The 2nd INSPIRE Conference & Awards, at the beautiful Riverside Marquee on International Women’s Day was all about the extraordinary contribution women make daily to positively impact our lives, our families, our communities, and, as a result, our businesses.
Set-up day was a very busy day with lots of happy helpers coming and going all day. As well as the small business stand ladies putting the finishing touches to their stands. The venue looked simply stunning.
The day began with an early start whilst Jo Haley from Jo Haley Image Consultant and Make-up got me conference ready. There were so many amazing comments throughout the day on how I looked. I had also had my hair done the evening before by the talented Oksana Williams.
Women excitedly poured into the marquee for registration. Each woman had been assigned to a table, that had been named after a famous female author. Ladies enjoyed networking and coffee to get themselves set up for the day.
Session one featured Sarah from Sangster Digital: an inspiring, natural, down-to-earth woman who has an incredible talent for the digital space. Sarah is instantly likeable for her giving attitude. Sarah showed us how to create exciting videos using apps and introduced a video challenge to win a half day training session with her.
Session two was led by Cass from Cassandra Davis – The Passive Income Mama: Cass takes a business and demonstrates her ability to help them to think creatively about generating passive income streams.
At this point in the proceedings we welcomed Mrs Rogers, Head of Year 12 from Claires Court School and some of their sixth form students. We were delighted they could join us over lunch to be inspired by the incredible talent in the room. The girls were put on the spot and very elegantly articulated their aspirations for the future and who inspired them.
Session three was an exciting introduction by Donna from Modern Muse: a trailblazing charity who are going out there to empower and inspire the next generation of women behind us. It was very fitting to have the Claires Court girls in the room to listen to this session.
There was much laughter and excitement in the room as ladies were treated to lunch and networked with each other whilst browsing the small business stands.
Denise from Pink and Perfect flowers joined the conference briefly and presented every single woman in the room with a gorgeous primrose to say ‘Happy Mothers Day’. It was a lovely tribute and as you can imagine, very well received!
After lunch we got down to the business a writing a book! Yes we actually wrote a book! Ladies were invited to write a letter in their own words to anybody thinking of setting up a business, feeling stuck or lacking in confidence. They were encouraged to come up with a different scenario and share their wisdom based on their own business journey and experience.
The book ‘Dear Female Business Owner’ will be published as 100 letters of advice from female business owners to female business owners. I had also hand written a note to every woman in the room as a thank you for attending. We even had a postbox for them to deliver their letters! It’s an exciting project. Watch this space over the coming months!
Next up we were inspired by a young sporting icon, Georgia from Claires Court School, who was the star of the show. A true inspiration who demonstrated grit and determination far beyond her years following an illness. She taught us all some valuable lessons. A truly inspiring young lady and one to watch in the future.
The last sessions of the conference before the awards were broken down into two sessions: We were joined by:
Julianne Ponan from Creative Nature Superfoods: An amazing, ambitious, passionate woman who had such valuable lessons to impart about what’s important. Her ethos of giving and sharing is exactly what this community is all about. A true success story.
Vicki from Honest Mum: A fantastic example of an ambitious, determined business woman who is waving a flag for mums in business.
Both these talented ladies answered questions from the floor.
Throughout the whole day, Tabitha from Light Mind our Master of Ceremony kept the day moving and challenged everybody in the room to think differently about their own limiting beliefs. At times there was dancing, screams of laughter and at one point a business girls rap going crazy in the room!
We even received a message from the Prime Minister Theresa May!
Hardip from Perfect Lovely Cakes presented us with a stunning 4th birthday cake which was passed on to Georgia our incredible ‘Young Woman of the Year’ who turned 16 on International Women’s Day! Yet another standing ovation and rapturous applause along with the chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ filled the room. Another wonderful moment.
During the day Louise Kelly and her happy helper Rosa, worked the room to sell raffle tickets to win one of her beautiful art pieces. The lucky winner was Hardip Pabla who unbeknown to everybody had coveted one of the paintings for a while. It was lovely to see the excitement on Hardips face when she won!
I hope you are getting a flavor of how special the day was. The room was full of women who have made their mark in their own way. It was simply a spectacular day bursting with a wave of excitement, buzz and energy. The day was completed with the awards ceremony.
Award sponsors were invited to come up and introduce their award. You could feel the excitement and nervous energy flying round the room.
It was exciting to watch the delight, joy and surprise on all winners faces when their names were called out. Every winner was presented with their trophy and a special bouquet from Pink and Perfect Flowers.
Caroline Christer from the Hand, Foot and Beauty Studio and last year’s Business Girl of the Year winner and the 2018 sponsor, very kindly donated an award trophy that will be passed over to each winner in this category every year.
Having been the recipient of an award, it is so important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women.
