Conference Program

Thursday 19th March 2020


Registration Opens


    Official Opening and Welcome


      Great Event Experiences Don't Happen By Accident

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

      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.


        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.


          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.

              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.

              • 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.

                  Case Study: Community engagement

                  A look at one of the largest community events in Australia.


                    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.

                      Case Study: Event growth - digital marketing success story

                      A look at a tried and tested scientific methodology to ensure ROI by driving the right traffic to your event to engage and convert.



                          The new action plan

                          Creativity Takes courage


                          Legacy - why some events will never be forgotten

                          We often associate legacy with large sporting events, however, it is important to consider the long-lasting impacts your event will have no matter how big or small. If you need your event to stand out, be repeatable and have a healthy future you must ensure your attendees have something to remember! Legacy planning should be part of the planning process for all events and could be the key to long-term success.

                            Event technology - making the impossible, possible

                            This session will cover the latest in project mapping, virtual reality and augmented reality at events – why they were used, and how the technology impacted the outcomes.


                              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.

                                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?

                                • Cj Holden, Experientialist & creator, s p a c e


                                  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.

                                    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!

                                      • 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



                                        Conference close


                                          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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