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melbourne networking events Archives - Business Growth Partners

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

Victorian Chamber – After Dark at Mercedes Me

By Business

Ruby and I attended the Victorian Chamber after dark event that was held at Mercedes Me.

In the marketing world Mercedes Benz is well known as being a pioneer in defining the customer experience across their purchase journey from pre purchase activities to purchase and post purchase.

As part of the pre purchase and post purchase phase of the customer journey the brand has created Mercedes Me cafes. These cafes provide potential and existing customers the chance to experience the brand and what it stands for.

The venue itself looks kind of like a giant tree house with wooden paneling, plenty of plants and sleek bars on both the  top and bottom levels. There was also a car situated on the bottom floor that was part of their AMG range.

The event was packed with close to 100 people in attendance. When Ruby and I got to the event the top floor looked like it was already at capacity. Catering for the event was provided by South Melbourne local St Ali- so the food and wine were a great complement to the event. St Ali has a cafe within the venue.

The CEO of Mercedes Benz Australia Horst von Sanden spoke at the event. Horst is an unusual CEO as he rose up the ranks by holding marketing roles. Often we find from our experience CEO of organisations of the breadth and depth of Mercedes Benz usually have CEOs with and Accounting or legal background so Horst was a refreshing change. He spoke about the fact that he came from marketing being something that really helps him to get ahead in his role.

 

Attendees at the event were a diverse mix. As with many other Victorian Chamber events, there were plenty of Business Development Managers. I have to admit that the presence of so many business development managers in some way as a business owner is a bit off putting as everyone is very “salesy”. There are the usual screening questions of name, position, organisation size and clients that we work with and when they don’t see the opportunity, they move on. If I was a business development manager, I would find this event a waste of time as it would not have been of value for me to network with other business development managers.

The event also attracted business coaches, lawyers and bank managers. I found that they seemed rather out of place within the glitz and show that the business development managers were putting on. It was quite awkward going to this event as a business owner – and I am not sure if I would go to this type of event again. We have in the past spoken to the Chamber about this however they continue to run their events this way which would most likely lead them to have a high turn around in membership numbers. It is like hitting brick wall sometimes speaking with the Victorian Chamber when making suggestions on how to improve – perhaps looking at their marketing governance/ marketing strategy may assist them? Eventually things will need to change.

The speaker at the event had a fascinating story, and so does Mercedes in terms of its customer experience and brand promise. It would have been great if they could have spoken about this more, and perhaps provided a tour of the venue and why it has been designed they way it is set out. I think this may have also led to a different crowd attending the event and also enabled Mercedes to really shine.

Things to Note:

Location: Mercedes Me Store 525 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Highlight: The amazing Mercedes car in the cafe!

Cost: Member rate

Hot Tip: This is an event more for a networking pro as many of the attendees were business development managers

Ratings:

Venue: 4/5

Catering: 5/5

Speakers: 3/5 – Liked the Mercedes speaker

Networking Opportunity: 2/5

Total: 14/20