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How we hit our goals in 2015

In 2015 The Women's Table set a goal of building our community. We aimed to build a formal subscriber base, dramatically extend our mailing list reach and double or triple the number of people attending our monthly lunchtime events. And we did it!
Having a great line up of speakers and interesting topics was a start. But we needed to reach beyond our own circle of friends and colleagues. We made big leaps in expanding our networks after BizMoreland's Elissa Grassa spoke at our lunch in July. And at about the same time we started using Eventbrite for registrations which to our surprise attracted new people every month. Our new starters then enthusiastically spread the word through their networks and our circles kept expanding.
We covered a lot of practical topics in the first half of the year, starting with how to maximise your impact on LinkedIn, led by Meredith Carter in January. We also had guest speakers who shared knowledge and insights on how to network and collaborate on Twitter, what your website should do for you, and video as part of your marketing strategy. 
Another big theme has been major life transitions. Luz Restrepo from Sisterworks told us about her life as a leading professional and public figure in Colombia to life as a refugee in Australia where her limited English made her isolated at home with a young family. Antonia Mochan told us about the personal and professional pressures that led her to leave a high powered job with the European Commission and a glamorous life in London and move to Melbourne. Their stories were open, filled with sadness and loss but inspiring because they found success.
     

Entrepreneurship has been another big theme. Monique Conheady, founder of FlexiCar and who aspires to be a serial ‘ecopreneur’ came to talk to us about Starting with a Vision in August. Hilary Dixon, award winning business woman and founder of Dixon Appointments gave us heart by sharing her stories about turning business disasters into opportunities under the title Start up struggle: the difficult times push you to grow in a way good times never can. Strategies for Entrepreneurial Success - are women different? Then in October Peta Stephenson, owner of Penny Lane clothing exchange shared her most surprising tale of leaving a successful career as an academic and author to starting a second hand clothing store in Brunswick in Dress code: small business with style. We finished the year with a fascinating talk by Dr Carol Tan of RMIT on successful entrepreneurs - are women any different to men? Carol has been researching entrepreneurs for over 10 years interviewing more than 50 CEOs of the BRW Fast 100 and BRW Fast Starters. 

We plan to double the number of subscribers in 2016, increase our profile and continue to deliver an impressive line up of speakers while remaining a support network for our members. Suggestions and feedback welcome at twtmelbourne@gmail.com
By Amanda Cornwall
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