the continued lack of gender equality that continues to exist; or they are like this one that seeks to bring women together but then creates a barrier from having real, meaningful conversations.

Things to Note:

  • Location: Stamford Plaza Hotel, 111 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Highlight:  The diversity of the people in the room
  • Cost: $47
  • Hot Tip: Great for middle managers


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

Total: 11/20