From small ideas great things grow. After getting married and starting her family, Primary School teacher, Del Renton would spend hours searching various websites, and accessing various Facebook pages to try to find activities around Geelong that would be child-friendly and be of interest to her family and friends. Five years ago, this busy ‘new mum’ had a brilliant idea to put all of this information in one easy to find place so others could also look at things being posted and not have to spend hours searching various websites. As we know, the days of reading a newspaper and circling various events has now been surpassed by social media. With phones in our hands and most of us on Facebook, WhatToDo Geelong was born. https://www.whattodogeelong.com.au/
Creating a Facebook page which collects information pertaining to our beautiful region was envisaged by Del, making initial contact with businesses and events coordinators around Geelong, to ask if she could share their information on a Facebook page. Soon ‘word of mouth’ took over and those same businesses and events coordinators were contacting her.
This means that often Del’s weekends are filled with activities and events which her family and she are invited to. This ensures that everything that is put on her pages are an authentic and insightful account which she is able to write about and relay to her subscribers.
Del also has a successful Webpage, which is being upgraded as we speak (https://www.whattodogeelong.com.au/) that informs and entertains us on a regular basis. On this webpage there is more detail than the Facebook page, as blogs, events and listings are easy to find and read. Her ultimate goal is for it to be self-sufficient where businesses have a platform on which they can populate her website with information about their businesses/events and she would only have to veto the content rather than writing up the blogs and information herself. She encourages guest bloggers to contribute to her page telling others about their experiences in and around the region.
She has formed a lovely relationship with Gosha and DJ on 96Three radio where every Thursday at 8.30am she has a one-hour segment chatting with them to inform listeners about upcoming events or she talks about Geelong’s history.
Amazingly she fits all of this into the hectic life of being a mum and wife and ensures it does not encroach on her valuable time with her children and family. She makes sure that she does her additions to the Webpage or Facebook site when her children are at school or in bed. She is determined not to have her phone or computer take the place of her children.
Del has found that she is being recognised on the street and respected as a prominent and influencing figure in the Geelong region after she won awards such as the “Small Business Award”, “Social Influencer Award” and was a finalist in a number of other Small Business categories – not bad for a small homegrown business.
Over the past few months Del was contacted by other regional businesses and WhatToDo Ballarat and WhatToDo Warrnambool have been created. Eventually she will have other regional ‘WhatToDo …’ which will generate interest to these towns. Maybe Bendigo or Hamilton could be next?
Thanks to this incredible mother of three, who welcomed the arrival of Elena Jane yesterday, who keeps us all informed about WhatToDo.
Story: Sally-Jane Smith. Photo: supplied