Christina Hunter, Sharon Aldred and Caroline Whittaker. :: Y. S.
More than 100 women attended the Make It Happen event hosted last Friday at Andalucía Lab by women's networking groups Costa Women and 1230 The Women's Company.
Organised to mark International Women's Day, Make it Happen was aimed at businesswomen and others aspiring to start up their own business or simply looking for inspiration.
The delegates, some of whom had travelled from as far afield as Algeciras and Almeria, were privy to a series of presentations made by guest speakers, each a respected figure in her own field of expertise.
Subjects covered ranged from working with family and friends to successful website marketing, personal branding and how to attract and keep customers. Shaking off the Superwoman mantle, and slaying '‘energy vampires' were other issues approached.
The messages from each speaker were clear and concise, covering a variety of inter-related subjects that were well-received by the audience.
An example of using technology to deliver a business message came via speaker, Jody Rogers. Jody was a pertinent example of how not to be a Superwoman as she addressed the conference live from Valencia, via Google Hangout on Air.
Having just returned from speaking engagements in China, Singapore and London, her hectic schedule precluded her attendance at the event in person.
"I only arrived back in Valencia 24 hours ago," said Jody, "I haven’t spent enough time at home so I took the decision to use technology and allow myself some quality time with my family."
In between the presentations, the women also had the opportunity to network with a 30 second speed-networking slot. Following the principle of speed-dating, two concentric circles were set up, with each person having 30 seconds to introduce themselves and their business to another before moving around the circle, a person at a time.
This was followed up with Star for a Moment, a one-minute stage spot allocated by a business card lucky draw.
Lunch and tea-time treats were served up by Benahavís caterers, Neli G’s.
Conference delegate Sharon Aldred runs two businesses. In one she uses her years of experience, gained while working at the Marbella Design Academy, to teach people how to design, pattern-cut and sew. In the other, she sells a luxury skincare brand. Sharon found the day to be very helpful, especially the Superwoman presentation by Jackie Barrie.
"The talk made me feel so much better - it was like a weight being lifted," she said. "Hearing from someone else that I don’t have to do everything, that I can say no to some things was a big turning point for me."
Christina Hunter, an artist who works with Sam Aplin Studios in Guadalmina, was delighted with the pointers she picked up during the 4 x 4 website presentation.
"It really emphasised the need to look objectively at your website," she said. "There were many key points. One that stood out is the need to understand that your website isn’t about you, but rather them - your customers."
The day had an additional purpose with funds being raised for AMUSUVIG, a charity that campaigns for victims of domestic violence. In total, just short of 1,000 euros was raised.