In South Africa, August month is Woman’s month. I get invited to tens of woman only events within August month alone.
I am all for supporting woman in business, finance and the rest, but now here is something I just don’t understand. I am a business woman, independent, and relatively clued up – why can I only learn from other woman at these events? Why are there no male speakers?
Let’s be honest – and I may get lynched by feminist groups here – but men have been at it longer than us, or longer than me at least. I don’t care if the speaker is male or female – but you must be the very best in your industry. If you have run one of the biggest global marketing companies and have some knowledge I would like, I would sit in a barn on a hay bale to learn from you. And be you male, female, alien from outer space or some other species it doesn’t matter as long as I am garnering information that I can put in to practise in my own business.
For me to pay R 500, take a morning out of my business, sit in traffic and battle for parking, all to attend an event that I am not running, (my company manages and runs events around South Africa) is a bit of a stretch of the imagination for me.
Yes a breakfast or brunch is great, but I am vegetarian and don’t eat processed carbs, so if I grab a fruit and yoghurt pot and a cup of Rooibos it would be a winning situation, not one that is worth R 500, that’s for sure.
Then….the goodie bag. Back issues of magazines and face wash samples don’t really float my boat either – I don’t read glossy magazines, and my skin care products are specifically purchased and chosen to suit my skin type and myriad of other factors, so that is a bit of a waste for me.
Followed swiftly by…the dreaded “networking”. Anyone worth their salt (read here, people I want to do business with) I have not met at “networking events”. I have met them onsite, working in my industry, by them seeing exactly what I produce and the calibre of my service, that has prompted a conversation that leads to the exchanging of business cards and the setting up of meetings.
So lets defluff these things – put me in a basic room, without the pretty centrepieces for 2 hours, load that time with content, cut out the snacks and giveaways, charge less, and let me learn, as quickly as possible, and get back to my company to implement the things I have learnt – and we are on to a winning wicket.
Beat that and let’s do a webinar!! I think most people would pay for a webinar, the same as they would pay to attend a live event – but I am saving on petrol, parking, time and waffle, and I know webinars are already in existence and I am not inventing anything new – but surely if I think this idea rocks, others do too, and why is it not happening more regularly?
Excuse me while I go and start putting paid webinars together – watch this space…