FOR the first time, Southland small business creatives and artisans gathered at a unique event with a goal to boost their businesses ahead of the silly season.
From dog toy makers, to artists and wedding photographers, entrepreneurs of all kinds attended the one-day event, Sell It, hosted by COIN South at Invercargill’s Centrestage last Wednesday.
COIN South marketing and events manager Nikki Dermody said the collaborative event between COIN South, Shop Southland Studios and the Southland Chamber of Commerce was created to help small business founders market and sell their product before Christmas.
“It was awesome to connect with creatives in the Southland community that are so enthusiastic about their businesses but are wearing many hats, from finances to production, to sales and marketing.”
The connection with Shop Southland Studios meant COIN South was able to reach out to a new group of small business creatives, which may not have previously had contact with the organisation.
Presentations and breakout sessions included topics on customers and messaging from COIN South, Pricing from Findex and practical photography breakout sessions with photographers, We The Collective, Kiwi Captures and The Penny Drops.
A panel discussion with Found My Way, Kiwi Captures, Love from Seventeen and artist Stef Le Gros provided some insight into their experience, from marketing online to getting products into a retail gift store.
Shop Southland Studios founders Melanie McKenzie and Stephanie Le Gros, who launched an online directory to highlight creative people and businesses in Southland, said they were
“Since the event we have already seen positive changes in the use of social media, styling and lighting of images and showing the person behind the brand,” Mrs Le Gros said.
Southland Chamber of Commerce marketing and events manager Michelle McSoriley said it was “always great’’ to team up with COIN South.
“…Giving both start-up businesses and small businesses an opportunity to learn some engaging digital marketing techniques along with basic business strategies to push forward and succeed.”