Well, what an inspirational WIRE conference 2016 was with some truly wonderful speakers, too many to mention and unfortunately you cannot go to every workshop but the ones that I managed to get to were unforgettable. Women who have overcome real barriers in business, in many different ways and are now forging ahead making their mark on the world.
Helen Thomas of Westons Cider gave an inspirational speech about her company Westons and the five generations of her family who have run it starting with the great Henry Weston in 1880. Helen became Managing Director 20 years ago and has over that period taken the business from a turnover of £5.5m to £60m and now employs just over two hundred people.
It is well worth visiting Westons Cider if you are in Ledbury, Herefordshire!
Aly Arnold gave a seminar about 'Public Speaking' for the mildly terrified and was able through her own story to give lots of tips and hints on how she overcame her fears to now actually enjoy it.
Vicki Evans who ran a consultancy for over 23 years as an executive coach/trainer and has now changed direction totally to set up Walk Mill Bontanics which combines her passion for personal development with gardening! She has developed a luxurious range of products infused with homegrown ingredients which are truly indulgent yet natural. Her business is growing rapidly...
Philippa Davies what can I say, her workshop 'Unleashing your inner JK Rowling' was packed full of fun, entertainment and ideas for connecting with your customers. Philippa a writer and psychologist, author of 11 non-fiction and fiction books, has coached Olympic head coaches, business bosses, politicians and journalists to give their message impact. Her clients have included John Lewis Partnership, BBC, Channel 4 and Universal Pictures. I could have listened to her all day, what a treat.
Helga Henry Director at CreativeShift.uk.com at the Birmingham Hippodrome gave a seminar 'Don't let the Imposter Syndrome hold you back', sharing her techniques whilst being extremely entertaining on how to hush the imposter in all of us and argue the other side, facing your fears head on. Her approach to business is based on the many lessons she has learned from her truly diverse range of experiences. Fiercely intelligent, pathologically helpful, interested and interesting Helga's work is powered by the desire to make a practical difference in people's lives.
The conference was also a great place to meet many other ladies running their businesses and members of Woman in Rural Enterprise. We came away from the day feeling uplifted, thanks must go to Fiona and the WIRE team who really do know how to put on a show!