Make your site stand out! 

  • By Penny O'Sullivan
  • 08 Nov, 2017

Don't disappear amongst other sites! Convey your brand image by ensuring your site stands out! 

Your site is a marketing investment, which used carefully can be a long term way advantage to your business. Below are some tips to make the most of your site.

#1: Dress your site!

Think:  feminine colours, soft furnishings and “pretty” things or something that reflects your business (ie. Hessian and Vegetables for an Organic Health Business etc)- whatever it is, dress your site so when the general public see it, they understand a little bit more about who you are as a business. Your site should make them want to visit it by intriguing them or wowing them.  Invigorate positive emotions and feelings within. Try to dress your site in soft fabrics, lights, table clothes and adequate signage to ensure people know what you are about and what your business is about. Just like you would a shop front, make people want to come to your site as they walk past.  Visually standing out amongst other businesses is essential. Don’t forget to think about wall and floor coverings. Everyone usually goes for the standard tables, chairs, and demo pods look for booths, but take a creative stand and make your booth look engaging and tell a story.

#2: Layout

The layout of your site is essential to draw customers in. You don’t want to make customers feel “uncomfortable” stepping into your site, and you want to ensure you also have privacy if you need it (ie. Massage, readings, appointments, one-on-one time etc). Your booth must stay within the allocated space for safety purposes. Please advise us if we can assist by removing/adjusting walls for you. If you choose to not have walls at your site, please think about what the patron will see. They will be able to see straight into the site behind/beside you, so think about using Shelves/Banners etc to stand out.

#3: Pre-show, At-Show, Post-Show Marketing

Pre-show marketing is essential for results at an Exhibition. Never assume customers or prospects will just “stop on by”, or Ultimate Women’s Weekend Marketing will be enough. We very much want you to succeed, and will be promoting you as much as we can, however you need to market YOUR business amongst the others too.  Implement a pre-show marketing campaign well ahead of the show. Let your customers know via an email out, build buzz on social media, and put information about the show on your website.

Make sure you send us some information you would like on the Ultimate Women’s Weekend Website, and determine whether you would like to put anything in the showbags.

At the show: What about incentivizing customers to visit your site? Ideas include: exclusive grand prize raffle for visitors, get a VIP happy hour wristband for an after the show get together, etc.

Incentives will add to your budget, but can provide you with the opportunity to deepen the connection with customers and prospects that can yield long term customers.  It can also be an incentive to gather their information. A valuable part of the show is the gathering of information. This information can later be turned into sales and exposure.

Keep customers at your stand for longer- Adding iPad kiosks, video displays, samples and even interactive touch screens can keep visitors in your exhibit space longer giving your sales team more time to develop a relationship with them. Don’t forget lead generation tools like scheduled demonstrations, contests, raffle/drawings that require registration keep people coming to your booth.

Try and speak to other businesses and build rapport and relationships. These connections can be handy and you can work together to build business.

After the show: Follow up on your leads. This extends the life of your exhibit. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 80 percent of exhibitors do not follow up on leads.  Don’t be one of them! These are important and lucrative leads!

#4: Selling

Research suggests you have approximately 2-8 minutes to gain a sale out of members of the general public. Use Demonstrations at your stand to get people en-mass observing and learning more about your product/service.

Don’t hide inside your space, where you stand in your booth alongside the layout is crucial for making the public feel comfortable. If you have a space where people must venture inside, try and stand in a non-assertive place to welcome them inside.

If you are hiring staff, ensure your most confident staff are projected at the front of the booth, so your brand has its best foot forward.

#5:  Showbags

Use the showbags to your advantage! The feedback we get is “we just throw the flyers out” “ugh, so many flyers”. Stand out from the crowd. Something as simple as attaching a packaged lolly (visit the Reject Shop for bulk packs of individually wrapped lollies), a tea light ($2 shop or IKEA) or even a sprig of Lavender is a great way to stand out!

#6: Classes/ Workshops/Seminars

Use Classes/Workshops/Seminars to talk about your product more. These go for up to 50 minutes (you don’t have to speak the entire 50 minutes if you don’t want to) and have a TV with an HDMI attachment to it in there (so you can connect your computer). These are a great way to speak to clients, however the more interactive the better, and typically the public won’t attend if it appears to be a big sales pitch. They want to learn something or try something.

Remember – We are there to help and if you need assistance in planning or executing the layout or design of your space.


