All Posts By

Madeleine Barry

VTIC 2018 Mixer Series Event: June Tourism Networking Event Review

By Business

On June 6th, the Syneka Marketing team attended an event hosted by the VTIC. The event was held at the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium at Flinders Street.

The VTIC Mixer series is held monthly throughout the year, from February to December 2018, to provide business development and networking opportunities to all members.

We were warmly welcomed with champagne and nibbles upon arrival, and all attendees gathered in a large room surrounded by sea life visible through glass wall barriers. VTIC representative, Robert Ratcliffe welcomed all attendees to the event and introduced a Sea Life representative to give us information about the night, and encourage everyone to meet and enjoy the venue.

We attended the event as a team, and it was a great way to finish off a busy day at work and have a glass of Champagne together in such an amazing venue!

The event was from 6 pm- 8 pm, and as the speakers spoke briefly at the start, there was a lot of time to look at the sea life and meet other people. The nibbles were great and there was a lot of it to go around the event, such as Mushroom Gnocchi and Mexican Tortillas.

However, due to the size of the venue, people were intrigued by the seal life and walking around to see all of the sea creatures which made it quite difficult to engage in a conversation with others. Signs with the event name would be useful to save people time trying to find the event entrance, as it was quite hidden.

This was a great event to finish of a busy day at work, despite the lengthy time for networking, the venue made it quite difficult, so I wouldn’t recommend this to people who only want to network. However, it is great for a team catch up after work!

Things to Note:

Location:

Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium

Corner King and Flinders Streets

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Cost: Free

Highlight: The sea life and the food

Hot Tip: Take a camera, as the lighting looks amazing at night

Overall Rating:

Network Opportunity: 2/5

Speakers: 1/5

Venue: 4/5

Food: 4/5

Total: 11/20

League of Extraordinary Women: Event Review

By Uncategorized

On May 9th Natalia and I attended an event hosted by the League of Extraordinary Women. The event was held at the We Work co-working space in Bourke Street from 6pm-8pm.

We Work holds events after work hours throughout the year for various organisations, such as the League of Extraordinary Women.
The League of Extraordinary Women strives to bring together female business owners, entrepreneurs, and start-ups, to connect, share and inspire.
The presenter representing the League of Extraordinary Women was an inspiring business owner, who started a photography business. She directed the conversation with the female owners of two successful businesses. The guests included Alex who founded Her Wardrobe and the two founding friends of Hunting For George.

Her Wardrobe is a women’s outfit rental brand, operating out of a physical store on St Kilda road, with Alex managing the business whilst focusing on growth.
Hunting For George was represented by Jo who specialises in customer service and Lucy who works within the design and communications department. They discussed their online business which primarily offers homewares to Australian’s.

The two guest speakers were great at public speaking and didn’t need much guidance from the host. They discussed where they were when they started their businesses, both physically and mentally, the transition from working for someone to being a business owner, how important their staff are in order to run a small business successfully, and the challenges they faced when trying to grow their businesses. The event was informational, with The Hunting For George speakers discussing what it is like to operate a business through an e-commerce platform, comparing their retail experience to Her Wardrobe’s physical retail business. With e-commerce impacting the retail industry, it was interesting to hear their perspectives on successfully navigating the retail space. Aligning communication channels and content with business goals is crucial, and the speakers briefly explained their choice of channels and the type of content they share to their consumers.

Whilst the event promoted a networking component, the We Work event space is part of the reception area, so it was unclear who was there for the event. Secondly, to use the lifts required a key card, and a designated staff member buzzing attendees to We Work on Level 4 would have been beneficial, as we relied on a passer-by buzzing us up. Lastly, the event did not provide food, and there were limited drink options.

Who attended the event
The only attendees at the event were women, determined to start their own business but slightly overwhelmed by the decision. They wanted advice and a support network from other women who have been in their shoes, and successfully navigated the market.

