One of the byproducts of the turbulence over the past 24 months has been increased isolation for our Tai Tokerau small business community.
Networking events, business advice workshops, and even water cooler chat in our own Orchard co-working space, have been disrupted, had to migrate online, or at the very least punctuated by masks and social distancing.
Here at The Orchard, our strength lies in the community of like-minded business people we bring together, where we can collectively share business advice, tools and professional support networks – all of which are made a bit trickier when there are barriers to being in the same place!
We know the challenges of working in silo, as we see first-hand the value that can be created from crossing paths with other small business owners, entrepreneurs or businesses expanding into Tai Tokerau.
Conversations started during a lunch break evolve into connections made, doors opened, and networks built.
However, like the small businesses and entrepreneurs we're home to, we've stayed nimble and agile through the challenges we've been thrown – our business advice events have shifted online, we've reintroduced social club meetups as restrictions allow and continued to look for ways to come together and build workplace culture when we're able to (did someone say love heart confetti and a sweet spread of treats for everyone enjoy on Valentine's Day!?).
Like everyone in Tai Tokerau, we're looking forward to getting back to a sense of normality in The Orchard.
While we've had to adapt many of our growth facilitation workshops, with the likes of The Pick '22 shifting online rather than being hosted here in our meeting rooms, the nationwide Techweek event in May gives us the opportunity to throw open our doors and welcome our wider community back into our space, safely.
After such a long period of different forms of isolation for our businesses, Techweek provides the opportunity for individuals, organisations, and community groups nationwide to showcase and celebrate their technology and innovation sectors through events and workshops.
Te Tai Tokerau is home to many early-stage, high-value tech start-ups, some of which we've been lucky to work alongside in The Orchard, and some who have grown into their own office spaces as their businesses have flourished.
Techweek creates a platform to help businesses and organisations create, promote and execute tech events to showcase and inspire our communities with the exciting technology they utilise.
Here at The Orchard, along with Te Kona in Kaikohe and the Kaitaia Digital Hub, we'll be hosting Callaghan Innovation's 10 Types of Innovation Workshop as part of the Techweek agenda.
As New Zealand's innovation agency tasked with making businesses more innovative, the Callaghan experts will be on hand to share their knowledge with our regional businesses, expanding beyond the traditional 'product development' innovation and into pivoting, expanding and diversifying business, particularly topical in our changing business landscape.
The best part of the events is that they'll be delivered across Te Tai Tokerau, free of charge and in person.
It's worth mentioning that Techweek isn't just limited to nationwide experts sharing their knowledge – we know we have plenty of exciting, innovative experts within our own region too.
Tai Tokerau businesses, organisations, and community groups can host their own events and have them promoted as part of the wider Techweek festival, offering a great opportunity for our regional businesses to showcase how they're utilising technology.
It's a chance for businesses to raise their profile, educate our communities, and importantly, catch up on the networking and connection building which we've all craved over the past couple of years. If you want to know more, head to techweek.co.nz.
Andrea Primerose-Netzler is Co-working Coordinator and Business Growth Advisor for Northland Inc and its collaborative space The Orchard Business & Event Hub.