Have something that moves at the outside edge of your booth to draw attendees’ attention   – ideally something that is relevant to the value you bring to your prospects but even a rotating fan with streamers can be helpful.

Think about floor coverings/padding   – not only will it make you more comfortable but it will encourage anyone who stops by to stay and talk for a couple of minutes.

Don’t have chairs in your booth.    If you are standing, you are much more likely to take the initiative to start a conversation with someone who pauses at your booth.

Try to use your table setup to draw people into your booth rather than keep them out   (as tables on the outside perimeter of a booth tend to do).

Create easy to read signage that quickly tells your prospects why they want to learn more about you.    This is about the   value   that you bring to them – not a list of what you sell.

Ultimate Women's Weekend Media & Blog

By Penny O'Sullivan 08 Nov, 2017
By Penny O'Sullivan 08 Nov, 2017
By Penny O'Sullivan 08 Nov, 2017

Penny O’Sullivan’s lifestyle and well-being expo is very different to any event like it.

All proceeds from the Ultimate Women’s Weekend go to domestic violence support and the Border’s expo will support Betty’s Place and Yes Youth and Family Services.

Ms O’Sullivan said it was the fifth to take place since it began in 2016.

“Everyone I’d spoken to had experience with domestic violence, I have had an experience, and we thought we could make a massive difference this way,” she said.

“My ex-partner tried to kill me – he was charged with attempted murder.

“I went to organisations police referred me to and they basically said, ‘You have a home ... we can’t help’.

“I literally could not eat, because I couldn’t afford food, and I thought, ‘There should be help’.”

The most recent expo in Melbourne allowed crisis accomodation provider The Good Samaritan Inn, experiencing financial strain, to continue on for another few months.

Ticket costs go straight to donations and the eight-person team behind the show, including Border people, are all volunteers.

Among them is Albury woman Bec Carey, who started out as a vendor at the first show in Ballarat.

“Penny and I just got along really well and kept working together,” she said.

“I think it’s amazing – she’s always got a cause and supporting domestic violence shelters is such a huge topic at the moment.

“I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

Ms O’Sullivan said Ms Carey nominated Betty’s Place as an important service to receive support.

“I also called (Albury Mayor) Kevin Mack and asked who to speak to, and he said ‘Call Betty’s Place – they need it’,” she said.

“It’s a way for communities to directly make a difference – we have some really amazing seminars, classes and fantastic speakers, many who are from the community.

“RJB party hire in Wodonga have supported us so much and a lot of our vendors are from the area.

“Our slogan is ‘empower the woman in you’.”

The expo, running from Friday to Sunday at the Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre will feature workshops and 48 stalls offering health-related products and advice.

Each day will run from 10am to 5pm – tickets are available at the door for $12 or online at .

By Penny O'Sullivan 08 Nov, 2017

PENNY O'Sullivan knew what she wanted from life but spent too much time worrying about what everyone thought to truly chase her dreams.

After working out that the most important person in her life was herself, she bit the bullet and finally got down to pursuing her dream of hosting women's empowerment events across the country.

She is in Toowoomba for the Ultimate Women's Weekend, an event designed to offer fun and inspiration for women.

"I always wanted to do one and I used to work in expos, but everyone kept telling me I was too young, I needed money and I had to get it right," she said.

"But now we've had our first two shows in Ballarat and Shepparton and we're in Toowoomba for the last show of the year.

"Now I have eight shows booked for next year and we will be coming back to Toowoomba."

She said the event featured almost entirely small businesses aimed at women's health, fitness, wellbeing and beauty.

Women would be able to get hair and nails done, sign up to gyms, try out yoga and meditation and learn at any of the three interactive workshops held each hour.

Far from being the kind of event where you walk into a crowd of hawkers trying the hard sell, Ms O'Sullivan said it was an interactive expo with something to do at each stall and was aimed as much at education and empowerment as it was about supporting business.

There will be a men's area for any poor partners who get dragged along as well as a children's activity area.

The expo is on at the USQ Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre from 10am-5pm today and tomorrow and 10am-4pm on Sunday.


By Penny O'Sullivan 08 Nov, 2017
By Penny O'Sullivan 08 Nov, 2017

Q. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Toni, tell us a little about your business and what you do?

I make wheat, gluten, dairy & egg free products for people with allergies that taste great! I regularly participate in a range of Exhibitions across Australia including Elmore Field Day’s, 4x4 Expo’s, Gluten Free Expo, MBS Festival and the Royal Melbourne Show so I am not new to Exhibitions. I live in a little country town on a couple of acres, and have a Allergy-free Kitchen in a seperate demountable.

