Over the last three and a bit years About Regional has been building a strong, engaged audience across South East NSW.
Each month sets a new record in terms of the number of people (real people) coming to the About Regional website – this month we are on track to hit 50,000 unique visitors for the month.
I remember being excited to hit 500 unique visitors in the very early days!
Our ambition is to create and deepen the conversations that take place around the news, stories, and issues of towns and villages from Batemans Bay, to Eden, to Cooma, to Yass, and Goulburn.
The business community is a big part of that and at this stage in our growth, it’s time we were more active in partnering with local family businesses, entrepreneurs, government agencies and corporate Australia.
Advertising and marketing packages are now available across About Regional platforms. We’d love to talk to businesses, government agencies and community organisations about working together and serving regional NSW.
The upcoming Festival of Open Minds will be a great launch pad for those relationships.
In September 2018 around 350 people packed into the Bega Civic Centre to experience the very first Festival of Open Minds.
The event is still being talked about with many locals asking “when is it on again?” The answer, Friday, September 13 and Saturday, September 14 at Bega Civic Centre.
Last year, the high quality of speakers, goodwill and discussion in the room, and professional way in which the Festival was presented left a mark and certain sense of pride within the community.
The Festival of Open Minds aims to pull together national and local ideas and identities with the aim of strengthening regional communities and providing an opportunity normally only available via a tollway or airport check-in lounge.
A local, regional version of the TEDx series is a good example of what we are trying to achieve and you can be a part of.
Last year’s theme was ‘change’ with a speaker list that included:
- Catherine McGregor, and her story of gender transformation;
- Hugh Mackay, Australia’s best-known social researcher;
- Gabbie Stroud, Bega Vally based education advocate;
- Linda Burney MP, Aboriginal reconciliation;
- Dr Leeanda Wilton, one of Australia’s leading IVF scientists.
In 2019, the theme is ‘People With Oomph!’ About Regional and its parent company, Canberra based Region Media aims to build on last year’s success and take the event up a notch.
We are hoping you can be a part of that through one of our partner opportunities.
Speakers already confirmed include:
- Nas Campanella, vision impaired Triple J newsreader;
- Aly Khalifa, founder of Oceanworks, focused on harvesting plastic waste from our oceans;
- Emma Booth, para-equestrian competitor, represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Paralympics;
- Pastor Christie Buckingham, spiritual counselor to executed Bali 9 drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran.
There are more names to come as well as details of a mini-Vivid light show to launch the Festival on September 13, with the Bega Valley Library Service and Bega Valley Regional Gallery.
The partnership packages available include branding on festival marketing materials, an info stall at the festival, and ongoing advertising and marketing arrangements with About Regional in the months that follow.
We’d also really welcome your ideas, what is it you need and how can we help?
There are a range of price points to consider, but most importantly we want to talk. Local media is so important to the energy and prosperity of regional communities, how can we support each other to build lives and resilience here?
Until now, About Regional has largely been supported by donations, goodwill, a lot of passion and volunteering, and in the last 12 months through the investment of Region Media, its time to broaden that base so we can grow and build deeper relationships with regional communities.
To start talking and for more information flick me a note – [email protected]
Thanks for your interest and thank you to everyone who has contributed to building this new platform for the news and stories of Southern NSW.
Catch up on the 2018 Open Minds Podcast series:
Carpenter and teacher Jo Saccomani, author and teacher Gabbie Stroud, digital innovator and serial entrepreneur Zachary Sequoia, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services Linda Burney MP, from the front line of climate and bushfire Jo Dodds.
More will be published in the run-up to the 2019 Festival of Open Minds – stay tuned!