On 24th August 2017, Townsville Women hosted our first Ladies Night Social Networking Event at the Riverview Tavern. As this was the first event of this format I'd ever organised I was unsure of what to expect, but I'm happy to report that I honestly couldn't be happier with how it all went!
45 tickets were sold, food platters were ordered, goody bags were made and the night finally arrived. Here's a run down of the event...
The place to be
Ice, Ice Breakers
Upon arrival, everyone was given a People Bingo sheet as an ice breaker activity. This Bingo sheet had simple questions on it with the idea of approaching other women and asking them questions from the list. If they answer yes, then they sign the sheet. Get a row of signatures and you yell Bingo! We had our winner before the guests had even finished arriving, but as an ice breaker the People Bingo worked wonderfully to get people mingling right from the start.
The second ice breaker activity played later in the night was a bit more chaotic! Everyone was given a page torn from a book and told to find their groups of consecutive page numbers - with the twist that not all pages were consecutive! Instead there were groups of pages with the largest group formed being the winners. People were moving around everywhere trying to find their numbers, but again it got everyone mingling and shook up the groups that were starting to form, enabling everyone to talk with different women.
Both ice breaker games got the thumbs up from both the guests and the organisers point of view!
Food, glorious food
Every time I plan an event of any kind, the main concern is catering. I love food so the idea of anyone going hungry because I've under catered is something I never want to happen. Again, the venue made sure this wasn't even an issue with an amazing array of platters including pizzas, baguettes, cheese board and wedges.
As well as food, we want to be able to have a drink or three. The side deck is located right beside a bar... WINNING!
One of many takeaway lessons from the night though - confirm any dietary requirements before ordering catering to avoid a last minute dash to the kitchen staff asking for anything vegan... D'oh!
Are you feeling lucky...door
Every guest received a ticket to win one of 6 Lucky Door Prizes.
And what fantastic prizes they were!
$50 Voucher for Intimo - donated by Nina Romano
$50 Voucher for Jamberry - donated by Beth Turner
$50 Voucher for Jamberry - donated by Katrina Rugendyke
3 Hours of Babysitting - donated by Jaytee Babysitting Services
$200 Travel Voucher - donated by Alicia Pringle
Printed bag & Water Bottle (filled with chocolates)- donated by Townsville Women
Plus a few of the above prizes also came with a mini bottle of booze just to make it even better!
Goody Bags Galore
40 of our ticket holders were eligible for goody bags and each bag was handmade by us!
I'd like to give a run through of what everyone may have received (not all bags were the same), along with a shoutout to our lovely businesswomen friends who donated items.
Avon Sample & Catalogue - Dee Locke
7 Free Fitness Classes (10 lucky bags only) - Core Motivation PT, Jude Morganson
$100 Travel Voucher - MTA Mobile Travel Agent, Alicia Pringle
$10 voucher for SeneGence (Lipsense & Anti-Aging Skincare products) - Narelle Figg
Free Jewellery Voucher - Envy Jewellery, Jennifer Ironside
Jamberry Sample - Katrina Rugendyke
Essential Oil Sample & info CD - Young Living Essential Oils, Natalie Waugh
Bottle Opener & Hair Care Samples - Dreamscene Events, Sarah Adams
plus information/cards from:
Hitch & Blossom Wedding Fair
Peggy the Kombi Photobooth
Lois Lovegrove, Intuitive Healer (if your card had an orange asterix then you can receive a discount when you book with Lois in September!)
Paper & Pans
Nina Romano, Intimo
Plus I threw in a few little extra goodies such as a bottle of water with an inspirational label and an all important chocolate of course!
Based on feedback received both on the night and since then, the event was a success! Everyone really got behind the social networking theme and were mingling and blending like absolute legends.
Here's some of the feedback I've received from guests:
I met some old friends and also some new ones and had some great conversations. It is so refreshing to be able to be in a forum where there is no competition and lots of love and laughter. Can’t wait for the next one. - Katie
I had a really lovely time! The games were really great :) I might need to steal the book page game - that was fun and did get me chatting to more people. - Alex
The highlight for me was the diversity & the inclusive atmosphere created by each & every Beautiful lady that participated! - Narelle
Based on that feedback you had all better get out your 2018 diaries, turn to February 1st and write Townsville Women Ladies Night! Yes, we'll be doing it all again in a few months time. School will have gone back, the craziness of Christmas will have died down, plus there may be a few women relocating to Townsville in the new year that will no doubt be looking for ways to meet new friends.
That's where Townsville Women comes in - nurturing connections both online and offline!
Have you heard about MEGA? If you are looking to meet new people with the side bonus of attending fun fitness classes then this may be the group for you!
Townsville MEGA group member, Shelley, organises events and fitness classes for local mums and has sent us some info to share with you about this great group for mums!
Mums Exercise Group Australia (MEGA) is a volunteer group, run by mums for mums, grand mums and mums to be.