Q. How did you come across Ultimate Womens Weekend?

I was interested in reading an Information pack after coming across them. I was really impressed and went from there!

Q: What was your first experience like at Ultimate Women’s Weekend?

I went to the Shepparton Show in 2016. That was my first show. The entire show was fantastic and I was really impressed with the Friday being steady (usually in all Expo’s, Friday’s are dead quiet!). The team is well organised and I had a really good trade. The Expo’s are smaller than all the big brands which is excellent for getting your product out there. Its also like a big family, with the Exhibitors really having a chance to get to know each other. The Ultimate Women’s Weekend team is really good at attracting quality.

Q. How many shows have you exhibited at so far?

I have exhibited at Wodonga, Melbourne and Shepparton and had so much interest. I have signed up for all the shows ongoing. I love being involved. It is fantastic that the profits go to such a good cause as well, and you see that with the refuge’s being involved in the day and so many generous people donating gifts to the tree of hope for survivors of abuse.

Q. What do you enjoy about partaking at Ultimate Womens Weekend?

It’s a friendly, happy team that supports local charities. I always have a lot of fun, and it is good for my business to be there.

Q. What are the benefits for your business?

  • Product awareness & sales
  • Meeting other exhibitors
  • Making my product more ready & available for people with allergies

Q. What tips do you have for those joining our exhibitor family?

  • Get your product out there, advertising is so important. You need to make sure your site looks attractive and attracts patrons to you.
  • Take a site that is suitable for your business, not what you think you need, pay attention to sites if they are too small or too big. We are lucky that the team at Ultimate Women’s Weekend has opportunities for different sized sites so
  • In Expo’s, the flow of people can drop off a little bit on specific parts of the day. Friday’s in general are quieter (if you are doing a three day show). Don’t be discouraged by this! Some of my best sales are made in the afternoon! It is NOT about quantity, its about Quality of people. I’ve made more money at Ultimate Women’s Weekend than I have at some busier, larger, well known expos with 1000x more people. Trust the system!

Q. Off subject a little - we are so impressed by your success in opening a small business & doing so well, tell us what advice would you give other small business owners?

  • Just go for it!
  • I personally think the best way to get product out there is to go to expos
  • Regional audience support things better so don’t be afraid to go out there.
  • Never be scared of putting your prices up for quality, some patrons just believe cheap is nasty, and whilst we know thats not necessarily true, it can alter the perceptions of the public.
By Penny O'Sullivan 08 Nov, 2017
Ultimate Women’s Weekend: Lifestyle and Wellbeing Expo
Where:   Exhibition Park, Mitchell
When:   29 & 30 July, 10 am – 5 pm
The Ultimate Women’s Weekend is both a fun lifestyle and wellbeing expo aimed at women — but, of course, open to men as well — and a social enterprise focused on combating domestic violence through education and financial support. The enterprise travels across Australia putting on expos which feature between 40–100 stalls of small businesses and workshops, seminars, cooking classes and pampering opportunities. Stallholders are encouraged to offer an experience for visitors rather than just exhibit. All profits from the event will be donated to the local refuge, Beryl Women Inc. For more information and a run down of what will be happening at the expo, check out the website   here . Sounds like a good excuse to get the girls together.
By Penny O'Sullivan 08 Nov, 2017

July 30, 2017 •  Words Matter

This weekend was a hive of small business activity in Canberra, with the Ultimate Women’s Expo hitting Canberra, in addition to the Etsy Market, Pialligo Estate Farm Gate Market and our lovely neighbour Queanbeyan’s Christmas in July Market.

 These events always remind me how wonderful our business community here in Canberra (and across the surrounding regions) is. They have real and friendly conversations designed to lift each other up, and they often recommend would-be competitors if their wears don’t quite suit the customer they have in front of them.

There's always enough wine to go around, that's why the Pop Inn collaborate with businesses and events across the region.

 With their words framed for collaboration, not competition, each small business can have its own success at these events—much more success than can occur when customers hear businesses in competitive mode, turning most people off and creating a negative vibe.

 While I was humbled and proud of the collaborative behaviour my business friends and others showed at these events, unfortunately, in my weekend event hoping, I still overheard words of competition, which always puts a small downer on the event when it’s overheard.

The collaborative Mums's Exercise Group directors at the Ultimate Women's Expo.

