Expansion to keep MCEC at the forefront of event tech

In advance of opening its new $200 million expansion space next month, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has invested in cutting-edge technologies offering the flexibility customers need.

MCEC’s new expansion space has been purpose built to leverage the venue’s original innovative approach to integrated audio visual and ICT technologies. The new expansion will feature 4k laser projectors, LED based theatrical lighting equipment and fully integrated rigging infrastructure, creating highly customisable event spaces.

Other initiatives include:

  • Introducing a specialised production team within the business, MCEC’s in-house specialist technology team offer services in: audio, rigging, lighting, vision, multimedia, network systems and production management. Building these skills in-house allows MCEC to deliver a more personalised and thorough technology offering.
  • Improving our Wi-Fi offering for customers with a $2 million investment, increasing our wireless capacity by 400 per cent and making MCEC the only convention centre in Australia to offer no data caps.
  • A $1 million investment in expanding vision and projection capabilities through the implementation of Barco, Panasonic and Roland hardware, enabling the delivery of visually stunning and technically seamless events.

Peter King

MCEC Chief Executive, Peter King said as a venue MCEC hosts over 1,000 events annually and each of those event experiences is unique.

“At MCEC we work in partnership with our customers to deliver tech solutions with the aim to inspire and transform delegates’ experience,” Mr King said.

“Rather than simply offering whatever’s newest on the market, we understand our customers want to be able to access expert advice and a range of technology options that allows for individual customisation.

“By investing in our employee skill-base, we have the knowledge to deliver complex events and offer solutions focused customer service.

“The new expansion has allowed us to future-proof our venue, we’re able to meet the technical needs of today’s customer and continuously adapt into the future.”​​

A testament to MCEC’s technology credentials is the calibre of events choosing MCEC as their host venue.

The recently announced 2018 Reimagination conference and Digital Disruptions’ Awards joins a growing list of leading technology and disruption events that have made the move to MCEC which includes: C2, Cisco Live, VidCon and the National iAwards.

Staging Connections announces exclusive Cumulus event app

Staging Connections have today announced their latest event app – Cumulus – a game changer in the events management marketplace. The exclusive mobile app allows clients to create a tailored solution with a range of features to streamline their management process and maximise return on investment for their event.

This innovative new app will provide event attendees with convenient access to important event information from a smart phone or tablet.

Event organisers can manage their own event-specific content via a user-friendly interface so that they can make changes instantly and delegates have access to the latest information.

Event information accessible on Cumulus includes venue details, floor plans, maps, event program, speaker biographies, transportation, sponsor information and exhibitor listings. The app is complimentary to all Staging Connections event services partners.

The 2018 Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE), in May 2018 was one of the debut events to utilise Cumulus. The app was central to the event providing attendees with the program, exhibitor listing, and enabling interactivity and feedback throughout every session at the event.

Lara Chrystal, Marketing Manager, Interpoint Events – a division of Intermedia, shared,

“We loved the new app because it provided a level of interactivity between the floor and the speakers never achieved before. It took audience engagement at our event to a new level.”

The modern design and practical user experience of Cumulus enables live polling during the event, links to social media channels and access to an event Bulletin Board to hear or download the latest happenings at the event.

Delegates can download Cumulus for free through the event organiser and create their own personalised profile to connect and network with colleagues also attending.

Delegates have direct access to the event program to bookmark sessions they wish to attend to ensure they don’t miss out. Sessions can be rated after the event and feedback downloaded instantly.

Tony Chamberlain, Managing Director of Staging Connections, shared,

“Cumulus empowers our clients to manage their own content and make changes instantly, so attendees always have the latest information.

The app is completely customisable for the event’s styling and branding to be added to the design. This is a game-changer – we don’t charge our clients for Cumulus when they partner with us for event services, so every client has the opportunity to offer an exclusive app to their attendees.”

ICC Sydney invests additional A$1M in technology and digital infrastructure

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has expanded its technology infrastructure with a further investment of A$1 million in new industry-leading audio visual (AV) equipment, bolstering its world class event delivery capabilities.

Backed by unparalleled technical expertise and robust information and communications technology services infrastructure, the investment enhances ICC Sydney’s integrated technology solutions and delivers state-of-the-art equipment, including high definition screens, projectors, wireless microphone kits, cameras and processors.

