Thirty Kangaroo Island businesses took advantage of the Industry Exchange recently to meet new businesses and learn how they can work with each other.

Well-established businesses such as Dudley Wines Cellar Door and Sealink participated in a “speed dating” event with very new businesses such as Beach Barista and Kangaroo Island Oats, on the first day.

The 15-minute “dates” saw people moving from display to display, talking about their products and how they could work together, as well as meeting new people and learning more about what is on offer on Kangaroo Island.

While most were involved in the tourism, food, wine and beverage industries, there were also service providers, such as Big Quince Print and Seaside Beauty.

On day two, a range of industry experts and local services were available to help businesses through answering questions and giving business tips. They included representatives from SA Tourism Commission, Tradestart and Food SA, as well as locals such as Josh Sheppard Electrical. A range of private businesses were also represented, such as Finlaysons Lawyers, My Travel Research and Jaba web designers.

Participants were enthusiastic about the value of the event.

Hugh Rischbieth of One Kangaroo Island accommodation said it was a “terrific opportunity for Kangaroo Island businesses to work together for the long-term benefit of the Island. I’ve met producers and found new businesses… it all makes me a better ambassador for the Island.”

Julie Helyar of False Cape Wines agreed. “We’ve been around a while but I’ve met people I didn’t know. I might have heard of their business but now I can put a face to a name and I know more about their offering.” As she and husband Jamie prepare to launch their new cellar door, Julie said the most valuable appointments on day two were with SATC for Facebook marketing, with Tourism Tribe about targeting a sales pitch to the right customers, and Vincreative for website tips.

Carolyn Childs of My Travel Research was guest speaker at the dinner event between the two days. “One-on-one works really well. I know it works really well for my business. In a knowledge business, people will only buy from you if they are confident you have the knowledge and this kind of event is a great way to show that to people.”

The two-day event at the Aurora Ozone Hotel was conducted by the KI Tourism Food Wine and Beverage Association and the KI Business and Brand Alliance with funding support from the Australian Government through their Building Better Regions Fund and from the Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island.

“This type of program supported by funding from the Australian and State Governments and run by the industry associations makes sure that the outcomes are targeted and gives a chance for the associations to pilot activities that could continue, if successful, in future years” said Wendy Campana, Commissioner for Kangaroo Island.

Catherine Jamieson (KI Spirits), Mary-Lou Corcoran (Ozone Hotel)
Mel Holman and Ella Johnson (Emu Ridge Eucalyptus)
Hugh Rischbieth (One Kangaroo Island), Graham Jones (Colony Cove Ciders)
Bev Nolan (Cliffords Honey Farm), Robert and Kylie Walters (Beach Barista), Sharon Simons (Drunken Drone)
Tam Bailey (Dudley Wines Cellar Door), Chelsi Zolotovs (The Oyster Farm Shop)
Rene Steyn (Emu Bay Holiday Homes), Steve Morgan (KI Oats)
Kylie Hargreaves (Island Beehive), Nicola Purvis (KI Seafront)
Alana Whennen (Penneshaw Penguin Centre), Health Mullen (Victor Harbor Visitor Centre)
Pierre Gregor (KITFWBA), Hayden Zammit (SATC), Lucy McNaught (KI Wool)
Mandy Johnson (Seaside Beauty), Steve and Lucy Morgan (KI Oats)
Edward Brooks (SATC), Yael Katz (Ecopia Retreat)