 In a world full of harsh words and sharp tongues, we can sometimes become immune to the ‘bitching’ we overhear. Sometimes I wish I was immune, but while I can rise above it, it still makes me sad that some small business owners are looking to compete unfairly with their peers, rather that look to support them and let the collaboration and support circuit help them gain more business.

 Words like ‘their products are crap, ours are much better’ or ‘they’re new, we’re much better because we’ve been around longer’ or ‘we’re so much cheaper’ do not create a fair playground. As a business owner, these phrases are petty and not relevant. If you want to sell your product and services, spruik the awesome-ness of your product and use it to gain customers. Don’t put someone else and their products or services down thinking this is good promotion.

You don't have to have the same eggs in one basket.

 Words matter and the more we concentrate on using them to promote the positives of ourselves and our business, and to build people up and not tear them down, the more power these words have to give you success in business and create a positive community.

 Think before you speak and collaborate rather than compete. I promise you will feel better at the end of the day and your business profits may even rise.

 Are you a business owner who values collaboration over competition? I’d love to hear what this attitude and your words of support, not mean-ness, have meant for your business.


By Penny O'Sullivan 08 Nov, 2017

Penny O’Sullivan’s ex-partner tried multiple times to get help for his worsening mental health.  

After many failed attempts, she ended the relationship. 

Then things got violent.

“He was getting very physically aggressive and ended up strangling me. 

“I’m so lucky a friend walked in,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

One in three women aged 15 and over experience physical violence, a statistic that Ms O’Sullivan was shocked to be included in.

“I didn’t realise I was in an unsafe situation until my friends made me call the cops,” she said.

This weekend, she’s bringing women together in Wagga to fight domestic violence through empowerment and charity.

The Ultimate Women’s Weekend starts Friday at the RSL. All profits will be donated to the Wagga  Women's Centre.

About half of the 33 stalls showcased will be from Wagga.

The event includes daily seminars on everything from skincare to starting up your own enterprise.

The “light” advocacy is designed to create a “safe place for all women” to talk and practice self-care.

If you need help, contact:

  • Domestic Violence Line: 1800 65 64 63
  • 1800RESPECT: 1800737732
By Penny O'Sullivan 08 Nov, 2017

A former Wagga man has revealed his harrowing tale of life as a victim of family violence.

Following their personal experiences, Wagga man Sean Hay and The Ultimate Women’s Weekend Expo coordinator Penny O'Sullivan say the violence spectrum goes both ways.

Sean Hay’s journey from an abusive relationship to freedom follows a Wagga-based exhibit across the weekend, raising money for Wagga Women’s Health Centre.

The Ultimate Women’s Expo came to the Riverina to pamper, empower and educate residents about family violence related issues.

An expo volunteer and former ambulance officer, Mr Hay said he, like other stall holders, had experienced a form of domestic violence.

Mr Hay said it was difficult to recall his experiences. 

He said men being victims of domestic violence was an issue not often talked about and rarely acknowledged.

“I had come from an emotional abusive relationship … for nearly eight years,” Mr Hay said. “There were times when it was physical.”

The Albury-based DJ and health and well-being professional said his situation had been confronting at the time.

“You never want to hurt your partner so you sort of just cop it,” he said. “Then finally I had the guts to leave.”

Mr Hay said more men suffered from the effects of emotional blackmail, isolation and control realised.

“It’s being put down, it’s being cut off from family, it’s psychological games,” he said. “You have someone you love and adore and you want to help them but sometimes they can take advantage.”

Mr Hay said fear of ridicule was one of the reasons it wasn’t spoken about.

“A lot of guys feel because it’s in reverse they have to put up with it,” he said. “But the violent spectrum, it works both ways.”

But Mr Hay wanted to encourage men in similar situations to come forward, to get help and to not be afraid.

“It took me a long time to make my decision,” he said. “It was hard.”

After leaving and receiving support, Mr Hay said he reconnected with an old flame, whom he was now engaged.

The couple are expecting a baby in less than four months.

“I though I knew what being in a relationship and being in love was,” My Hay said. “Now I know.”

The weekend’s event coordinator Penny O’Sullivan said more than 60 per cent of stall holders were from the Riverina and almost all of them, like Sean, had either experienced abusive relationships or they knew someone who had.  

After Ms O’Sullivan was almost choked to death at her ex-partner’s hands, she had made it her mission to help others.

“It’s more common than people realise,” she said. “You don’t even realise you’re in a bad situation a lot of the time.”


More Posts
Share by: