Reigniting Melbourne Business

A free virtual event dedicated to supporting City of Melbourne businesses

It’s been a tough year, but as restrictions ease we’re finding a new rhythm as a city. We’re re-opening our doors, finding new and innovative ways to operate and welcoming back excited Melburnians. Join City of Melbourne and industry experts to hear about how we’re moving beyond the pandemic, how we’re supporting businesses now and in the future, and get practical tips and advice on how to take your business forward into 2021.

The 'Reigniting Melbourne Business' event was held on 25th November 2020. If you missed attending the event live, or simply wanted to go back and take another look, you may log in to your account and listen to the session again. If you're new to this page, you may access all this content for free by clicking the button below.

Introducing & Showcasing

This event focuses on actions and will cover:

  • Understanding the local impact of COVID-19 and the road ahead

  • How consumer behaviour has changed and the opportunities this provides

  • Showcasing practical local business stories

  • Inspiration for business leaders

  • Practical steps to get support, grow your network and link with the community

  • Tips on how to operate in a COVID-safe environment

  • City of Melbourne Business Support Program, the initiatives in action and support available

How do I access this event?

For those of you returning to watch the recording, simply head to the top right and sign in, or click 'My Dashboard' if you are already logged in. You will see the course pop up, and once you click into the course you can resume where you left off or watch from the beginning again using the navigation menu on the left.

If you are new to the platform, you’ll need to create an account first, in order to register for our courses / events. You can do this by clicking on any of the pink buttons with 'Access for free'.

Once you’ve created an account, head to the top right and sign in, or click ‘My Dashboard’ if you are already logged in. You will see the ‘CoM Reigniting Melbourne Business' course pop up, and once you click into this course / event you can navigate the two different webinars using the menu on the left.

If you missed the key links that were shared during the event, you can view all the various support options from City of Melbourne here, as well as their FAQs page.

If you have any further questions, head to the Marketing Entourage Facebook Page where the ME team will be happy to answer any questions, or feel free to also reach out via email at


  • 1


  • 2

    Recording of the Reigniting Melbourne Business event

    • Recording of the live session (2 hours)
    • Further Resources & Links from Event Recording
    • Slides from Gilbert's session
    • Slides from Rob Hall's session
    • Slides from Sam Hurley's session
  • 3

    How was your experience?

    • How was your experience?

Further resources to help you

If you missed some of the links that were shared during the event, here's some of the key info and support available:

If you have any questions or require further support, please contact the Business Concierge Service on 9658 9658 (press 1 for business). This service is available 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday or
 online anytime

Speaker details & Session overview

Keynote: There is nothing permanent except change

Gilbert Rochecouste - Village Well

'There is nothing permanent except change' - Heraclitus. Our ever-evolving and proud City has been changing for decades, so what can we learn from the past and how can it be used to help us, as we move forward into 2021? What will be your role and what impact can you make?

Gilbert is recognised locally and internationally as a leading voice in Placemaking and the creation of vibrant, resilient and loved places. He is a sought after speaker and skilled facilitator for community and stakeholder engagement activities and has worked with over 1000 cities, towns, main streets and communities over the past 25 years. Gilbert will talk through some of the key milestones for the City of Melbourne in the last 25 years and how they can be applied to help in the current situation.

The local impact of Covid-19 and the road ahead

Rob Hall - i.d

Rob is driven by a desire to help shape communities for a better future. Trained as an economist, he has a unique fifteen-year background in economics, demographics, statistics and strategic planning with a focus on understanding how economic forces influence local government areas across Australia.

This session delves into what the data is showing for the local impact of Covid-19 and the road to recovery for the City of Melbourne.

Opportunities of changing consumer behaviour

Sam Hurley - 25eight

Sam is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of 25eight Group, a B Corporation and family of brands focused on improving the way people experience their lives, work and the environment through innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship. Sam Hurley is also the Co-Founder of Marketing Entourage, a marketing education company whose purpose is to build the strategic marketing capabilities of founders and business owners.

Sam will talk through how consumer behaviour has changed and how this can present new opportunities.

Local stories of action: Iconic local businesses share their business journey and impact.