We aim to motivate, support and encourage each other to get healthy and socially connected to their community.
MEGA provides free and low cost exercise sessions and events across Australia. We also provide a Facebook forum to encourage and inspire each other through our health and fitness journeys alongside motherhood in a non judgemental and supportive environment.
MEGA aims to be involved in the greater community by our involvement and support of causes that are meaningful to our members with a focus on those that promote health, safety and equality for women.
We believe with encouragement and friendship we can achieve our goals and be strong and powerful women who can make a difference.
FUN - FITNESS - FRIENDSHIP
To show that the group is as much about meeting the social needs of mums as well as their fitness needs, there is an upcoming 'No Lycra Needed' social coffee morning to meet with other local women.
To find out more information about MEGA, please contact the MEGA Branch Manager in the first instance for Townsville specific enquiries. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the national website at www.megamums.com.au.
Along with Facebook, you can also keep up to date with all things MEGA by following on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (#imamegamum).
Written by Sarah Berwick
Here I am, attempting to make nice with fear.
Our relationship has been a persistent one, at best. Persistent in the way, like a monkey on my back, I have grown tired and weary of having to lug it around all the time. Persistent also in the way that I have allowed its power to be consumptive and over-ruling.
And yet, like any other toxic relationship, until you reach that point where enough is enough and you are willing to truly look both at and inside yourself, then in the dark naivety you shall remain.
Which is where I find myself now. At the beginning of the year I made a conscious decision to do two things differently: To make me a priority and do the things that make me happy; and to make beautiful memories with and for my daughter
To focus on experiences rather than materialistic “things”. My theory is that children are far more clever than what we give them credit for, and by allowing them to experience different places and people, this can only whet their appetite so that they can continue to learn and embrace new and different surroundings.
So, this is me in my endeavour to give my daughter a role model she deserves. Someone who feels the fear and does it anyway. Someone who finally put her money where her mouth is, so to speak. I feel compelled to do this so I can grow in every humanistic way and as wanky as it sounds, use every gift I’ve been given on this planet.
Regret is not something I want to openly invite into my life.
Hence today, hence now, hence this. My writing has always been a form of therapy for me. The sheer notion of sharing my words and prying myself open sends my vulnerability scale off the charts. Sky high. Deep-pit-stomach kind of stuff. But getting uncomfortable pushes our personal boundaries, that is undeniable, therefore the benefits outweigh the risks.
Forgive me, and bare with me, as I realise this is not new information nor (clearly not) am I any kind of expert in it. What I do know is that in my 35 years on this planet, I am only really ready to dance with this devil now and while I have always considered myself a late bloomer, my sentiment is purely one of learning.
The only competition I have is with myself, for this is not a race. I am now a scholar of fear. For she can lead me to great things I know. That is, of course, provided I get out of my own way long enough to let her. However, what’s that saying about holding your friends close?
High Tea with a difference - Instead of the usual dress code of a High Tea, we are mixing it up and having some fun!
Come along dressed in your PJ's for an afternoon of yummy food, great coffee and fabulous company with Townsville Women.
$20 per person
Price includes food.
Hot/cold beverages available for purchase from the cafe.
Written by Melanie Skinner
Every now and then you may have heard “you need to be happy first before you make others happy”, and this exact quote is what I have heard ever since I became a single Mum at the start of the year. I thought the split between my ex-partner and I was enough to get my happiness back but it’s far from that.
I didn’t think of the process and the after thoughts or emotions I’d feel later on down the track.
Life was good, in fact, it was great.
A few weeks on and it was time to move on, which meant going through belongings, memories, and throwing out what wasn’t needed or wanted. As much as I felt like I was over the situation and as much as I felt I was happy with my new life, my mindset did an absolute back flip during this process.
Guilt started to settle in and I would have panic attacks every time I would try to go through all of our belongings. Eventually, I pushed through the emotions to the point I felt numb, and packed up the whole house in a matter of days and didn’t worry about going through it all as it was just all going straight to storage.
People have said “you just need to do YOU, put YOU and YOUR DAUGHTER first, and the rest will fall into place”. Easier said than done.
I was still ‘people pleasing’, doing what others wanted me to do, and just putting others feelings before my own for 6 months straight. It wasn’t until I felt so down that when I would drive my car, I would have urges not to use the brakes to stop. That was when I decided I needed to take control over myself and my emotions.
Progressively, I’m learning to say ‘no’ to people without having to give an explanation and not feeling any guilt towards saying ‘no’, I’ve stopped putting energy into those that only want to ‘gossip’, I’m reading more books, I’m getting outdoors more, and my nutrition is a lot better and more in line with my goals.
This change was not overnight though.
It’s an absolute process and to this day I am still processing ‘me first’. I knew it was never going to be easy, but I just knew that I had to do what’s best for me by being honest with myself and others, and just finding my feet in my own way.
If there is one message I can put out there to those feeling the same way it’s this; be totally open and honest with yourself, accept what has happened, discover what makes you YOU and do everything that makes you feel human.
