It was awesome.
Firstly, a disclaimer. I don’t foray into networking events as often as I probably should and I’m in no way a networking expert. To be really honest, I don’t even really like traditional networking events that much (“so, tell me more about what you do” x 30 while drinking lukewarm coffee *internal cringe*). But this one is different.
Essentially, it’s a selection of successful, inspiring creative women who are invited to share their experiences and advice, in a kind of armchair interview format. The two experts for this event were Melissa Rowley (CEO and Founder of Go Humanise and Executive Director of The Tool Box) and Tamara Sword (Founding Director of TRMandC and Co-Founder of infltr). Go look them up on Twitter (hover for links). They rock.
Both were excellent speakers – insightful, direct and relevant with an awe-inspiring background in their respective industries. After a break for coffee and cake, they were followed up by a panel of four businesswomen from the local digital and creative industries, namely Nicola Maidment (We Think Digital Rocks), Tara Flynn (Managing Director at Ratio & Remora), Liz Willingham (Liz Lean PR) and Emma Dews (Farrow and Ball) who discussed their backgrounds, what led them into their current roles and what advice they would give others looking to emulate their success.
A few key take outs for me from the afternoon? 1) Blow your own trumpet. Women don’t tend to do this nearly enough. We don’t ask for a raise, a promotion – we undervalue ourselves in a way that men just don’t seem to do. Highlight your ideas – claim credit where it’s due. You’ve earned it – own it! 2) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – failure means at least you attempted it. Learn from it and move on. 3) Love what you do (a big one for me). We spend so much of our lives at work – if you don’t feel a passion for it, find something that does inspire you.
I genuinely came away feeling motivated, with some fresh ideas and a new confidence in the way I work – and also proud to have founded a company in what’s fast becoming such a dynamic, creative town for women to be in business.