Morisset Uniting Church run successful over 50s expo
Morisset is a town on the southern end of Lake Macquarie which is one hr from Hornsby and 45mins from Newcastle. Lake Macquarie City Council has designated Morisset as a regional growth area and there is plenty of construction and development. One aspect in this rapid growth is in retirement living villages and there are eight in the surrounding area and another large one in the planning stage.
Morisset Uniting Church has a large group from that demographic so we considered running an over 50s expo.
We had several things in our favour. Our church buildings were constructed around the turn of the 21st century. They are basically two commercial steel framed buildings with a large foyer the width of the building between the two structures.
This allowed us to open up the entire complex to give a free flow of visitors from the foyer through the church hall and then back through the foyer to the church on the other side. Also the building is accessible from ground level without steps and each doorway is double width so with both doors open access is easy for people with walkers and even wheelchairs.
Further, our grounds are 22 hectares of mostly undisturbed bush but we do have a large front lawn amongst gumtrees which we could also use for passive eating and catching up.
Finally we realised people moving out of full time employment, navigating Centrelink, moving into retirement and accessing goods and services that they had never needed in their life before, are going through some of the biggest changes in their life and are looking for solutions.
We invited local retailers and service providers, who have retirees as a large part of their clientele and volunteer groups, to take a stall and Services Australia and Services NSW sent specialist reps to answer questions and run specific seminars throughout the day. In putting the expo together we had the privilege of speaking to business owners and showing them the local Uniting Church is there to help.
Leading up to the expo, we had several opportunities to build a relationship when they actually were looking forward to come to our venue. Also we got both the local State and Federal MPs to come and we are building a good relationship with them too.
Finally, on the day of the expo we had several hundred seniors, their carers and family members walking through the church buildings. While we were looking for a successful event, it was even more important that all participants had a successful day and to business owners that can include networking with others who are in the same industry.
Morisset Uniting Church