Conference Program

Thursday 19th March 2020


Registration Opens


    Official Opening and Welcome

    Tina Aliteri, Conference MC, Speaker and Facilitator


      The Formula of Extraordinary Experiences

      In this keynote, Jonathan will unveil his tried and tested formula that can take the idea or situation you already have (or may dream up in the future) and guide it through the stages and processes to guarantee that it can scale up, be championed by everyone involved and – ultimately – create the moments of magic that we look for in our experiences.

      Whether you want to improve your everyday organisational experiences, or deliver that massive dream, Jonathan can help you to identify the elements necessary, and then provide examples and models from his own experience and from around the world, to help you transform your output.

      Session Takeways:

      • Champion giant thinking and vision, managing talent, leading delivery teams, and collaborating with governments, sponsors, the media and the public.
      • Harness innovation, persuasion and health & safety to create unmissable, unexpected and unforgettable experiences for small and massive audiences, and for colleagues and collaborators.
      • The power of macro ideas creating an impact for everyone involved.

      Jonathan Holloway, Artistic Director and Co-CEO, Melbourne International Arts Festival


        Unlocking the impact of your next event

        ‘Events’ describe a wide range of activities from conferences to community days, gala dinners to festivals.
        Planning an event can often be formulaic, following a list of priorities to reach a result. But events can be so much more – they have the power to change perceptions and behaviours, they can connect us in a world where technology is driving isolation, they can educate and enlighten us.

        The panel of industry leaders come from diverse backgrounds within the events sector and will challenge you to think bigger, push the boundaries and open your mind to new ideas. Drawing on their own experiences they will openly share ideas and answer your questions on how you can unlock the value and deliver a lasting positive impact at your next event.

        Session Takeaways:

        • What questions should you be asking to push your event to the next level?
        • How to identify your event strengths and maximise them?
        • Does technology assist with unlocking the impact of your event?
        • Leveraging your environment to enhance your event experiences
        • Understand how to develop measurement tools to validate business strategies around events
        • Discover exciting tools and techniques to enhance the outcomes of your event


        Housing Industry Association logo


          Morning Tea

            Unlocking the Value of events

            Creating conversations


            Capturing the real long-term value of your event program

            Defining the purpose of your event, and measuring its success, is key to understanding the long-term value of your annual event program to your organisation. As event planners are constantly facing demands to justify costs, this session will look at the ways different sectors measure the business value of events and conferences.

            Session Takeaways:

            • ROI vs ROO – is one more important that the other?
            • Learn the most meaningful ways to measure the business value of your events
            • Different events, different measurement – learn what you should be gauging success on


            • Deborah Edwards, Associate Professor, UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney
            • Carmel Foley, Associate Professor in Event Management, UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney

            UTS logo

              Coachella for accountants - a behind the scenes look at Xerocon

              Do you wish you could design the outcome of your event? The power of events is to be able to influence and change the behaviour of attendees, and this session will discuss the event design process to maximise this power, and the outcomes of your next event.

              Session Takeaways:

              • How to work successfully with a creative agency to build an almost ‘cult-like’ following of your annual event
              • Learn the benefits of mixing emotional engagement with business at corporate events
              • Understand the commercial benefits of creating a stand out event for your customers

              Cara Weers, Head of Events, Global – Xero


                Events as part of an integrated marketing plan

                A fireside chat.

                Events are a key part of an integrated marketing plan, and an effective way to influence customers, prospects, members and stakeholders. This session will explore how different organisations from corporate to local government develop and implement a truly integrated plan and delve into the commercial benefits of this approach.

                Session Takeaways:

                • Understand what does it mean to have an event program as part of an integrated marketing plan
                • Learn how this is implemented in different situations
                • Discover the commercial benefits of this approach


                  "Living Smart" - The Growth of a Sustainability Festival in the Hunter

                  The Lake Macquarie Living Smart Festival started in 2009 is now considered a flagship event for the City with attendances exceeding 25,000.

                  Engaging the community on environmental sustainability is a fundamental driver of the now 3 day event and provides a forum for education, live performance, workshops and demonstrations, food and local products, set against a backdrop of art, live entertainment and activities for all ages. Programmed as an annual event in September and coordinated as a purely collaborative program between community and Council’s Sustainability and Events teams, the festival is now at its maturity to expand. This presentation will outline its metamorphosis over the past decade and what is proposed in the future.


                  • Jacqui Hemsley, Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism, Lake Macquarie City
                  • Christine Harle, Sustainability Engagement Coordinator, Lake Macquarie City

                  Lake Macquarie City logo


                    Relationships are Key!

                    Stakeholder engagement and stakeholder management are some of the most important ingredients for successful event and conference delivery, and yet are often overlooked or unassigned as part of the project plan. The key is to understand the difference between engagement and management and determine what approach you need to take to successfully engage both your team and your executives/client.

                    Session Takeaways:

                    • Learn how to influence stakeholders, both internal and external, effectively
                    • How to achieve objectives through stakeholder engagement
                    • The impact of just following a process Vs building a relationship with people on achieving outcomes

                      How to Use Data to Ensure Your Next Event is a Success

                      In this case study presentation, Robin will discuss how they used data to transform a national event. From designing the event program through to the creative used, content on the site and the overall digital marketing campaign. Putting the right message in front of the right audience at the right time based on the different segments and locations across Australia.

