Big day out for Ballarat businesses

DON’T be afraid of change, Twitter and Gen-Y: those are some of the lessons business leaders have taken on board during a development forum held in Creswick on Tuesday. 

Ballarat business people heard from a range of speakers at Commerce Ballarat’s Business Day Out, including social media expert Laurel Papworth.

Ms Papworth said it was important for businesses to get away from the idea that social media was all about marketing products.

People were becoming tired of simply being spammed on Twitter and Facebook about special offers, she said, and businesses had to look closely at the best ways to engage with consumers.

“Social media is right up regional Australia’s alley, what I think social media offers of primary importance is the global stage,” she said.

Other speakers who delivered talks at the event included management consultant Avril Henry, “thought leader” Peter Williams and marketing expert Paul Bennett.

Ms Henry spoke about how different generations interacted with each other, a popular topic for those who attended.

Robert Cunningham from real estate agency Doepel Lilley Taylor said it was a good chance to better understand generation gaps and how different age groups thought.

“There will be a lot of handy tips we will be able to take back to our business: how our kids understand the world,” he said.

Julie O’Donohue from Along Came Julie, a business that helps non-profits market themselves, said the event stressed how important it was to not be afraid of change. 

“I was 28 when I saw my first computer, my kids have grown up with it as a basic need. It’s like food, a human right,” she said.

Nigel Fitzpatrick from Fifo Capital said he learned the importance of being open to ideas from throughout an organisation.

He also got a lot out of the networking aspect of the event.

Commerce Ballarat board member Craig Whitfield said he was delighted with how the Business Day Out had been received and hoped for it to return next year.

tom.cowie@fairfaxmedia.com.au