The Networking Women Conference 2011

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Believe You Can!

The First Networking Women Conference

Thursday 15th September 2011 9.30am-4.30pm
The Oxford Centre, 333 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7PL

Top Speakers : Learning : Networking : Advice & Support : Exhibition

We are thrilled to present the programme for our FIRST Networking Women Conference, taking place in September in Oxford. We have put together a full day of top speakers, learning sessions and networking opportunities, as well as advice and support surgeries and an exhibition. Believe You Can is designed to cater for all your business needs, whether you’re a woman just starting out in business or a fully fledged female entrepreneur.

Priced at just £97
the conference will include:

Introduction by Lisa and Sue, the founders of Networking Women

Keynote Speaker: Sarah Steel from The Old Station Nursery Ltd

Four “Time to Learn” sessions

Networking opportunities


An introduction to the Networking Women Development Programme

Lunch and refreshments throughout the day

Time To Learn Sessions

The “Time to Learn” sessions give you an opportunity to focus on your own personal learning and development. There will be an opportunity to attend up to four sessions during the day – 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.
Once you’ve booked, you’ll be able to choose the four sessions you’d like to attend from the following:

Social Media presented by Nicky Kriel 

The Social Media Masterclass includes:

  • An introduction to Social Media -what it is all about and just how big it is
  • Brief introduction to the Big Five – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Blogging
  • Quick look at Twitter – the anatomy of a Twitter page
  • How to Tweet

Read about Nicky Kriel

PR and Marketing presented by Emma Walton, Walton PR 

A Beginner’s Guide to PR will cover:

  • Creating a PR and marketing plan
  • How to establish who is your target market/publication
  • Writing a press release
  • What is news?
  • Talking to journalists
  • Following up a press release

Read about Emma Walton

Market Research: unearthing answers to business-critical questions presented by Louise Wheeler of Insight Oxford 

In this workshop you will learn:

  • How market research can help your business to thrive
  • How to plan research that answers your business-critical questions
  • Ways to avoid common pitfalls
  • When to “go it alone” and when to draw on professional support
  • Top tips for maximising the value and profile of your research

Read about Louise Wheeler

Work Life Balance presented by Kirsten Sheat of Aspiring Change 

This session will help you to see what ‘balance’ means to you and help you find your own priorities.


  • Identify key activities at work and at home
  • Recognise behaviour habits that sabotage balance
  • Learn assertive communication skills to negotiate priorities
  • Develop practical strategies to achieve work-life balance

Come away from this session with the understanding and practical tools and strategies to allow you to juggle it all successfully!

Read about Kirsten Sheat

Brand Design Surgery presented by Vicki Gray from Blumango Creative 

At the design surgery Vicki will provide consultations and advice in many areas of design (please bring along visuals to discuss) which include:

  • Brand and web design
  • Business stationery
  • Leaflets, flyers and brochures
  • Websites – both brochure style sites and ecommerce
  • The importance of SEO

You’ll come away with a clearer understanding of how your company can move forward with some exciting design ideas and how they can be implemented.

Read about Vicki Gray

Networking For Success presented by Gail Gibson of True Expressions 

On the “How to Achieve Networking Success” workshop you will learn:

  • skills to network with confidence
  • the importance of being a regular networker
  • how to build your reputation
  • how to be aware of business opportunities
  • how networking provides personal and professional growth

Read about Gail Gibson

Making Money Funky! presented by Jennifer Usher, Citrus Financial Management 

Money Made Funky – Taking your Business into the Future

This workshop will help you to make sense of your current situation, provide you with steps to make the most of your business finances now and establish methods to effectively manage your business wealth into the future.

Read about Jennifer Usher

Getting The Best From The Rest of Your Life presented by Cathy Dean of Colour In Your Thinking 

Whatever your age, this session will help you to take a good look at:

  • How and why you are where you are today
  • Your achievements so far
  • What colour your life is now, and what colour you’d like it to be
  • What’s holding you back
  • What you want for the future

This is an interactive session involving audience participation!

