Roadshows - a great way to take a company’s brand and key messages and spread the word in-person; reaching those women I may not have been able to meet otherwise. As a company we’re already recognised for running some of the country’s top events and delivering bespoke training and networking programmes for women, but a couple of weeks ago I decided to try something new, something different and take Forward Ladies on the road…with the launch of a series of Forward Ladies Roadshows, sponsored by HSBC.
Being ‘on the road’ felt to be a natural progression to what we already offered, bringing together talented women and sharing knowledge, and was part of a wider drive to meet with successful women in a handful of cities - I could tell them more about Forward Ladies, about this year’s National Awards (the largest celebration of successful women throughout the UK) and hear their inspirational stories, share their experiences, views and ideas. It also gave me the chance to talk directly to promising female entrepreneurs, successful business women and those managing their own business, and offering them words of support and encouragement to be more confident in their plans for growth and success.
The Roadshows, held in Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Bristol, were a fantastic way to engage with as many new talented women as possible and it was exciting to hear about other people’s success stories and the ambitious leaps women make in their career journey. As I led a discussion on the issues faced by many women in business today, I wasn’t surprised to hear that women are not only eager to improve gender diversity within the workplace, particularly at the top levels of the industry, but that they want to be more visible on matters that affect them the most; such as flexible working, how to access funding, building a support network and balancing business and family life.
In such a short period of time I forged some new relationships, met some brilliant women and potential new members and although an intense journey, it went by way too fast! And just before I plan where I should go next with my Roadshows, here are some words from a couple of those women who came along and contributed to the day:
“It was lovely meeting with you today in Edinburgh and your event was AMAZING!!! It was one of the events that you felt relaxed and comfortable speaking with new people. Have a good day in Edinburgh.” Val Cowan, MD of recruitment company Valeco
“Thank you to everyone at Forward Ladies for being so welcoming. I have been attending a number of networking events this week and Forward Ladies was the only one that didn't involve any awkward conversations. I also never experienced that lonely feeling you get at some networking events when everyone seems to already know each other. I found the event empowering and motivating for all attendees.” Kathleen Anderson, Author of Sweaty Hugs
“It was great to meet with you at your awards event at HSBC Cardiff a few weeks ago and to talk albeit briefly about the amazing work you are doing within your organisation with women in the UK and overseas. We would certainly be interested in receiving information about becoming a member.” Georgina Pullen, Senior Training Consultant, The Springboard Consultancy
“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and all of the inspirational women at the Roadshow in Cardiff. I look forward to joining your organisation and l look forward to future events.” Wendy Hobbs, Solicitor and Children's Fantasy Author of the Claudia Quash series, Howells Solicitors