The Variety Vixens – Fiona, Paula and Jo – who have voluntarily been organising fundraising events in Greater Manchester for Variety for over 4 years, contacted us about speaking on the subject of social media. We thought it would be a great opportunity to explore the topic of why, as busy professional women we should be in control of our personal brand and embrace, not shy away from, social media. So much to talk about in 20 minutes!!
The theme of ‘women in business’ was inspirational throughout the event. Lyn Staunton, Northwest Development Director for Variety, presented a video showcasing how Variety supports children and young people who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged. Her passion and commitment reminded us all why we were there and encouraged us all to dig deep – raising a fantastic £3,500!
The room was packed with women, taking time out of their very busy working day, and it was great to meet so many of them. We all enjoyed perusing (and purchasing) from the all-female-led pop-up boutiques, including Style Junky, Stella and Dot and Forever Living. The team at the Renaissance Blu were also incredible, with an endless supply of High-Tea that got everyone drooling…or could that have been the extremely talented Alexander Stewart who crooned his way through jazz classics and got everyone swaying and singing along…in between the prosecco and cake.
Our first keynote speaker was Philippa Cave from Reveal Manchester who gave us a fascinating and thought-provoking talk about the women that made Manchester. Debunking some of the myths around the Suffragettes and the likes of notable landmarks such as John Rylands library – she was a tough act to follow, but we’re keen to follow her round Manchester soon on one of her very popular walking tours!
Moving from the 1800s to present day it was then our task to talk about the importance of building our personal brand and using social media to amplify it. We trust some of this resonated with the women in the room and, as this was our first major speaking event, we couldn’t have asked for warmer reception and such great feedback.
Special thanks must go to presenting queen, Catherine Sandland, who, only 4 days before the event, gave us a crash course in making an impact and transformed our presentation skills in a mere two hours! We took time out of our busy schedule to prep and practice but it was worth every minute. Not only great for business, but a milestone in our personal and professional development.
We hope we did the Variety Vixens proud. Now it’s time to get back to work!
Photos courtesy of Stephen Gleave Photography