ICC Sydney’s CEO, Geoff Donaghy, said the venue has been purpose-built to cater for the changing architecture of meetings, with the team focussed on continuously elevating event experiences.

“At ICC Sydney, we take pride in delivering customised, seamless technical solutions for clients. The latest venue enhancements will support our ongoing quest for excellence, providing access to an exceptional suite of technical solutions, equipment and services, backed by unmatched in-house expertise.

“We have worked hard to future-proof the venue, which has the ability to further flex and adapt as new technology is introduced. This ensures we can meet the needs of every event type today and into the future,” he said.

Taking an all-encompassing approach, ICC Sydney has also developed a new AV and Technology guide to support clients through every step of the event planning process.

A comprehensive resource, the guide details the venue’s complete audio visual and technical specifications across more than 70 meeting and events spaces, including the surrounding public domain, Convention Centre, Exhibition Centre and ICC Sydney Theatre.

Brian Nash

ICC Sydney’s Director of Audio Visual Services, Brian Nash, said the team’s expertise coupled with the additional equipment and guide, will provide a full-scale in house production service and help set a new benchmark for the industry.

“We continue to bring together the best technical directors, project managers and operators to offer a range of exclusive technology, production and support services for any event configuration, supported by a 10Gbps optical fibre backbone and high calibre IT network.

“Our mission is to provide a flawless digital experience that helps inspire the imagination and boosts professional development. We want to ensure visitors are impressed every time they attend an event at ICC Sydney.”

Nash said ICC Sydney will also continue driving successful outcomes by supporting the next generation of technical professionals with vocational training.

“ICC Sydney’s most important asset is its people. Their skills and work ethic make real differences for our clients and as such, we look to hire the best talent available.

“Adding to the learning and development opportunities available to the team through ICC Sydney’s Academy of Extraordinary, we are proud to have recently launched an industry-first, paid AV Graduate program.

“Now underway, our program has accepted an initial five extraordinary candidates to gain exposure to all areas of AV services including rigging, audio, lighting and vision over the next year.”

Donaghy added that ICC Sydney’s continual enhancements to AV and technology products and services reaffirms the venue’s reputation as Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment venue.

“ICC Sydney is already the venue of choice for local, national and international events and we are proud to further strengthen Sydney’s position as one of the world’s most desirable business events destinations. Working with the latest technology and the best people in the industry, the future possibilities for business and entertainment events are endless.”

Workshop Events launches smart event planning solution

Sydney-based event production company, Workshop Events, today announced the launch of its new strategic planning tool, Event Workshop, designed to get “under the hood” of clients and their event goals to ensure the perfect event outcome.

Event Workshop was born from a need to truly uncover what success means for each client and provide a unique solution that lays the foundation for their event experience, fulfils business objectives and event aspirations.

These company-led facilitated sessions are a critical part of the planning process. They forge the strategic direction through a series of thought-provoking questions designed to uncover clients’ event vision, purpose and communication objectives to ensure real results are achieved.

Workshops range from 30-minute to half-day sessions and are tailored for every client to ensure all aspects, from concepts, entertainment, content to logistics, are explored and detailed in the manner they deserve.

Event Workshop is the most efficient and effective way to develop an event brief that delivers on its’ promise and makes a real difference to the organisation.

Richard Breatnach

Richard Breatnach, Managing Director, Workshop Events, commented on the process.

“Event Workshop allows clients to start their journey with a strategic planning session, focusing on creative concepts, design, production and management to ensure every moving part and disparate element of their event is on brand, on message and delivers optimal results.

“It is a great opportunity for clients to collaborate with our experienced team and create a strong direction and consensus. Part of this vital strategic planning process includes a creative response which is presented back to our client to ensure the design experience aligns with their goals and vision,” said Mr Breatnach.

The company’s team consists of dynamic event planners, with a wealth of experience and complementary mix of skills. Focused on ideas, experiences and results – Workshop Events is ready for growth and expansion. Strategic planning is vital to the success of every event and this tool will meet the demand of the market.

Workshop Events are an event production company who have been offering an intelligent approach to event planning for over 20 years. Workshop Events creates and produces bespoke events from large-scale to smaller parties, conferences and award nights. The company specialises in creative theming, experiential design, entertainment and production.

