My First Blog Post

  • By Penny O'Sullivan
  • 17 Aug, 2017

It's official, I have a blog and I know how to use it.

I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. I always wanted an easy way to share information with visitors and I'm super excited to start this journey. Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.

Ultimate Women's Weekend Media & Blog

By Penny O'Sullivan 04 Jan, 2018

You could have the best product/service in any Exhibition/Festival and still not achieve your goals as much as other competing storeholders. Why? Because you aren't using Experiential Marketing Methods !

The Exhibition Organiser community (EEAA) unanimously agreed this year that there was a certain 'type' of stallholder/exhibitor that had huge successes in 2017- and it was those that employed 'Experiential marketing' methods in their stand.

Experiential Marketing - sometimes called "engagement marketing" or "Guerrilla Marketing" is a marketing strategy that directly engages your consumers. It invites them to experience your brand and build a relationship. It considers the entire business cycle- attracting new and returning customers.

In a marketplace where there are plenty of competitors shouting out "LOOK AT ME!", it is becoming harder to cement your brand, stand out and gain genuine leads and sales. That is why Experiential Marketing is so effective! It is a simple marketing technique that not enough Exhibitors are using- simply because it challenges the traditional methods! We think this is CRAZY because its a foolproof method! We want you to succeed, so rather than paying someone to tell you this, we think we should share it with you. It has proven results!

The marketing world has gone mad for digital, and rightly so; online content drives a huge amount of consumer traffic. But in a world saturated with social media platforms and viral publicity stunts, there’s still no substitute for the face to face, hands on experience. Experiential marketing works because it enables your audience to deeply connect with your brand in a tangible and memorable way. When prospects and stakeholders can see your human side, there’s a real association that email or advertising cannot deliver. This is what makes Exhibitions one of the highest return-on-investment marketing approaches in the marketplace today.

As consumers, we’re still hugely influenced by our senses. Offering the opportunity for physical interaction with your product can provide huge return on investment. According to the Event Marketing Institute’s 2016 EventTrack  report , 74% of consumers claim that product engagement through event marketing experiences makes them more likely to make a purchase.

Engagement is key.

Members of the public want to see the value in your product or service (and not just economically!). They want to feel, see, smell, hear, touch and experience your product/brand. Get creative with your ideas and hand pick your best people to man the stand – you may have the greatest customer experience in the world on offer, but it the face of your company doesn’t demonstrate knowledge and enthusiasm, your efforts will ultimately fail. Giving your audience an unforgettable exhibition experience will prompt them to spread the word. Whether to friends and family- or the wider world through social mediums, customers that identify with your brand will become your biggest advocates.  

Ask yourself, if you were to go to an exhibition as a consumer, would you rather visit a stand with a traditional table/flyer set up, or a stand that draws you in with complimentary experiences such as virtual skydiving, complimentary massages, lifestyle consultations etc.?

You don't want to just communicate with your customers, you want to engage them! So we challenge you this year, to think about your stand and how you can create an immersive, experiential experience for your customers.

We promise, the results will be worth it.

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
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