307 – How to Run a Suucessful Event with Sarah-Jane Dunford of Riskology and The Hunter Safety Awards

307 – How to Run a Suucessful Event with Sarah-Jane Dunford of Riskology and The Hunter Safety Awards

Have you ever had a big idea and then talked yourself out of it because it was ‘too big’ or it’s something for the ‘big guys’? This week’s guest Sarah-Jane Dunford from Riskology is here to smash those limiting beliefs with her story of how she took her big idea and turned it into a reality.

Long time listener of the show and forum member Sarah-Jane Dunford was travelling out of radio range and was listening to (you guessed it) a certain number 1 small business marketing podcast, this particular episode was with Flip Shelton who created ‘National Porridge Day’ and had a big idea. Since then Sarah has created a gala awards event for not only her business but her industry – The Hunter Safety Awards.

Riskology is a workplace health and safety consultancy which is arguably in the more bland of industries yet Sarah has been able to use stories to bring emotion into her practice. She has also taken her big idea of  gala awards event and focused on the ‘1 per center’s’ to create a truly memorable experience.

In this chat we uncover:

  • How to run an event for your business and industry
  • The steps Sarah took to ensure it would be an experience and a success
  • How injecting your own personality into your work and business can be a killer strategy
  • The power of a strong WHY
  • How she uses stories in her business
  • Obtaining sponsorship
  • Finding a high quality event MC
  • Creating and managing relationships with media partners

After all that effort you may be asking, was it all worth it?

Not only did Riskology enjoy some really good Google juice and buzz from the event here’s a post from the forum a few weeks after the event:

“This week I’ve had three requests for quotes for some big well known organisations and two speaking gigs! I usually only have around 5 to 10 clients per year that I work with so to get three requests for quotes in a week is really big for me.”

Plus we have a great listener question from a fish and chip shop called Chompers about how to create helpful marketing for a great take away shop. Here were my 3 tips:

  • Create a series of recipes to sell off your website:
    • 99 cents each AND/OR
    • Put 20 or 30 behind a password
  • Do a weekly video talking about what fish are making good eating or simply what’s on your mind – offer it in exchange for an email address or phone number – build that database and send them weekly specials
  • Hold cooking classes e.g. ‘Cooking with Dim Sims’ (I mean seafood!)
Are you a struggling with the cost of doing business in Australia? Like the idea offloading repetitive tasks that are taking way too long and costing way too much? Or do you just feel like a three day business vacation to The Philippines with me, a mini bus and a handful of other motivated business owners?! If you answered YES to any of the above I’d love for you to join me on our second Small Business Big Marketing Freedom Through Outsourcing Tour of the Philippines. I’ve recorded a quick video to tell you what it’s all about.




00:36  Welcome & overview
03:00  Time for a check-in on the week
05:34  Today’s guest introduction – Sarah-Jane Dunford of Riskology
07:10  Interview with Sarah-Jane Dunford – Part 1
20:26  Insights in to Netregistry & Key Person Of Influence
22:14  Interview with Sarah-Jane Dunford – Part 2
32:05  My top 3 attention grabbers from my chat with Sarah-Jane Dunford
33:58  Motivational marketing quote of the week
34:09  Wrap-up and insights in to next week’s guests



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Riskology’s official website

The Hunter Safety Awards official website

Episode 84 on how to start a national day for your brand

Find out more on the SBBM Freedom Through Outsourcing Tour of the Philippines

Buy Timbo’s new marketing text book The Boomerang Effect




  1. Ask yourself “What can you do to help build your category?”
  2. Have the courage to be selective – Sarah-Jane was when she was choosing her sponsors. It’s easy to say yes to anyone in the first year, it takes courage to be selective.
  3. Check out what your competitors are up to. It doesn’t mean you have to adopt what they’re doing, but it may identify opportunities and gaps that you could fill.




Some wise soul once said…

“Today I will be sure to use my mobile phone as an assistant, not as the master of my mind.

Every call shall have my undivided attention.

Equally, I will ensure that the call stays on topic and respects the available time for both of us.

I am the master of my mobile phone.”




What was your biggest marketing learning or ah-ha moment from this episode?

Leave your comment below.

My guest and I respond to each and every comment.

6 thoughts on “307 – How to Run a Suucessful Event with Sarah-Jane Dunford of Riskology and The Hunter Safety Awards”

  1. Way to knock it out of the park SJ! You have inspired me!! There are a ton of interior design awards, but nothing on a national level that is super inclusive. My perfect target!! Oh, the juices are flowing!!

  2. mcutlerwelsh

    I also recall heating about national porridge day on your show Timbo, while running home from work one day. Was it that long ago!? Makes me wonder what I’ve been doing with myself since then. Big ups to SJ for taking action. Some great learning here about being the change you want to see. Relevant to any industry.

  3. Hello there Timbo and SJ – great podcast. It’s got my mind cranking and I’m starting to outline how I could add an “awards night” type event to my next big expo. Thanks for sharing the inspiration!!

  4. Great to hear from you Michelle, and I’m glad SJ and I could provide some inspiration for your next big idea. Let us know if you launch it. Maybe SJ could start a course teaching others how to run an awards night?!

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