Technology challenging Business Events

Up Close and Personal session to examine how robots are challenging human industries

The future relationship between robots and humans will be at the centre of the ‘Man vs Machine… Are robots challenging humans?’ Saxton Up Close and Personal session featuring Dr Jordan Nguyen, Bill Bennett, Casey Hyun, and moderator Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, who will present their unique insights and experiences working with technology to attendees at this year’s Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME).

Dr Jordan Nguyen, recipient of the 2017 Eureka Prize for Science Journalism for his documentary Becoming Superhuman, will share a dynamic perspective into the evolving intersection between technology and humanity, and the role of robotics in our future.

Dr Jordan Nguyen

Dr Nguyen commented on how technology is changing the way we interact and engage with not only each other, but many aspects of our everyday lives.

“Business is evolving very quickly, especially in the areas of communication, connection, and inclusion. Given the rapid advancements in technologies such as robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, consequently, we are evolving alongside these through our awareness, knowledge, and understanding of what it means to be human.

“We are in the midst of a world-changing technological revolution, a new era. Solutions to impossible human problems are becoming possible, the lines are blurring between real and virtual worlds, and our relationship with robotics and AI is becoming increasingly integrated… these bring about the creation of previously unimagined experiences, and we must examine how these capabilities can better inform and educate us, so ultimately, humanity can thrive moving into this bold new future.

“I look forward to speaking at AIME. Event technology already explores the relationships and boundaries of virtual reality and robots, it will be very interesting to explore these applications and what they represent for the industry,” said Dr Nguyen.

Angela Sciacca, Project Manager, AIME, commented on the perspective and insight that someone of Dr Nguyen’s calibre brings to AIME.

“AIME focuses on three core pillars, knowledge, connections, and experiences, and what Dr Nguyen and the Saxton speakers bring is an innovative and new perspective, expanding our collective knowledge. We are confident that attendees will gain incredible insight into the applications of robotics in our very human industry, and how it could give your event the leading edge,” said Ms Sciacca.

AIME will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 20-21 February 2018.

Saxton Up Close and Personal session ‘Man vs Machine… Are robots challenging humans?’ is the first session at AIME, at 10:40am Tuesday 20 February. Other sessions include:

  • Get with it… How Gen Y (the Millennials), and Gen Z will affect and change the workplace | Tuesday 20 February | 2:40pm
  • The Future… What’s happening and how will it change our world? | Wednesday 21 February | 10:40am
  • Resilience and acceptance…Two powerful life-changing tools | Wednesday 21 February | 2:40pm

Register free online for AIME here.

For more information visit AIME 

Norwest Productions named as Official Ceremonies Audio System provider for the Gold Coast 2018

Leading event audio company Norwest Productions, part of the NW Group, has been named Official Ceremonies Audio System provider for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).

Norwest Productions will deliver stadium audio design and production for the capacity crowds and global audience of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies being held at Carrara Stadium, on the Gold Coast.

Norwest Productions has a strong history of delivering full audio services to large-scale events including the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, 2004 Athens Olympic Games, 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Cameron Murray, General Manager, Commercial, GOLDOC; Mario Valenti, Group Sales Director, NW Group and Andy Marsh, Special Projects Manager, NW Group.

Cameron Murray, General Manager, Commercial, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC), said the depth of experience and talent in large-scale event production of Norwest will be on show for the whole world during the Games.

“The Opening and Closing Ceremonies are key to the projection of the Gold Coast’s, Queensland’s and Australia’s image to the world. What people hear, see and feel will be critical to the Games’ success.

“We’re confident that with Norwest’s experience, team, equipment and processes, we will have a world-class experience for athletes, officials, spectators and viewers,” said Mr Murray.

Chris Kennedy, Director and Founder of Norwest Productions, said his team brings a wealth of experience in audio at large-scale events.

“We are absolutely focused on working in partnership with the Ceremonies team to deliver a sound experience that all visitors attending GC2018 will be in awe of.

“It’s great to be working in Australia again on these major events, the last time being Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Our team, headed up by Andy Marsh, includes highly skilled and experienced technical directors who know and understand the pressures of designing and delivering audio for large scale events. We are thrilled and humbled to be working on the largest event ever held in Queensland,” said Mr Kennedy.

