Lauren Woodman, the founder of Melbourne-based women's festival Seven Sisters, knows all about pivoting an events business online. When the pandemic hit, she was faced with a decision: abandon her 2020 festival entirely, or make a rapid pivot to an online business model. She chose the latter.
The women's only empowerment festival, based in both Mornington and Shepparton shire, usually draws in thousands of women from all over Australia for a 3-day and 3-night celebration of women. From its original gathering in 2012 of 350 women, the event has grown to thousands becoming the largest women's only festival in the world and a mecca for women's wellbeing and self-development.
The festival, created by Dr Lauren Woodman when she was a 23-year-old Osteopathic Doctor, was designed for all those who identify as women and is run by an all women's team of over 150 events contractors and professionals.
The event itself hosts over 120+ market stalls, 100+ healers & readers giving sessions by donation and over 140+ workshops and talks on topics from business, health, parenting, meditation, yoga, women's mysteries, dance, relationships, sound healing and wealth.
The Festival supports a total of 500 business & sole traders including presenters, teachers, health professionals, coaches, therapists, speakers, musicians, market stallholders, artists, sound techs and event staff, all of which have been severely debilitated by the ban of events.
The previous festival ran last March 12-14 th 2020, concluding just the day before the Australian wide ban on events took place, making it one of the last Festivals to run in Victoria. There were no reported cases of COVID-19.
Now the same event plans to run again this October as initially planned, albeit in an online format Festival Founder, 33-year-old Osteopathic Doctor Lauren Woodman, says: "The event must go ahead. We have to do everything we can to support the festival and the event industry. Otherwise, there will be no cultural events and festivals to come back to post COVID-19."
She also stated, "It is also a time where women need this connection, knowledge and support, now more than ever."
For the festival to continue with its mission, Dr Woodman has shifted the festival to be 100% online, offering over 80+ Live workshops on Zoom, which will be recorded and made available after the event for guests to continue to watch at their own time, stating, "we want to make this event as accessible as possible as we all need a little support right now, as do our stallholders, presenters and therapists - who we are supporting with the shift online."
Some of the online workshop titles include: The sacred seductress, Your immune health, Relationship recovery, DIY natural home & beauty, Fear & the sorceress, Freedom from emotional eating, Thrive as an empathy, The Science of intuition. The full program can be accessed here.
They are also creating an online market place featuring links to stalls offering special discounts as well as showcasing an assortment of healers and psychics which are offering over 50% off their regular sessions for bookings made the week of the festival.
The online festival costs $97 with payment plan options, as well as a reduced rate for those currently unemployed or facing financial hardship. To find out more visit: www.sevensistersonline.com