Level Up your business and events skills

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In what could be the first in-person business event for many in the past 18 months, Warrnambool City Council is hosting Level Up on November 16 at the Lighthouse Theatre.

This special half day conference for tourism, retail, events and other local businesses and professionals will cover a range of topics to help them thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Advertiser, social activist and author Alex Wadelton counts McDonald’s, Nike, Myer, the Australian Defence Force, the Australian Football League and Cricket Australia among his past clients, and will discuss the business of creativity and ways to unlock your hidden creative potential.

Public relations and marketing professional Karen Foster will present a grant writing masterclass while retail expert Martin Ginnane will talk about overcoming challenges and embracing opportunities in 2022 and beyond.

Catriona Rowntree will host the conference, which will also feature panel discussions with Liz Price (General Manager Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism), Karin Jones (Director KSJ Event Management), Tom O’Connor (CEO Warrnambool Racing Club) and Andrew Paton (Director City Growth Warrnambool City Council).

Thanks to funding obtained by Council via the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions’ Regional Recovery Fund, tickets to Level Up are free.

Warrnambool City Council CEO Peter Schneider said that local businesses had expressed a desire to sharpen their skills in events, marketing, tourism and retail.

“Earlier this year, we asked businesses and event organisers what topics they’d be most interested in learning more about, and the results of that survey have shaped the Level Up event,” he said.

“I’d like to thank the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions for supporting the conference and Council’s events team for putting together what I’m sure will be a compelling afternoon of insights.

“As well as providing plenty of practical advice, we hope this event helps to bring people together. I think just being able to meet face-to-face with your fellow members of the local business and events community and have those discussions in-person, that human connection is really important.”

Alex Wadelton said that openness to change is key as everyone looks to adapt to the trends COVID-19 has accelerated.

“I think that people get stuck in their ways, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“I feel that being uncomfortable is unbelievably underrated.

“When you’re uncomfortable you’re forced to learn and to do new things.”

He said that people often say “I’m not creative” without realising how broad an idea like creativity can be.

“We sometimes think that creativity is just for the artists… but creativity is in everything,” he said. 

“It’s in science, it’s in maths, it’s in small business, it’s in entrepreneurship, it’s in schools, it’s in everything. 

“You have this amazing creativity inside of you already, you just need to unlock it and let it out... there’s no downside to being more creative.”

As “Australia’s most travelled woman”, Catriona Rowntree knows the importance of tourism and events for communities across Australia, and she is encouraging everyone to embrace new opportunities.

“We are on the tail-end of this universal time of change and you want to be open minded and feel optimistic about the future,” she said.

“Let’s just look forward and come together, learn as much as we can, arm ourselves up and feel positive about what’s in front of us.

“What is exciting about this conference is that you know anyone who is going to sign up to take part in this event is a like-minded soul making an investment in their future.”