As part of Senior’s Week 2017, Ipswich City Council, in partnership with U3A Ipswich & West Moreton Inc., held the See Create Connect Expo on Tuesday 22 August and it was a great success! MPs Shayne Neumann and Jennifer Howard had stalls and ICC Councilors David Pahlke, Kerry Silver, Kylie Stoneman and Charlie Pisasale, came along to enjoy the event.
This year saw the launch of Seniors Week in Ipswich take on a completely new image and concept. A few risks were taken and these risks paid off with an exciting and successful event. Initially there were concerns over attendance and how we would promote this to the wider community. Just under 500 people came to the event, which assured us that the marketing campaign was far reaching with nearly 40% hearing about the expo via word of mouth, 25% via the posted invites and the remaining 35% via U3A, Facebook or Newspaper.
Over 50 local organisations and groups attended the event which included small arts and craft groups, government organisations, recreational organisations, health services plus minimal support services. 85% of survey recipients on the day rated the diversity of the exhibits at “7” or higher (out of 10).
The day showcased varied choices for seniors who wanted to engage in social and recreational activities, educational pathways, volunteering opportunities and lifelong learning. In addition to this, the event focused strongly on promoting community activities and attendees were given this in an expo format that enabled them to walk around and talk with groups of interest. A lot of work went into ensuring there was variety and most importantly relevant material on display being promoted through the exhibits. When asked to rate out of ten how relevant the information and advice was throughout the expo, nearly 90% of attendees indicated a “7” or higher (out of 10).
Seniors were empowered, inspired and encouraged to join up and participate in something new. Follow up consultation with our stakeholders will indicate how successful this has been, however, over 70% of Stallholders indicated that their overall experience at the expo was very good and 99% saw value in being involved again next year which is very promising.
U3A, with the support of Council were the key organisers of the event, with the expo being planned and delivered solely by a team of committed and enthusiastic volunteers. The experience, knowledge and expertise shared and the organisation of tasks was second to none! A huge learning curve for U3A, who threw everything into making the day a huge success and ensuring that the event was welcoming to seniors and inclusive.
Our wonderful U3A Committee members and volunteers, distinctive in their bright yellow bibs, did an amazing job.
Our thanks go to Karrie Brown from the ICC, Paulette Montaigne (Logistics), Anna Bradbury (Marketing), Norah Blunden(Volunteers) and Norid Krausz (Stallholders).
Enjoy the photos: