On 25th July from 4.00pm, Hotel Realm will open its doors for a first of its kind, an interactive gala on matchmaking and upskilling that flips the same-old conference model on its head in order to connect attendees with business and social partners alike. Including canapes and a two-course dinner service, live music and entertainment, the event presents two panels with speakers hailing from all sectors in the ACT. Speakers include Virginia Haussegger AM, Gai Brodtmann, Frances Crimmins, Daryl Karp AM, Zoe Lynam, Jamie Travers, Ashleigh Streeter-Jones, Ben Alexander, Kemiso Matlho, and Rasi Gupta.

We spoke to the Founder of CBR Gals, Rae Knopik about the upcoming gala and why she is so excited to launch an innovative women-led event.

What has motivated you put on the Connect-Up Gala?

With our pulse on the needs of women, we realised that 2020 has been a year for staying inside – within our homes, our comfortable patterns, and our individual bubbles. But how can we expect to build back, and build back better if Canberrans cannot connect on what unites us?

We wanted to seize the near-normality we are experiencing in Canberra and bring folks together for an evening of empowered connection making. Because the CBR Gals Network services individual women, women who own businesses, and the broader Canberra community, we created an inclusive event that incorporated and served all three.

You have taken an innovative approach to the event – can you tell us why you think innovation is important?

Across the world, data is showing us that the same-old wasn’t good enough for businesses to survive a crisis. With that in mind, it certainly won’t be good enough to build back better after one. Events matter to the people attending them, and as a leader in creating inclusive events in Canberra, the Network understands how important it is to listen to the needs of our stakeholders who attend our events. This requires agility, originality, and a keen understanding of the (social distancing and more general) frameworks in which we operate. We want to be there for the gals; to do that, we must be innovative while listening to the needs of Canberrans.

What is the biggest takeaway participants will walk away with?

We hope Canberrans leave the event feeling more certain of themselves, of the future, and of what they want in life and how to achieve what they want. Like all of our events, we encourage the strengthening and building of community; individuals support small businesses, and small businesses can and do support individuals too. By creating an atmosphere that supports both individuals and small businesses at once, we are building a more inclusive and equitable Canberra.

Rest assured this will be an evening on inclusivity, fun and expand your network; upon check in, each attendee will be matched to their pre-determined “Gain Trust” — a group of 4 others with shared goals and interests, who will be seated together to participate in the evening’s activities.

Sounds like a night worth getting dressed up for? Tickets are still available, visit The CBR Gals website for more information.

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