Take outs 
Test the waters and experiment with your business idea to understand its viability.
Maximise your resources before growing.
Focus on understanding your type of customer and how to reduce their pain-points.
Whilst E-commerce is altering the retail industry, physical store presence gives the brand a stronger personality.

Cost$29.50

Location 

We Work
152 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Ratings

Venue: 4/5Catering: 2/5
Speakers: 4/5
Network Opportunity: 2/5
Total: 12/20

StartUp Grind Event: Global Female Founders Month

By Business

On May 23rd, Natalia and I attended an event hosted by StartUp Grind. The event was held at the Zendesk venue at Queen Street in Melbourne.

StartUp Grind holds events after work hours throughout the year, to accommodate the busy working individuals that come along straight after work. The event started at 6:00 pm with networking and food, a Fireside Chat at 7:00 pm, and finished with networking at 8:00 pm.

The event was hosted by Nick Bell, one of Australia’s most prolific self-made businessmen, who started WME in his bedroom with only $400 and sold his business to Melbourne IT for $39 million. He organised three female entrepreneurs who have successfully launched their own businesses, such as Dr Kate Cornick, Shahirah, and Emily Rich.

Dr Kate Cornick is the CEO of LaunchVic, the Victorian Government’s lead start up development agency. She made sure to emphasise that being a ‘CEO’ is not as glamorous as people believe, and involves a lot of responsibility. She mentioned the stresses involved of having a high job position, by drawing on previous experiences and failures to discuss the importance of work-life balance and listening to your mind and body through stressful times, in order to make appropriate choices.

Shahriah is the co-founder of Finch, a financial app for your social life that helps you track your social spending and pay and request money instantly. She agreed with Kate, and shared that when you start a business, it is everything to you, you live and breathe it, and therefore it can take its toll on friendships and family. She brought up the commonly held belief that ‘when you start a business you have no life’, and mentioned that for people who are passionate about their business, this is a choice that they make. Shahriah relaxes and takes her mind of work by getting up early in the morning to do yoga.

Emile Rich is a young woman with a wealth of knowledge at such a young age. She is a tech entrepreneur, having sold Jemsoft to a publicly listed IoT company in 2017, she now invests in projects at their early stage. She shared that from her own personal experience with gaining venture capital, it is crucial not to take the first investor’s offer, and to choose your investors wisely by looking at what they can bring to the table. Therefore, she only invests in start-ups based on what she can bring to their team.

The guest speakers discussed the processes involved in starting a business, and the struggles faced along the way. In particular one of the struggles raised by a member of the audience was sexism and asked whether the entrepreneurs whether they have experienced and how they handled it. Shahriah answered this by saying that in a meeting she was presenting, she was ignored by her male audience and all questions asked were directed to her male colleague. She handled this situation by carrying on with the meeting politely, despite knowing immediately that she would not take any investment offers from them.

There were some attendees who were passionate about technology and others who plan to start their own business in the future and wanted to gain insights from the experiences of successful entrepreneurs.
We attended this event to organise appointments with people who want to grow their businesses and reach their goals. We met individuals who have started a business and would like to receive structured support through our Marketing Governance Framework to make more informed business decisions.

The women were well informed, and discussed their experiences starting a business and the processes involved in gaining investment. However, the discussions were constrained to starting a business and did not delve into the successful management of the business and maintaining momentum over the long-term.

Location:

Zendesk

67 Queen Street, Melbourne , VIC 3000

Cost:
$25 per person

Highlight:
The chance to meet passionate individuals

Hot Tip:
Get there as early as possible to network before the Fireside Chat starts, as people tend to leave after the speakers have finished

Take Outs:
Work-life balance is so important to run a successful business
Ignore sexist remarks
Only accept investors who can bring something to the table
The Government has a lot of work to do in assisting start-up businesses in Victoria

Overall Rating:

Network Opportunity: 3/5
Speakers: 3/5
Venue: 4/5
Food: 3/5
Total: 13/20