Norwest Productions will work in partnership with Jack Morton Worldwide for the Ceremonies.

AV1 and City Recital Hall offering live production traineeships to meet critical NSW skills shortage

AV1 and City Recital Hall are taking part in a pilot program for Live Production traineeships to streamline and expedite the hiring, training and certification of much needed technical workers for live events in NSW.

Officially launched in November 2017 and a first for the Live Production sector, a series of consultations was organised by the ACFIPS ITAB, whereby ArtsReady recruits applicants and TAFE NSW provides the traineeships for employers such as AV1 and City Recital Hall.

The pilot program will be offered in Sydney initially, then rolled out across NSW in 2018. Opportunities have already been posted on Seek

AV1 and City Recital Hall are working closely with TAFE NSW and ArtsReady to ensure that training package units match the needs of the workplace environment.

With the recent opening of the new International Convention Centre Sydney and an increase in technically demanding events, there has been a demonstrated shortage of skilled live production technicians. The growth in the use of technology in events and performance has exacerbated this shortage.

The Live Production sector now has the opportunity to meet current skills shortages and take steps to meet the future needs of this expanding industry sector.

Experienced in training initiatives and their processes and outcomes, under the program both AV1 and City Recital Hall will take on trainees for a 12 month period to maximise their learning opportunity.

Unlike other TAFE NSW supported traineeship programs that have recently launched, these new Live Production traineeships will specifically target individuals with a keen interest in the industry looking to gain an accelerated entry into the profession.

ACFIPS Chair Tim Cramsie said that the shortage situation should start to improve now that action was being taken.

‘Live production technicians often have to employ their knowledge and skills in front of hundreds or thousands of people in a performance environment. Prospective employers are looking to a workplace traineeship to provide the assurance that technical skills have been assessed as performance ready in a real-world setting.’

‘The trainee pilot program has been developed to provide on-the-job training, mentoring and support for the skilled live production technicians of the future.’

If you have had some experience in live events and are looking to start your career, this traineeship is your entry to a dynamic industry sector.

To find out more or apply for a Certificate III in Live Production and Services traineeship position contact:

Rog Chhabra, Program Manager NSW & ACT, ArtsReady

T: (02) 8333 8013   |   M: 0401 799 557   |   Email

Alyce Kelly AV1, Keith Wootton AV1, Max Wilson ACFIPS, Tim Cramsie AV1


Arts Communications Finance Industries and Property Services Industry Training Advisory Body (ACFIPS ITAB) is a not-for-profit organisation funded by Training Services NSW Department of Industry and specific grants from other government agencies.


TAFE NSW is Australia’s leading provider of vocational education and training with over 500,000 enrolments each year. In addition to live production, they offer training in event management, film and television, set design, audio engineering, music performance, music business and electronic music production.

About ArtsReady

ArtsReady Ltd is a national, not-for-profit Employment and Education program of AFL SportsReady, supported by the Australian Government. As a Group Training Organisation (GTO), they deliver support, training and education through traineeships, resulting in quality employment opportunities for young Australians.

About AV1

AV1 designs and produces events and experiences, offering services across production management, audio visual, digital media and event technology, and is a certified B Corporation.

About City Recital Hall

City Recital Hall produces, presents and hosts a rich and diverse program of concerts and events, embracing all genres and art forms from chamber orchestras to opera, contemporary ensembles to bands, talks and debates, to festival events.


A winning partnership between Staging Connections and Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Staging Connections has elevated its standing as leaders in the field by securing a brand new contract with the luxurious Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. A part of the acclaimed AccorHotels Group, this is the first time the five-star hotel has chosen to outsource its AV services to a dedicated supplier.

Staging Connections have been discussing opportunities with the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth for over two years, ultimately succeeding thanks to their clear culture fit and client understanding. The Staging Connections team convinced the hotel of its ability to offer value-adding advantages to the hotel’s current set-up, as well as their extensive client service experience.

The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth was the city’s first international five-star establishment, and with its ideal central city location and exceptional conference and meeting facilities, it’s the perfect option for a wide-array of corporate events.

