The day it all began…
Wednesday 14th May 2014
During the previous months leading up to this day, I was trying to think of ways that I could help local Toowoomba businesses network and create new friendships, and I wanted to remove any barriers to prevent this. I had been using LinkedIn for over 12 months, and had found it a great platform to meet new people from Toowoomba and also all over the world.
It was at this point that I had decided I had the right software platform and all I needed was a name. The aim was to be very inclusive, and to limit it to only people who live or work in Toowoomba. The culture I was trying to create was a group with a sense of community. Putting that all together “Toowoomba Queensland Community” was born!
I then began inviting everyone I knew and talked with to the group. The response was amazing! Before our first event we had 260 members!
1st Group Catchup
Engine Room Cafe
Friday 20th June 2014
Only the Wednesday prior (2 days earlier), I put a post in the Toowoomba Queensland Community LinkedIn Group and asked if anyone would like to catchup for a coffee at 12pm this Friday and lets meet at the Engine Room Café just round the corner from our office. Again I was amazed by the immediate response from the group. We had a great turnout, great conversations and met some great people! Looking back, its amazing to see the beginning of so many great business relationships and friendships that this event created. This was all the proof I needed at the time, that there was a genuine demand for opportunities to network with other Toowoomba locals.
2nd Group Catchup
Engine Room Cafe
Friday 11th July 2014
After the success of the previous event, we rebooked the Engine Room Café for yet another event! The day of the event we had 538 members in the group, and about 60 people turned up which was fantastic. Everyone bought their own coffee’s and we had 2 hours of great networking. We introduced a business card draw and prizes donated by the members that we could draw out for a bit of fun!
Had some great feedback from the people who attended, but the most popular one was running out of business cards, and nearly loosing their voice!
3rd Group Catchup
Burke & Wills Hotel
Friday 8th August 2014
Before this event all came together, I was faced with the issue that we had 768 members (on the event day) and based on the growth expected about 100 people would probably attend. Based on these numbers, I would require payment of a venue hire cost, so I had to put my thinking cap on very quickly…. An unexpected meeting with Michael (Mick) Byatt, Group Operations Manager of the Hakfoort Group, who owns the Burke & Wills Hotel, changed everything. Thanks again for sponsoring the food platters on the night, allowing us to use your absolutely amazing function room and for donating a $50 gift voucher we were able to draw as a prize during the night. I will be forever grateful, for getting me out of quite a pickle! Special mention to Donnalea Ballard & Renae Flowers for all your help on the night, you made it so easy. We would definitely like to have another event here in the future!
4th Group Event
Clive Berghofer Stadium (Toowoomba Sports Ground)
Thursday 4th September 2014 5pm – 8pm
Just before the 3rd event I got a call out of the blue from Nigel Fanning, Regional Advisor Sport and Recreation services for the Department of National Parks, Recreation Sport & Racing to say they would like to host the group at the Clive Berghofer Toowoomba Stadium, in the John “Cracker” McDonald Function Room, which was fantastic! The day of the event we had 899 members in the group, and we had nearly 100 people on the night. It was a great night of networking all round, thoroughly enjoyed by all. This month we asked businesses to bring their pull up banners, and on the night we had about 20 of them all around the room.
During the night we heard from:
Garry Humphries – Regional Manager – Sports & Recreation Services South West Queensland – talked about how the function room can be hired and the different events the sports ground has been used for over the years.
Clayton Rogers – Westbrook Community – talking about the Westbrook Family Fun Day coming up on the 26th October 2014
David Masefield – Co-founder – Toowoomba Startup Group including Toowoomba Startup Weekend
Emma Quade – Regional Events Coordinator at Leukaemia Foundation QLD – let us know events where happening for the charity in the region.
Special thanks also to Rayleen Cosgrove for organising the venue for us and for all your help & support leading up to the event!
About 5th Event
5pm – Agenda Function Centre –
15th October 2014
About 6th Event
Thursday 13th November 2014
About Brendan Goleby