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event review

Vlog: 10thousandgirl Workshop, Brisbane

Over the weekend I attended 10thousandgirl's new life and financial planning workshop for young women. It kicked arse, so I vlogged about it. The second video contains more lifestyle tips and info I learned from the event, while the first video is an outline of the event itself. Forgive me, I did forget a lot between Saturday and now! My HUGE thanks go out to the 10thousandgirl team (specifically Tara Grimshaw, Anneli Knight, & Zoe Lamont), Jo Baker, ING Direct, Napoleon Perdis Make-Up Academy and Opportunity International Australia. I owe OIA a massive apology as I completely forgot to mention their presence at the workshop entirely.



Cool things to check out:

Flirting with Finance, by Anneli Knight &  Virginia Graham

I'm off to BTUB now. Catch you all another day!

Creative Drinks, Networx, ANZ, Brisbane Twestival

Hello, readers! How is everyone today? Just a general update of the awesome things I've been up to lately. Last week I was lucky enough to score a free ticket to Creative Drinks. My dear friend Hannah Suarez of Brisbane Creative Industries was the speaker of the evening and did very well. Her presentation is on SlideShare here and includes some helpful networking event tips.

Tuesday I was also in attendance at my favourite Brisbane events company Iceberg Events' Networx, Working the (Real & Virtual) Room. Director of Paragon Associates, Lisa Butler kick-started the evening with information on busting networking myths and emphasised that anyone can learn to network effectively. More friends of mine were speaking on the topic of working the virtual room (specifically Twitter) - in fact, the whole panel trio of Darryl King, Clare Lancaster and Greg Lexiphanic! Ignoring the occasional train screaming through South Brisbane, discussions of Twitter and social media run amok against a background of a Twitter projection of the #networx hashtag.

Yesterday I attended ANZ's Small Business workshops discussing online marketing (specifically Google's AdWords and social media) and brand awareness. The day was a good one and I met various new people interested in learning more about their businesses online. I was even outed as a secret live-twitter bug, which was a great example to those wanting to understand the scope social media can have. There are more ANZ Small Business workshops happening all around Australia until around November, so get in quick to enrol (they're free too)!

Lastly, things are rolling faster and faster for Brisbane Twestival Local. Committee positions are being snapped up fast, bands and artists approached, venues scoped. We are hoping to gather the support of the voted-in beyondblue: the national depression initiative as our charity of choice to support, a charity I have long been a fan of.

Phew! I think that's about it. Oh! And the BTUB Wine Night was a complete success as well. My first paid event as a freelancer. Feels good, man.

Looking for full-time employment has unfortunately taken a back seat to these activities. It's a shame I'm having so much fun... well, no. Not really.

Semi-Permanent Brisbane 2009

Nicole thanks Semi-Permanent volunteer and attendee Natalie Perkins* for this guest post. Semi-Permanent hit Brisbane on Wednesday, and I was lucky enough to grab a ticket in return for volunteering to pack the swag bags. This gave me the opportunity to see how the event was organised, as well as participating as an audience member. I left the conference full of ideas and inspiration, but I also left carrying a semi-permanent reminder of the awful seating at the Brisbane Convention Centre!

SP Speaker

What was good was great!

The speakers were generally fabulous and were very relevant to my own area of art/ design practice. The standout speaker for me was Timba Smits, who is an absolute juggernaut of motivation, inspiration and hard work. I did a recap of Semi-Permanent on my own blog, and went into further detail on my favourite presenters

As a volunteer and a member of the audience, I was impressed with the organisation of the whole shebang. My fellow swag packers were design students from the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, and we all worked together as some kind of fabulous packing contraption to pack over 700 bags in around 2 hours. During that time I noticed that Sasha, our humble volunteer herder and conference organiser, was busily organising all the other aspects of the day. I didn't see any dramas, everything looked under control! As a volunteer this was heartening, but as an audience member it's even more meaningful because you want to know that the conference you're attending is credible and well-oiled and valuable!

I was stoked to see that Mag Nation had a stall! I adore magazines and books and was keen to delve into a few throughout the day. I took home a copy of Wooden Toy issue 5.

What could have been done better?

Overall, the day felt a little bit like being in a full day of lectures at uni or TAFE. It was hard on the butt for a few reasons! The speakers did go overtime which meant that our breaks were sacrificed. Obviously if you get passionate people speaking about their creative practices, they're going to go overtime. I don't know if the scarce break syndrome was due to Brisbane's Semi-Permanent being crammed into only one day, but I beg the organisers - can we graduate to a two day event next year?!

