August 4, 2005 – Posted at 5:31 p.m. CDT
POPLAR BLUFF, MO -- The Women Aware Conference has been a big part of Poplar Bluff for the last 18 years.
Over time, the event has evolved and has seen many woman network for success. It's a chance for women to network and learn about topics ranging from neighborhood watches to how to use E-Bay.
And one of the unique features about this year's conference, there are men here.
“Even though it's women aware, it's definitely gender neutral,” laughed Poplar Bluff Wal-Mart manager Steve Halter, “Most of our work force is women, about 80 to 85% women and we need to know what issues they are having that maybe we can help out with.”
“They are here to learn about what goes on at our conference, learning some tools they can take back to their stores and to their homes and just enjoy the day. This is not all about just women. There are topics anyone can enjoy,” said conference director Janet McNece.
“It's just not a message for women, it's a message for all of us who are just trying to not survive life, but to go through it joyously,” said keynote speaker Suzie Humphreys.
More than 300 women and about 40 men were at the Black River Coliseum Thursday for the conference, and while it’s the 18 th year, things are continuously changing.
“As time changes, we learn different ways to do things, bring in new speakers. And just try to get in topics that are fresh and interesting to all age groups,” said McNece.
And even though the men were out numbered...they say they definitely learned a lot.
“It's surprising to me the different looks that we're getting from some of the women who are surprised that we are here,” laughed Halter.