This is our third year of 9 to Thrive, so we had a good idea that it was going to be an awesome two days in Sydney, but this year’s expo was OFF THE CHARTS.
We’re still buzzing and no doubt so are the THOUSANDS of attendees who joined us over the two days. The energy was electric, from the crowd to the exhibitors to of course, our panelists. Everyone came ready to share and learn and above all, have a cracking good time. We saw connections being made, notes being taken, selfies being snapped, donuts being munched, ideas being born and stacks of laughter and boogieing to Shelly Horton’s impromptu 20-second dance parties. We heard that many of you travelled from interstate or drove from regional areas to be with us, so we wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who came and made it our best year yet.
We’ve compiled some of our favourite moments from the two days, and thanks to our partners who helped pull this massive event together, we couldn’t have done it without you!
1. Our CEO Olivia Ruello kicking things off.
It was Liv’s first week back from maternity leave, and we’re so glad she could be there with four-month-old Gracie in tow. Liv set the tone for the day, telling the crowd, “If you see a woman on her own, and feeling a bit unsure about herself, please go and say hi. Please make new friends and welcome them into your fold. These connections are what we’re all about here at Business Chicks.”
“Most of all I want you to have fun today, and learn something that you didn’t already know before. Please go and soak up all this Business Chicks magic. Let’s do this!”
2. Attendees checking-in and picking up their programs and gift bags.
Our favourite moment from every Business Chicks event is when the music is pumped up loud and the attendees flood through the doors. #goosebumps
3. Free coffees thanks to Republica and Almond Breeze.
República’s fair trade, organic and sustainable coffee made with Almond Breeze’s delicious almond milk kept us going.
4. The Business Chicks booth.
One of the key takeouts from 9 to Thrive this year was that women often don’t talk enough about their successes, so with that in mind we’re going to talk up our our booth! Thanks to the epic styling by Three Piece Suit for making us look so damn gorgeous, and to everyone who came and said hi, picked up freebies, ate cupcakes and doughnuts, and got snapped in our photo booth.
5. Our Juggle Is Real panel keeping it VERY real.
We kicked off 9 to Thrive with the Juggle Is Real panel, and it was a cracker! Twitter Australia’s Suzy Nicoletti asked, ‘Exactly how real can we be?’ And we’re glad to report the panel didn’t hold back, and we loved what they had to say. Justine Cullen talked nits and bodily fluids, Suzy Nicoletti shared her experience of the juggle without having family in Sydney, and Jessica Rowe talked openly about tantrums and mental illness, but it was her snort laugh that had the crowd in tears (of laughter). We can’t wait to hear the panel session again in Melbourne!
6. Shelly Horton’s 20-second dance parties!
It wouldn’t be a Shelly Horton-hosted event if 20-second dance parties weren’t involved! Throughout the day we gave out $200 Westfield vouchers to the best dancers, and Elle & Tash also surprised the audience with a whopping $2000 gift voucher to the person with the best moves.
7. Our doughnut wall. Mmmm doughnuts.
No explanation necessary, but a huge thank you to Doughnut Time for supplying the goods! YUM.
8. Benefit’s brow makeovers.
Attendees were treated to brow makeovers and makeup consultations from the gorgeous folks at Benefit.
9. Baby Gracie watching her mum on stage.
You can’t be want you can’t see, and lil’ Gracie is getting an early education watching her mum, Olivia Ruello, on the ‘This is what a CEO looks like’ panel on Saturday. Gorge.
10. King Living’s lounge area.
King Living’s gorgeous pink couches were in hot demand especially during the panel sessions. We also spied a quite few breastfeeding mums taking advantage of the comfiest chairs around!
11. Henna tattoos at The Hunger Project.
The Hunger Project were there to talk about #UnleashedWomen, their powerful global movement empowering women to end hunger, and brought along a henna tattoo artist. Find out more about their #UnleashedWomen movement here.
12. Touch-ups with Glamazon.
The Glamazon army (pictured here setting up) were in full force offering free eyebrow threading and hair and makeup touch-ups throughout the day.
13. Truvee’s wine bar.
It was definitely yes way rose as soon as Truvee’s bar opened at 11am!
14. Megan Hess’ pop-up gallery.
The divine Megan Hess was a crowd favourite on stage, and her pop-up gallery selling her beautiful illustrations was even more popular.
15. Free fairy floss!
Toyota provided free Fluffegram fairy floss, and yes, it was as good as it looks.
16. The neck and shoulder massages.
Soothe On-Demand’s pop-up massage booth was one of the most popular stands at 9 to Thrive this year. Attendees lined up to be treated to free 15-minute shoulder and back rubs. Heaven.
17. Surprise bouquets from Little Flowers.
18. Kayla taking a moment on stage.
Speaking in front of roughly a thousand women is a daunting task for anyone, but we didn’t expect that with all her success (ahem, 23M followers) that Kayla Itsines would be so humble about talking about her success. There was a moment where she paused, lost her train of thought and revealed she was really nervous talking in front of so many fans.
19. Emma Isaacs’ stand-ins.
A post shared by Emma Isaacs (@emmaisaacs) on
At 41 weeks pregnant, our founder couldn’t be with us, but instead sent her husband and four adorable children.
20. Celeste Barber accepting challenges at the photo wall.
Anyone who caught the Double Tap panel (if not, you can watch it here) saw how hilarious Celeste Barber can be live, but we had no idea that Celeste would accept celebrity challenges from fans at the media wall. What a legend.
21. Our awesome crew.
We may be a little biased, but we think we have the best crew there is. They helped people find lost phones (back pocket), lost handbags (friend had it), handed out programs, helped with directions, and most importantly, pointed us in the direction towards hot coffee first thing in the morning. We love you guys!
p.s. How cute does our second stage look? Thanks to realestate.com.au for making our stage a homely one!
22. And last but not least, YOU GUYS!
We can’t tell you how excited we were to see the huge lineup running all the way to the street early on Saturday morning. Our first speakers of the day, Tash & Elle, could’ve had something to with it, but we’ve never seen a more stylish crowd.
23. That we’re doing it all over again! See you in Melbourne!
A huge thanks to our event partners, Truvee, Toyota, and our supporting partners King Living, and Realestate.com.au for helping us pull off this mammoth event. We also couldn’t have done it without our digital media partner Pedestrian TV, our radio partner Smooth FM, and our AV partner Staging Connections. And a special mention to our annual platinum partner Commonwealth Bank Women in Focus and silver partner The Telstra Business Women’s awards. We love you guys!