                      Session Takeaways:

                      • How we used data to determine the overall creative, messaging, timing, performance, ad campaign and results for a well known national B2C event.
                      • Why use data to design your next event?
                      • Which tools to use for research and data-led strategies to ensure your next event is a success
                      • Specific questions to ask before you start putting together your next event and how you can answer them with quick research
                      • Step by step methodology of how to pull the data quickly and easily and how to implement the findings

                      Robin Stafford, Director, Half Eaten Donut




                          The new action plan

                          Creativity Takes courage


                          Together is more - Collaborating to Win Event Bids

                          Are you bidding to win? Collaboration and innovation has seen Melbourne secure a number of international events recently including the World Congress of Optometry 2021 (WCO 2021). Learn from those behind the winning bids on how collaboration sets them apart. Get insights into how working with all levels of government, local partners and industry to showcase the destinations strengths and capability to deliver can make the difference to your next bid submission.

                          Session Takeaways:

                          • Bids cannot be won without total city and stakeholder collaboration.
                          • Examples of some successful bids and campaigns lead by MCB.
                          • What you should include in your next bid submission.

                          Beverley Williamson, General Manager, Business Development and Bids, Melbourne Convention Bureau

                          MCB logo

                            Event technology - making the impossible, possible

                            It’s no longer optional to consider technology in your corporate event strategy.

                            Your delegates use technology every day – engaging on social media and working in the digital space. More and more, technology is becoming integral to our lives to the point that it’s become an expectation. To deliver a seamless delegate experience, you must be thinking about how technology can integrate with and streamline your event.

                            But it’s not enough to simply meet expectations. To indeed, surprise and delight, your delegate journey must have the right technology strategically woven into every moment.

                            Session Takeaways:

                            • Why technology must be considered in your event strategy
                            • The importance of the delegate journey
                            • Questions to ask when developing your event technology strategy

                            Fiona Batten, General Manager Australia, cievents


                              What would you do if...?

                              American chef, Anne Burrell, has been quoted as saying “Part of being successful is about asking questions and listening to the answer”. That is what this session is all about. Join this fun and thought-provoking discussion where we get to ask a panel of experienced event managers ‘what they would do if…’.

                              Have your question answered, share your experience with your peers – this will be an interactive learning session for everyone.

                              Session Takeaways:

                              • Learn from those who have been there, done that in the world of events, the session will cover questions from light to deep; funny to outrageous


                              • Amy Merriman, Event Planet
                              • Leisa Donlan, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Rotational Moulders Australasia Inc

                                New thinkers - what new approach could you be taking when developing your next conference or event?

                                Event owners and planners are continuously looking for new ways to capture the attention and imagination of their attendees. This session gives you the opportunity to step into the minds of a number of successful creative professionals to see how they do things differently.

                                What are the thought processes that they follow when working on a new project, what approach do they take when communicating to the same audience year on year?

                                Do you need to change your way of thinking to step it up and also deal with the unavoidable stresses of the job?

                                Session Takeaways:

                                • Learn the importance of developing capability in critical and creative thinking
                                • Understand the thought processes that turn an ordinary event planner into a successful event professional so that you can model yourself, adapt, and be more successful too
                                • Get some tips from the professionals on how to maintain focus and productivity under enormous pressure


                                • Cj Holden, Experientialist & creator, s p a c e
                                • Tim Baggott, Creative Director, Amplify
                                • Joanne Jacobs, Co-CEO, Disruptors Co

                                Space logo


                                  Afternoon tea & Networking


                                    Digitile: The perfect blend of digital and tactile to enhance the human interaction

                                    As digital and innovation become more key to any experience, finding a way forward that isn’t just for show…but results in an enhanced interaction that results in better returns on your investment.

                                    Session Takeaways:

                                    • Create innovative experiences that have heart and therefore great return on investment
                                    • How to use digital effectively, not just for show
                                    • Understanding how to enhance human interaction

                                    Jeremy Garling, Founding Creator, Fourth Wall


                                      Events 4.0

                                      Industry 4.0 is affecting almost every industry worldwide and is rapidly transforming how businesses operate. This transformation has the potential to provide a major boost to Australia’s economic competitiveness and will have an impact on the events industry.

                                      This forward-thinking closing panel brings together leaders in their respective fields to uncover exactly what will be impacting the events we deliver in the next twelve months and beyond. How do we plan for these innovations and influences including wellness, personalisation and globalisation?

                                      This lively discussion will cover the many changes and challenges within the industry from creative ownership to the tendering process, sponsorship to audience engagement technology. The future looks bright for those who are prepared and ready to embrace it!

                                      Session Takeaways:

                                      • Learn how to maximise the opportunities the future has for your events and audiences
                                      • Understand what effect technology is having on our event attendees experiences and attendance, and what are their expectations in terms of speed, value, wellness and environment?
                                      • Explore the idea of creative ownership within the events industry and ways to best manage agency / client partnerships
                                      • Discuss the various factors impacting on creating memorable, interactive experiences driving attendee engagement and ultimately event outcomes
                                      • Consider ways to increase attendee numbers and event revenue


                                      • Alana Hay, Managing Director, Milestone Creative Australia
                                      • Dr Jason Fox, Motivational speaker and leadership advisor
                                      • Kyla Tustin, Facilitator of Change and Corporate Coach, Holistic Services Group (Aust)
                                      • Robin Stafford, Director, Half Eaten Donut
                                      • Andy Walsh, Business and Brand Strategy Executive – Business Director, Secret Sounds



                                        Conference close

                                        Tina Aliteri, Conference MC, Speaker and Facilitator


                                          Networking Drinks at Coney Island

                                            Exhibitions & Trade Fairs (the Organisers) reserves the right to alter key note speakers, session presenters or the conference program timetable and delivery without notice due to unforeseen reasons. Neither Exhibitions & Trade Fairs nor the Conference Program Manager accept any liability for any loss or inconvenience caused to any attending delegate under such changes.

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