Read about Cathy Dean

All Time to Learn sessions last 45mins, except Brand Design Surgery, which is a personal 121 advice session lasting up to 20 minutes.


About the Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Sarah Steel, The Old Station Nursery
Sarah Steel started the first Old Station Nursery in 2002 when she was looking for good quality childcare for her own children.  She has a background in management within the Army and civilian industry and brings her experience as a parent to the development of each nursery. The company now runs over a dozen nurseries around the country.

Sarah was awarded Lincolnshire Outstanding Woman in Business in 2007. Other awards include Inspirational Business Mum of the Year and finalist of Oxfordshire Business Person of the Year in 2007, and finalist in Growing Business Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008. Her company, The Old Station nursery, won Winning Business in the Lincolnshire Business Awards 2007, Business Development in the 2007 Nursery Management Today Awards and Business Development in the Nursery World 2008 Awards.


Nicky Kriel

“I attended Nicky’s workshop on Using Twitter for Business Success in March. She really knows her stuff; not only that, but explains it all in a straightforward, no-nonsense way, de-mystifying the jargon and symbols. Nicky shares her knowledge and experience openly and has an engaging style. If you want to know more about Social Media, contact her!”

Nicky’s background was in Marketing and Sales before she retrained as a Master NLP Practitioner. As a Communication Coach, her passion is empowering people to reach their true potential. Aside from her private coaching clients, she runs personal development and social media courses for business owners. Nicky really enjoys helping business owners level the playing field by harnessing the power of social media.

So many people starting out in business feel overwhelmed by the complexity of social media and the sheer speed that it has happened. In reality, it is very simple, it is all about communication, connecting and engagement. There are just some tools that need to be learnt!

Nicky has now run 9 Twitter Phobia courses aimed at getting business owners up and running on Twitter. Nicky says: “What has amazed me is how many people who have been on Twitter some time have been attracted to the course and found the course useful. I also run LinkedIn and Facebook courses and work with small companies as a consultant.” Her clients range from authors, coaches and dentists to privately owned hotels.  Nicky also writes about social media on her blog, giving simple “how to” tips in as jargon free language as possible and sharing useful articles that are suitable for business owners without a lot of technical know-how.
(Back to Time to Learn sessions)


Emma Walton, Walton PR

Walton PR was founded in 1998 by Emma Walton from the corner of a dining room in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.  Walton PR is a consultancy that specialises in small to medium sized businesses and start ups who require a personal approach to the promotion of their business. Walton PR delivers effective and accountable PR, tailor made to suit a companies’ requirements and budgets. The company is now based in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Emma has been working in PR for over 20 years, starting in London before moving to the Cotswolds. Driven by the desire to be her own boss she set up Walton PR, having been offered PR and Marketing work whilst working in a pub.  (Her pub skills were not a patch on her ability to communicate.) PR has now become a passion and Emma works hard to dispel the rumours that PR is all shoulder pads and hairspray. A keen sailor when she gets the chance, and lover of good food and wine, time outside work is also spent walking the dog and trying to be a good mother!
(Back to Time to Learn sessions)


Louise Wheeler, Insight Oxford


Louise is a highly experienced research consultant who, as Commercial Director for GfK NOP (a global research provider), designed and conducted research projects for numerous high street retailers, public sector organisations, charities and financial institutions.  Some examples include:  Thorntons, Argos, ASDA, HBOS, O2, Transport for London, P&O, Compass and the National Trust.


With a MA in Coaching and Mentoring Practice, Louise’s approach to research consultancy is facilitative, empowering and pragmatic.  Louise aims to bring the benefits of market research to business start-ups, SMEs, community services and charities ensuring they achieve maximise return on investment and clear recommendations for action.  She is particularly passionate about the value of excellent customer service, having ‘cut her teeth’ in the hospitality industry.  Louise also has a BSc. in Hotel and Catering Management.  Her research in to how the adoption of coaching behaviours by line managers contributes to the achievement of organisational goals was published earlier this year.