Extending the format over two days would mean that other interactive activities could be integrated - activities that alleviate the sore butt syndrome, and encourage networking and participation within the audience! I would love to see micro-activities between organiser-audience, speaker-audience, audience-audience that allow everyone to mingle and move their limbs and make connections.

Another bummer was to do with access to food/ drinks and the scarcity of time available to access those things. The convention centre has a Subway right across the road, and Melbourne St and it's various delicious edibles about 5 minutes walk away. The shortened lunch break meant that people were scrambling to get fed and watered, and liberate their bladders! Can we integrate some kind of in-house munching experience? This would also enhance networking and community-making.

SP Goodie BagMy last beef is with the swag bags themselves. I was a little horrified to see the amount of useless bits of paper in the bags. Can we rethink the concept of the swag bag for next year, so it's inline with eco-design considerations? As a print designer, I'm already painfully aware of how much paper waste my practice produces. As an artist, I try to incorporate salvaged and reclaimed paper stock into my work as a way of off-setting my paper wasting ways. There are a bunch of smart and innovative people behind and around Semi-Permanent - this could be something that is solved in a really interesting way: through smarter packaging ideas, and encouraging sponsors to promote their products in more creative ways.

What downright sucked

THE SEATS. I will preface this by saying that I am fat, like a lot of people. I ended up with a bruise on my hip because of the stingy seating at the Brisbane Convention Centre. It made me think about how boring the venue choice was for such a creative industry. I absolutely abhor having to sit still for eight hours and it’s not just because I have a slamming booty. Do we need to sit in stadium seating? Is there any other way of holding a creative conference? 

What I find value in

As a conference attendee, I find value in the following things:

  • Networking/ rapport building amongst local industry people
  • Professional development - time management, industry insider tips, etc.
  • Kick-arse speakers
  • Access to limited edition stuff

Semi-Permanent Brisbane met most of these criteria. I did manage to do a small amount of networking (amazing considering the amount of free time was miniscule!) and I was impressed with the speakers. I would like to see more practical topics discussed - many creative people get too caught up in the creative process and neglect the management facet of their practice so I think it would be incredibly valuable to learn how other creatives do administrative stuff in an innovative way. I will be anticipating the conference next year, if just to see how many of the issues from this year are addressed. Until then, I'll be icing my bruised hip and drawing... always with the drawing!

Natalie Perkins**Natalie is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator who doesn’t really like talking in the third person. Her personal illustrative work deals in symbolism, appropriation, the feminine, detachment and obsessive compulsion. Her proudest achievements include being on the verge of completing a double degree in visual arts and education for nearly a decade, being a housewife who can only bake cupcakes and making her debut on the Brisbane emerging arts scene this year by appearing in the Semi Permanent 2009 book and getting an invite to her first group show at KILN in July. Her work is currently showing until early May at KILN's Works on Paper exhibition.

Edgeware's Do Well Conference

Over the weekend I attended my second Edgeware event. It was definitely a winner and I must firstly thank Sarah Moran for sponsoring my ticket to the conference. Unfortunately though, I was off to a bad start due to a clash with Friday evening traffic heading to Suncorp Stadium for the Broncos vs Cowboys rugby league game. Despite leaving home half an hour early I was forty-five minutes late when I stepped off the bus from the city! Cutting a long story short, I became so fearful of the time I was spending not yet at the venue among drunken football fans in the street I chose to take the safe route home again, thus missing out on the initial networking session and Map Magazine's Carl Lindgren.

The next morning I was welcomed warmly by the darling Nat Duncan, Edgeware director Michael Doneman and various Brisbane Twitter friends. I filled out a brief profile on myself and stuck it to the physical network of string and people on the wall of Substation 4 and immediately felt connected; even before meeting the majority of conference attendees! Later I was to learn this was part of reknowned Brisbane photographer Mark Lobo's Six Degrees project. Can't wait to see the outcomes!

Saturday's speakers were:

Sunday composed of:

The weekend was very well-planned, very appropriate for the broad range of attendees and made excellent use of Edgeware's kick-arse motto of Make money, have fun, change the world. I was inspired, validated and motivated (even to the point that I wanted to leave abruptly in order to act upon plans!). It was a very comfortable environment, which is sometimes difficult to achieve at conferences. Not that Edgeware has ever had such a problem at all!

To finish up, I acknowledge the lovely Ludmilla Doneman and her volunteers for the fantastic catering, and I'd like to share a collection of my favourite quotes from the weekend. Such gems!