It’s absolutely ok to be alone or not want company, it’s ok to feel lost, but what’s important is that you’re finding everything you do, is for YOU.
Note: I’m definitely no psychologist or counsellor, I’m simply going by my own experiences. If you require further guidance, please see a professional for help.
How does this sound? Get paid for referring a Business to Townsville Women when they sign up for an advertising campaign.
I am the first to admit that selling has never been my strong point. If I was in charge of selling ice to Eskimo's I'd end up buying it for them and then help build their igloo's for free...
I'm far more comfortable being the ideas woman, the one behind the scenes working my butt off to deliver you a great website and building this community network with Townsville Women.
Selling advertising doesn't come naturally to me, but in order to keep the website going "I gots to pay dem bills!"
That's where you come in! Refer your business owning mates to Townsville Women and when they sign up to an advertising campaign I'll reward you with a cash bonus!
Find more info at: http://www.townsvillewomen.com/referral-program.html or if you have any questions just ask!
Thanks Team Townsville Women,
love Bec xox
Did you know that I am a socially awkward introvert who usually avoids events that may involve initiating conversations with people I don't know?
I know what it's like to enter a room and immediately wish I was at home. I seek out the furtherest corner and stand awkwardly until someone takes pity and talks to me. I of course stumble my words or say the 'wrong' thing, then spend the rest of the night reliving the cringe-worthy moments, while mentally chastising myself.
The last time I stepped out of my comfort zone and attended a networking event it was god awful. Everyone was dressed up with full hair & makeup, sipping on glasses of wine and chatting happily in their tight groups of cliques. Thankfully for this event I went with someone I knew but even she noticed how unwelcoming the event was for newcomers. This was a networking event for the confident. This was not an event for me.
This experience well and truly cemented in my mind just how completely hopeless I feel at social events. It was a bit like being back in high school and watching the popular kids from a distance, wondering why they always seemed to say the right things and never lacked for friends.
Up until recently I just put it down to my lack of self-esteem as to why I can not walk up to a group of women and ease myself into the conversation (just the thought of doing this fills me with dread actually!). I know now that it's just another aspect of my long running battles with anxiety.
Social Anxiety they call it apparently. It's the anxiety where you overthink every little detail of an event.
So why, oh why, would I want to then organise social events that were all about bringing strangers together!
I grew up in small country towns and have never had problems meeting people. I had a large circle of friends and acquaintances prior to living here. Then I came to Townsville and found it's completely different. Small fish in big pond comes to mind, but there was something else that I still can't quite put my finger on.
Townsville Women has always been about building a network and an online community where local women could connect, ask questions, and gain advice. Not long after I started the website I knew it would lead into events in the 'real world' because I know just how important social connections can be, especially in this transient city we call home.
Many of us have moved here away from family networks, away from support groups, away from our villages. We might miss that sense of belonging to a community and get-togethers with local women. We yearn to get out and meet people but don't know where to start in the 'big pond' of Townsville.
This is the very reason why I push aside my own social anxiety issues in favour of setting up the Townsville Women events. I still feel anxious leading up to a Townsville Women event so I want you to know that if you are too, you aren't alone. It's my own experience that ensures you will always be welcomed at one of our events. I know what it's like to stand on the outskirts looking in and I don't ever want you to experience that at a Townsville Women event.
As we lead up to our first "Ladies Night", I know there may be a few of you out there feeling apprehensive about coming along to an event where you may not know anyone else. I'm working hard behind the scenes to ensure our first Ladies Night will be an enjoyable night for everyone - the extroverts and the introverts alike.
We will kick things off with a fun game of 'speed friending' - kind of like speed dating! This gives you the chance to talk to everyone at least once. Even with a short 2 minute introduction you will feel more comfortable about approaching them later in the night. And approach them you will, as another of our activities is 'Friend Bingo'! This activity involves asking specific questions of people and ticking them off your Bingo sheet.
Worried about your small talk skills? Don't be! I'll be providing a selection of conversation starter cards that will be available for you to pick up at any time during the night.
Feel embarrassed when you can't remember names? Everyone will have a name tag with not just their name but also a fun fact about themselves (aka, another conversation starter!)
Our Ladies Night has a set 2 hour timeframe but the location means that if you are relaxed and enjoying yourself, you don't have to leave straight away. We can all head into the main bar to continue chatting.
As you can see my goal is to make this event (and every event for Townsville Women) as friendly and welcoming as possible to meet the needs of new attendees, just as much as the regulars. I hope our events are as enjoyable for the socially outgoing as they are for my fellow socially awkies.
So if you have been wanting to make new connections with other local women but haven't been sure how to, why not come along to our first Ladies Night Social Networking event. It's only $35, you'll receive a drink upon arrival, there will be delicious food platters served and each guest will go home with a goodie bag. We also have a $50 Intimo Voucher to giveaway to one lucky door prize winner!
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