At Vodafone, we know that small businesses are hothouses of innovation – they’re renowned for taking risks and pushing digital boundaries. That’s why we’re partnering with the Small Business Festival Victoria which reflects this culture of innovation, while also providing abundant opportunities for collaboration, networking, and inspiration.

The festival runs from 1 August 2017 to 7 September 2017 and features hundreds of events across a range of topics from social media, networking and financial management, to the nuts and bolts of developing your business. Whether you’re just starting out or are already well established, there’s something for everyone. Here are five of the best events to catch at this year’s festival:

1. Meeting Demands of Customers in a New Era of E-commerce

Presented by Vodafone

In 2017, customers have high expectations of businesses — they know what they want, and more often than not, they want it now. This e-commerce landscape can be challenging for small businesses, but there are strategies you can use to thrive in this non-stop economy. If you’re looking to build your e-commerce strategy, this event on 15 August is for you (if we do say so ourselves). This Vodafone-led presentation will feature speakers from Norton, AppDirect and Kakku, and is designed to give you a holistic view of e-commerce best practices for your business.

2. Small Business, BIG Ideas

Small Business BIG Ideas is the festival’s premier business event and kicks off on 4 September at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. As well as giving you access to highly knowledgeable and experienced speakers, including Gus Balbontin (former CTO of Lonely Planet) and Dr Amantha Imber (Innovation psychologist and best-selling author), this event is also an opportunity to meet with other small business owners, get one-on-one advice on the issues that affect your business, and learn about how you can bring your business into line with the latest online trends and technologies.

3. Learning to Soar: Dinner with Lydia Lassila

Olympic gold medallist and successful business woman Lydia Lassila takes to the road with an inspirational talk and networking dinner at regional satellite events. Not only will this event give you the chance to meet face-to-face with this inspiring businesswoman, whose experiences in elite sports led her to launch her own line of cold therapy products, but it will also give you the opportunity to build your business networks in growing regional centres.

4. Donkey Wheel House: An innovative events hub

Donkey Wheel House is an innovation hub for community changemakers. It’s appropriate then that Donkey Wheel House should be the CBD headquarters for the Small Business Festival. Festival highlights this year include ‘Simple smartphone video marketing’ (22 August), ‘How to develop effective content strategy’ (21 August), ‘Marketing for small business’ (22 August), as well as a range of other events. The opportunities for networking and ongoing learning at the Donkey Wheel House hub are huge.

5. Webinars

Want more inspiration on-the-go? Check out the festival podcasts for ongoing learning with maximum flexibility. If you’re interested in application-specific social media advice, the webinars on Instagram (available 30 August) and LinkedIn (18 August) have you covered. Looking at engaging a diverse, intergenerational marketplace? Our webinar “Boomers to millennials–why diversity matters” (31 August) combines the value of experience with the skills and insights of a younger generation to keep your business relevant for decades.

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Camilla Gulli


Camilla Gulli,

As Editor at Red Wire, Camilla is particularly passionate about diversity in tech, content marketing, social media, and disruptive platforms.