As director of Insight Oxford, Louise has recently conducted research for the Law Society into the obstacles and barriers to career development of women solicitors.  She has over 16 years experience as a senior player in the market research industry and is a member of the Market Research Society.

(Back to Time to Learn sessions)


Kirsten Sheat, Aspiring Change

Kirsten has been working as a successful life coach since 2006 when she gained her Coaching Diploma (with distinction) and founded ‘Aspiring Change’. Influenced by her own experiences in making major life change and transformation with the help of coaching tools, insight and strategies, Kirsten wanted to offer this to others through her Aspiring Change business.

After gaining her Education and Psychology degree in 1996, Kirsten then studied for a Post Graduate Diploma in Primary Teaching in 1997.  After teaching for 6 years, Kirsten was then promoted to the Senior Management Team in 2003, where she provided staff training and management development as part of this role.

Kirsten now successfully manages (most of the time) to juggle her business, home, husband and daughter- qualification enough for this session!
(Back to Time to Learn sessions)


Vicki Gray, Blumango Creative

Vicki Gray from Blumango Creative has always had a passion for design. She achieved an BA Honours Degree in Graphic Design in 1999 at the University of the West of England and went on to set up her own company. She is able to provide a truly high level of service to all of her clients and enjoys the business relationships that have built up over the eleven years she’s been providing design solutions for companies large and small.

Vicki works independently with a small back up team of designers and web developers; the most crucial part of the job is taking the brief. Until she meets you, she is looking at a blank piece of paper, and as she starts to understand your business needs, she can add colour, texture, detail, personality and substance. This is the most important part of any new job, and the blank piece of paper represents an exciting new challenge.
(Back to Time to Learn sessions)


Gail Gibson, True Expressions

Gail Gibson of True Expressions is a coach, published author, business writer, trainer and international speaker who helps people to change, to grow, and to realise what they are truly capable of. Through a process of discovery and re-discovery, Gail loves to share her life journey with a kaleidoscope of individuals and personalities, helping them to communicate themselves and their business, with confidence.

Author of “Making Connections – How to Network Effectively to Build Better Business Relationships” (2009), Gail uses face to face networking as a key marketing tool to successfully grow both herself and her business.
(Back to Time to Learn sessions)


Jennifer Usher, Citrus Financial Management

Jennifer Usher BA (hons) DipPFS, Cert CII (MP), is a financial adviser who joined the industry in 2002 as a Financial Planning Manager with NatWest. Having then worked for a few independent financial adviser firms in Oxfordshire and completed further qualifications, she took the decision in October 2010 to become self-employed.

She works with Citrus Financial Management.  The company has a great reputation with its Managing Director, David Braithwaite, regularly working for BBC TV and radio.  Jennifer advises in all areas of financial planning and specialises in pensions, where she also has the advanced qualification.  She particularly enjoys advising women.
(Back to Time to Learn sessions)


Cathy Dean, Colour In Your Thinking

Cathy Dean is a professional coach and trainer with many years of experience in the field of personal, management and leadership development. She is passionate about enabling people to show the world their true colours and realise their true potential.

After a 25 year career in the civil service, Cathy founded Colour In Your Thinking in 2009 so that she could concentrate on what she loves best – working as a coach, mentor, teacher and guide to help other people get the best from the rest of their lives. Cathy now focuses on working with women in midlife to help them to face up to what she calls The FortySomething Fears.

Cathy says, “It may hit you at 30, 40 or at 50, but at some point we all realise that we’ve hit the middle of our lives. For some people that can trigger a whole lot of worries and questions about why we’re here, how we’ve lived up to now and what we want from the next part of our lives. I find it exciting and rewarding to work with women at that crossroads, and to help them to plan for an exciting future shaped around who they are and what they want out of life.”
(Back to Time to Learn sessions)


About Alison Neale

Single mum to two lovely kids, running my own business, enjoying life as much as I can!

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