story by Patricia Merrick | photography by Marlene Pollock
The Rural Women in Business Conference will have more workshops available for attendees this year, as requested in previous years. The third annual event, hosted by the Crossfield Chamber of Commerce, will take place May 29 at the Crossfield Baptist Church.
The full-day conference has been held at the Crossfield & District Community Centre in previous years but according to Nicole Vandenberghe, executive director of the chamber, organizers chose a new location this year to allow for more space. Feedback cards filled out at previous conferences showed most attendees asking for more workshops.
“Those workshops are kind of our biggest draw,” she said. “Those breakout sessions where they can dive deeper into – depending on which aspect on where they’re at in their business – they can pick and choose a workshop.”
At the previous location, organizers were only able to provide four workshops, but this year there will be five. One of the workshops is being led by Suzanne Ebelher from Business Link who will be speaking about developing your business idea with a business model canvas. Another will be led by Meagan Saum, who is a women inspiriter and resilience coach, and will be talking about the difference between thriving and surviving in your business. Suzy Rounce will run a workshop entitled Five Keys to Building a Tribe of Loyal Buying Customers and Michelle Neustaedter, booked as a workshop leader, is planning a presentation related to successful entrepreneurship. A fifth workshop is under development and will be announced shortly on the conference website.
“Our goal is to bring in rural women in business and business leaders and present them with the tools and the tricks and the tips that they need to continue on their path for success,” Vandenberghe said. “We’re reaching every aspect of where you are – whether you’re just someone who has an idea who wants to be an entrepreneur, right up to business leaders who have a successful business and just want to continue that drive of success.”
Attendees will be able to sign up for two workshops. The networking opportunity also includes two speakers, a tradeshow and lunch. Tickets went on sale April 1 and are $65. They can be purchased right up until the event from ruralwomeninbusiness.ca.
The keynote speaker this year is Sarah Golby and she will be talking about cutting out distractions when running a business. The other speech will be by Amy Monea and Angie Payne, which is about navigating ups and downs that come with running a business.
This year’s topic is ‘limitless’ and ATB Financial is the title sponsor. Last year attracted approximately 150 attendees and Vandenberghe said they are hoping for 200 this year.
“This conference is fantastic. If you’re a woman in business and you’re going to do any conference, this is the conference to be at. If you look at any other conference tickets in and around this area that offers the same amount for a full-day conference, you’re not going to find ticket prices this low,” she said. “Just because we’re lower priced doesn’t mean our content is low. We’ve worked very hard to partner with great sponsorships to bring these low prices in.”