Artists and business people alike gathered at the Castlemaine Art Gallery to discuss the importance of getting creative in business situations.
More than 70 business people listened to group discussions on the art scene in Castlemaine and surrounding areas.
A question and answer session was led by Castlemaine State Festival Director Martin Paten who challenged each attendee to imagine the region without an arts culture.
City of Greater Bendigo City Futures Director Stan Liacos said the council was committed to creating a positive profile and civic pride which brought them to invest heavily into the arts.
Event organiser Kerry Anderson said there were many great business leaders who spoke about the importance of the arts.
She said each person in attendance had a conscious mind to learn more about the topics.
"Successful business people support art galleries," she said.
"This sort of creative thinking can give ordinary businesses an edge."
She said there were solicitors, real estate agents, retail sales people and publishers in attendance.
"The meeting helped everyone think about why we support the arts," she said.
"Not just being charitable to the arts but letting them feed businesses."
Ms Anderson said the meeting also challenged the businesses to create new things and think in innovative ways.
She said it was important to share the message - good business equals good community.
"They feed off each other," she said.
"The idea of having an artistic hub in the community can maximise outcomes for everyone."
Ms Anderson said the next step was to continue encouraging business people to network with others in the area.
She said opening up conversation between businesses was integral.
She said there were countless "horror" stories of people outsourcing services when the same services were available in their own towns.
She said businesses needed to make themselves more visible in creative ways.