  • "Are you in it for the idea or are you in it for business?" - Samantha Jockel
  • "Be honest with what you don't know. Start with what you do know." - Leesa Watego
  • "Only when you love good coffee can you make good coffee." - London advertising slogan, via Paul Natorp's presentation
  • "Don't ask for help; ask for advice." - Amanda Jackes
  • "Know who you are so that you know what you need." - Samantha Jockel
  • "If you don't fit your imagined entrepreneur then you must re-imagine what you want your lived entrepreneur to be." - Leesa Watego
  • "Sometimes it's easier to seek forgiveness later on than it is to seek permission." - Amanda Jackes
  • "Whatever criticism you receive, turn it into a greater asset." - Paul Natorp

Action Precedes Clarity: The Awesomeness that was Edgeware's Upload Camp

Today I write my Edgware Upload camp wrap-up. The past weekend I'll admit has been one of sleep catch-up and moping around the flat because I felt the magic was gone. Silly me! I'd just spent the past week feeling that "today is the first day of the rest of your life" and was so hyped up that when Saturday came around I was distraught I'd missed it in favour of eighteen hours sleep!

If anything the business planning of this week took a backseat to the personal development side, which just shows how entwined these two aspects of an entrepreneur's* life are.

I started off quiet, but most do when thrust into a new environment with strange people. This was evident immediately when our godfather for the week, Michael Doneman, pronounced us all "weirdos." The Eco-lodge was gorgeous and even the wasps were bearable for the week. Our kitchen was in a train carriage and I slept in a church loft with a wonderful view.

The general timetable of the camp was for Michael to start us off with some business strategies and planning content, then a guest speaker would present and answer our questions. After a presenter or two (snack breaks in between) we'd have a bit of free time in the afternoon or social activities before dinner. Usually fun activities in the evening and the food was always of the best quality mastered by Ludmila Doneman and Nat Duncan. Oh, except that dinner the 15-odd Edgies devised too.

Monday - Scott McKay of Wolfbyte

Scott visited and was a great start to the camp.

Theatre sports in the evening set a nervous yet hilarious tone for the group's dynamics. Miming and guessing games were just too good of ice-breakers to pass up in the program I guess.

Tuesday - Edward Harran & Elliott Bledsoe

Social media, Creative Commons licencing, swimming at the dam, discussing the Johnny Bunko manga business book. I worked a fair bit on developing my business idea and putting into use the matrix tools Michael had given us earlier that morning in deciding on niche markets. Bit of clarity here.

Wednesday - Esther Cole of Frollop & Ben Johnston of Joseph Mark

I think I gained a fair bit of inspiration on starting my own business from these two, more than on other days of the camp. Both being alumni Edgies, Esther & Ben both had a creative and individual flair which made the day (much like Tuesday) an entertaining one in the least.

The day ended with Japanese taiko drumming by a bonfire. There's nothing left for it. I MUST resume my drumming. I loved it just too much. I was on fire. I WAS that fire. The blisters on my hands are badges of honour and reminding me that by Friday of this week I will have cleaned off my own drumkit in the garage for a bash; the first since late-2007.

Thursday - Karen Woolley of Proscribe

Thursday we worked on our physical representations of our business plans. We had until 6.30 to create them from all sorts of scrap material and craft supplies.

My epiphany came when I was about to hit 'send' on a reply confirming my ideas for Brisbane Twestival, having just been approached to work on the event. The Event Buzz had hit me for the first time during a week of confusion and vagueness over what I wanted to do. Now I know! Event management and social media is where it's at. I love these worlds and I will make a mix of these my bag.

The exhibition of our sculptures was on during the evening. Mine was pretty awesome but I'll have to explain it further.

Friday - no special guests

The day to say goodbye. This was the most intense day of reflection that, yes, there were tears. There were poems, stories, hugs, games and even tree-planting.

We started the day presenting our business plans with ten minutes per presentation plus seven minutes to fill out feedback forms on each. I still am yet to look through the majority of my received feedback forms as I want to look over them when I feel the motivation fading away. Also, I finaly realised that what I'd been told all along was true: action DOES come before clarity.

The drive back to Brisbane with fellow Edgies reminded me how alike we all are. Burning for the future and each with our own individual strengths and weaknesses, all agreeing that screaming the chorus to "Sex on Fire" by Kings of Leon is the greatest after a few drinks yet you have to be in the right mood for John Butler Trio.

Things I am Accountable for

  • 1 hour drumming each week
  • 6 hours on business plan each week
  • 6 hours blogging each week for TechWiredAu
  • 10 jobs applied for each week
  • Learning sign language

(traditional media picked up on the story and fellow Edgie Mike Boyd's blog on Upload is here)

*I have since learned that "entrepreneur" is not a dirty word afterall!