A huge congratulations to all of the finalists who should be very proud to have reached the finals. The 2018 Award Winners are:
Business Girl of the Year – Janet from Apples to Zinc
Service of the Year – Caroline from Hand Foot and Beauty Studio & Maidenhead Podiatry and Chiropractic Clinic
Creative Business Girl of the Year – Alison from Joshi was Janes
Best New Business – Clare from Totally Mutts Dog Grooming Services
Best Home Based Business – Rebecca from Hugo’s Workshop
Most Inspiring & Active Business Girl – Chloe from Chloe Leibowitz – Inspiring Women
Business Girl Rising Star – Amanda from Shining Star Productions Performing Arts School
Business Girl Heart of the Community – Sarah from @MediaHub & Partners for Change Ethiopia
Community Business of the Year – Tabitha from Tuneless Choir Maidenhead & Light Mind
Young Woman of the Year – Georgia from Claires Court School
Photo Credits: the incredible Jodie Humphries Digital Marketing who was part of team Biz Girls and flying around the room on her feet all day being the papz for the event.
Hair by: Oksana Williams Hair
Make up by: Jo Haley, Your Image & Beauty
Anyone that has worked on an event like this, knows it takes hours of planning, organizing, communication and tending to many, many details. I was incredibly fortunate to have some incredible sponsors, supporters and helpers and lots of talent to lend. There is no way this could have happened without them. From the jolly helpers that worked with a smile on set-up day stuffing bags and laying tables to the Goody bags sponsored by Gardner Leader.
Thank you to each and every one of you.
THANK YOU: Louise Kelly, Rosa Kelly, Deb Joyce, Bettina Siddiqi, Karen Rosser, Caroline Christer, Jodie Humphries, Tabitha Beaven from Light Mind, Perfect Lovely Cakes, Pink and Perfect Flowers, Gardner Leader, Cat Burchmore, Sarah Sangster from Sangster Digital, Cass Davis from the Passive Income Mama, Leggup Fitness, Julianne Ponan from Creative Nature Superfoods, Honest Mum, Modern Muse, Weir Bank, Hand Foot and Beauty Studio, Maidenhead Podiatry, MDM Creative, Leggup, Light Mind, Streamlion Consulting, Berkshire Health Clinic, Inspire Hot Yoga, Rimu Marketing, Maidenhead Advertiser, The Horse Collective, Jo Haley Image Consultant & Makeup Artist, Oksana Williams Hair, VeryHR, Inspire My Soul, Summers Photography, Lizzie Parsons Image Style Consultancy, Nicola Donaldson Travel Counsellors, Bori Bojthe Photography, Warren Beauty.
There were simply loads of heart fluttering, pride filling, lump in the throat moments. It was simply an incredible day. The room was full of a rich, varied, diverse, brilliant, brave, innovative bunch of women from the age of 14 years upwards. From young sporting icons to entrepreneurs, from school girls to award-winning forward thinkers, from women just starting their businesses to seasoned business owners.
There was a Business Girls rap, book writing, video challenges, incredible speakers, inspiring women from young to the not so young!, a stunning venue and silver converse shoes. This was not your average, boring, bog standard women in business conference!
Here’s what our 2018 attendees say:
“In terms of time, it fell on International Women’s Day which made it’s relevance even more authentic, the contact with all of the present delegates was better than any other business move the money invested would give me and what I gained most from the conference was the confidence to carry on with my project, why? because the conference felt perfect for naturing talent, which also happens to be one of Amanda’s and her brand’s best qualities.”
“Magical, nurturing, engaging from the get go and I would encourage any business woman who needs a community to thrive and not feel alone to attend the conference. It will be one of those things in life that you will be so glad you did.. The conference will help you make serious decisions about life and work.”
“It was definitely worth it – the speakers were brilliant. The opportunity to network was great, there was a buzz in the room that really drives your motivation and the ticket price was very reasonable.”
“What a fantastic day. From start to finish it was organised, engaging and invaluable. Next year is an event not to be missed!”
“The day was jam-packed with training, inspiration and moments for networking. For me, what I gained most, was just being surrounded by other women all working towards success and forging their own future. It was magical.”
“The Business Girls Network Inspire Conference 2018 was a truly incredible experience. From the moment I set foot in the room I knew it wasn’t going to be your usual conference. From the stunning decor in the room, to the buzz from the other women I immediately felt cocooned in an environment of anticipation, friendliness, joy, and success. The whole day was a wonderful experience, I loved meeting new people and making friends. Hearing stories from other successful and inspirational business women left me feeling encouraged and motivated. I can’t wait for next year!”
“Jam-packed day with lots of educational and heartfelt presentations mixed in with fun activities. I left feeling very upbeat, full of ideas and ready to try out some new challenges. I also met some amazing women, who I intend to link up with, in the near future.”
“If you want inspiration to start and lead your own business this is the event to go to. There are people who will give their time and expertise to point you in the right direction and also be a support going forward. No business journey is easy or a breeze and by knowing you arent alone helps so much – thank you.”
“I thought the conference was great, a real genuine opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women from all walks of life. The content was very authentic and the speakers all had genuinely inspiring stories that made us laugh, cry, relate to, learn from and aspire to. The awards section was very heart lifting, to see ladies so genuinely moved by their nominations and ultimately winning. If you are a woman who either already has or is thinking of starting up your own business, and wants to be part of a very special group of uplifting and supportive ladies, then becoming a member of the Business Girls Network and attending the Inspire Conference should definitely be part of your business plan.”
Here’s to INSPIRE Conference & Awards 2019!
Talking of which – Small business stands, sponsor and award sponsorship opportunities will be released shortly.
Are you feeling inspired?
Who’s coming next year?