The Cardiff networking team behind Warrior Women Collective, whose events were transformed overnight due to the coronavirus pandemic, say “adaptability is key to business survival”.
Charlie Morgan and Amy Holland, the creators of the increasingly popular series of female-focussed events, are urging business leaders to adopt greater flexibility in their approach following the worldwide virus outbreak in March.
The duo are speaking out after being forced to swiftly adapt their events offering, which have soared in popularity since their launch in 2017.
Warrior Women Collective aims to empower and celebrate women through their series of female-focussed events. The uplifting, inspirational, and empowering events aim to engage women in thought-provoking and positive discussions.
They have featured speakers including some of Wales’s leading businesswomen and entrepreneurs, including Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, and Hannah Pycroft co-founder of Spectrum Collections, while also shining a light on thriving female-run businesses.
Their popularity has soared over the past three years, with up to 1,000 women attending their 12 events last year and a 290% surge in attendees from the previous year.
Ms Morgan said: “Warrior Women Collective has been growing in strength over the past three years and we have been blown away by our growing community of women who attend our events and support us online too. We have also been humbled by the amazing women and inspirational speakers who have really made our events so memorable.
“Our events have consistently sold out, our audiences have increased, and the venues have grown, so we were really delighted with how well the events were doing and had big plans on how to keep developing and growing them.
“I think Cardiff was really ready for an informal, uplifting, and empowering series of events which celebrate the achievements of women.”
However, like millions of other businesses worldwide, the Warrior Women Collective co-founders were forced to re-valuate their business rapidly when the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
Ms Holland said: “Our events were completely transformed overnight by coronavirus.
“Social distancing and lockdown restrictions have indefinitely put a stop to our networking style events in their existing format, which is such a shame, and something which we were devastated by.
“But we didn’t want to just give up and let our amazing audiences and community down. More than ever women need to be supported, united, and empowered during this challenging time.
“So, we were forced to quickly regroup and re-evaluate how we could still cater to our audience and continue to host these events.”
After discussions, Ms Holland and Ms Morgan decided to launch their sell-out events online, enabling existing, and new attendees from across Wales and beyond to get involved. Ms Morgan added:
“Initially we weren’t sure how successful these would be online, would the format translate to Zoom? What happens if we have technical issues? Would our speakers be able to open up and share their stories as effectively on an online platform?
“These were big concerns for us as it’s the connection between our audience and the speakers that is really special at a Warrior Women event.”
Thankfully, the duo has seen their online events sell out, and over 100 attendees log in to listen to thought-provoking and inspiring speakers since March. Ms Morgan said:
“We’re amazed with the response to these online sessions, which have been beyond our expectations.
“We have been able to reach a far wider audience online, and become more inclusive helping to benefit those who we previously couldn’t reach.
“Women who previously may have been too nervous to share their stories are speaking out for the first time, women who were unable to attend due to childcare responsibilities, and many others who for varying reasons couldn’t take part are now logging in and enjoying our events.
“We can’t thank our network and speakers enough for all their support and for adapting with us in these challenging times.
“Warrior Women Collective, like millions of other initiatives, has had to become flexible and draw on creativity in order to survive.
“Our success underlines the importance of adaptability and how that is key to business progress in this unprecedented time.
“Yes, it was daunting taking the leap and deciding to recreate our offering in this format, but it was worth the risk, we have learnt so much and we’d encourage anyone considering it, to just go for it.”
Warrior Women will be hosting its next event on June 18. For more information and tickets visit https://warriorwomencollective.co.uk/next-event