Adapting your business model - Eugene Cheng - The Sneaker Laundry

The Sneaker Laundry moved from a service-focused business to a product-focussed business during the pandemic and they’re now aligning this dual approach as part of their strategy and offering coming out of Covid-19.

Eugene is the owner of Sneaker Laundry, Australia's sneaker care shop providing both service and product solutions for sneaker owners to clean, restore and display their sneakers. An entrepreneur at heart, especially amongst Melbourne’s nightlife scene, Eugene's past work includes co-founding the ‘I Love R&B’ club in 2015 and is a renowned international DJ.

Operating flexibly and COVID-safe - Shara Irving - Urban Alley Brewery

Urban Alley Brewery had to change things up during the pandemic - online orders from the brewery grew and moved Australia-wide, whilst their Brew-Pub had to shut its doors indefinitely. Amongst all this, the team were also able to start ‘Urban Armour’, a sanitizer product to help keep them afloat and more of their staff on board.

Shara has been working alongside Director Dean Grant for over 15 years, and her role has been ever-changing through the years, making the experience all the more exciting and enjoyable.

Pathways forward & Business networks: an 'around the table' with CoM business networks and support options.

This session focuses on initiatives and ways in which businesses can take practical steps forward, by bringing together representatives of business-focused organisations and networks to introduce themselves and share ways to leverage their services.

Matthew Salier - RMIT Activator

Matthew is passionate about helping people and businesses to thrive in a connected digital world. His key interests include digital technology, scalable business models, the application of purpose and impact to new venture creation, and the power of education delivered through innovative learning strategies.

A partnership between City of Melbourne and RMIT University, a Roadmap to Recovery is an exciting new program designed to help small and medium businesses in the city rebound from the challenges of 2020. This is recovery unlike you know it, with a strong focus on opportunity, capability building and practical innovation. The purpose isn’t just to get your business ‘back to normal’ but to emerge stronger and help pave the way for the future of Melbourne’s economy. The ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ program will give you the tools to stabilise your operations, accelerate your business and market opportunities, and develop a future growth strategy.

David Gregory - Small Business Mentoring Service

David is a recognised small business expert with great skills and success in driving small business growth within a challenging and dynamic market. Recognised by the United Nations in New York as an SME Global Leader by the International Council of Small Business (ICSB), his specialist service and extensive skills help small business managers support organisational growth, drive profit and opportunities as well as manage and resolve conflicts and issues unique to small business owners.

The Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS) is a not-for-profit organisation with over 57k small business members. Each year SBMS delivers over 5k mentoring sessions face to face/one-to-one with small business owners. Mentoring can be accessed directly through our website at, where you can view the mentors' profiles and book sessions directly. SBMS is proudly supported by the Victorian State Government and has been delivering support to Victorian small businesses for over 35 years.

Elisia Retsas - General Assembly

Elisia is the Senior Regional Director at General Assembly, a global tech education company helping to reskill and upskill individuals and businesses across tech, business, design and data - disciplines fundamental to digital change. Elisia joined General Assembly (GA) in 2014, developing and growing GA’s operations from its early stages in Australia, most recently expanding into Thailand and Malaysia. Prior to GA, her experience spanned business development, growth and marketing at a Paris based startup and working as a Solicitor specialising in business and franchising law.

General Assembly (GA) transforms companies and careers through leading-edge, industry-relevant practical education programs in tech, business, design, digital marketing, data and more. Our team has worked with hundreds of companies around the world to upskill, reskill, and revolutionise their teams. GA is supporting Melbourne’s businesses to tackle emerging business challenges by helping them to acquire new, cutting edge skills in tech, data, marketing and more. GA’s flexible menu of short-form programs will be on offer through our Digital Skills Learning Hub - aimed at equipping businesses with digital skills to apply right away. More info here:

Anita Bowtell - Melbourne Business Network

Melbourne Business Network (MBN) is a member-based networking organisation that facilitates connections, with businesses that contribute to the economic development of the Municipality of Melbourne. MBN supports the business community and its members with thought leadership collaboration, proven business connections and the dissemination of topical industry and government communications. Successfully operating since 1994, MBN makes it easy for like-minded business operators, owners and entrepreneurs to connect and build relationships, extending their reach and business opportunities. MBN also rewards and recognises the achievements and successes of these businesses through the annual Business 3000 Awards Program and Presentation Ceremony.

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