The Staging Connections partnership will enable the Sofitel Sydney to offer a far wider range of services than they previously could provide. It also means greater access to resources to support the hotel in delivering larger and more technically-complex events.

Established in the 1800s, the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth features 11 elegant event spaces and a dedicated conference floor within the hotel. The impressive conference floor can accommodate up to 1200 delegates in a variety of specific configurations, from gala dinners and trade shows, to intimate boardroom meetings and teaching seminars.

The heritage-listed hotel offers 436 impeccable rooms, a health club, a stylish French-inspired restaurant and club lounge, all with personable service, in the heart of Sydney’s shopping and business district.

Tim Morgan, Staging Connections’ General Manager of Strategic Partnerships, commends the team for securing such a privileged contract in a highly competitive market.

“Staging Connections are thrilled with this new partnership at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney and their expert team. We are looking forward to developing new opportunities and delivering our signature outstanding service at this iconic hotel.”

Brisbane-based event software company Entegy launches global network of industry specialists

Brisbane-based software company, Entegy has launched the Ignite Network, a collective of event industry specialists and venues who provide the Entegy Suite worldwide.

Entegy Executive Director, Graeme Caplen says the platform has experienced a rapid increase in demand in the last five years “Entegy cut its teeth in the events industry and our technology has evolved alongside the varied and changing demands of the sector. We are now recognised as one of Australia’s fastest growing and most innovative event technology companies.

“Years of planning has gone into ensuring the delivery of the Entegy Suite to a truly global client base. This network is the first of it’s kind in Australia and allows us to offer the Entegy Suite globally, through accredited event specialists, fully trained in the platform.” he said.

The Ignite Network members include a number of high profile organisations including CrowdComms, AccorHotels Australia and the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, being the latest to offer the Entegy Suite to their clients.

CrowdComms Co-Founder & Managing Director, Peter Hair believes the integration of Entegy’s technology is both relevant and important in a sector that has come of age in Australia.

“The Entegy software suite is best in class in the event industry and CrowdComms are delighted to be offering the technology to our clients. CrowdComms has delivered 1000’s of apps over the past 6 years and are proud to be involved with the Ignite network” Mr Hair said.

“What we believe makes Entegy so appealing is its simplicity, scalability and capacity to combine several products with ease,” Mr Caplen continued.

“We have made the technology affordable to even the smallest of events and believe we are only just experiencing the beginning of the business’ potential. We are really excited by the attention our platform is attracting and look forward to the next phase of business expansion.”

Entegy will be focusing on product development and ensuring the platform continues to be recognised as the best on the market for communication, engagement and logistics. The platform is available to events in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North America through Ignite Network partners.

Staging Connections delivers cutting-edge AV support at 24th annual AVCAL conference

Staging Connections was chosen as the preferred AV service provider for the 24th annual AVCAL alpha conference®, the private equity and venture capital industry’s biggest networking event of the year.

The MCG was the iconic location chosen for this year’s conference, where delegates from more than 180 AVCAL member organisations gathered to network and hear world-class thought leaders share perspectives and ideas that will shape the industry.

The Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL) developed this year’s theme ADAPT. CREATE. INSPIRE. to reflect the industry’s evolving ways of working; the value created in building better businesses; and the partnerships and stories which will strengthen and inspire the future.

The exceptional program for 2017 featured speeches by a host of aspirational local and international speakers from varied backgrounds across professional sports, finance, education, banking, healthcare and technology, covering a range of topics carefully selected to shine a spotlight on current issues and future challenges.

Highlights included Bill Evans of Westpac, futurist and inventor Mark Pesce, keynotes from Stephen Cassidy of the Fire Department of New York Pension and Investment Boards, and Commissioner and Chairman of the Investment Committee at New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF), David Ourlicht, as well as former Australian Wallabies star John Eales and WAFL Collingwood player Moana Hope.

Over 400 delegates enjoyed the two-day conference enjoying various plenaries, break-out sessions, a tour of the MCG, leader’s forum, cocktail function and more, culminating in the esteemed 24th Annual AVCAL Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner.

Staging Connections delivered an impressive 5m x 3m LED screen for the MCG’s Olympic Room for the awards dinner and suggested the Member’s Dining Room to be set with a multi-projection system to allow for presentations as well IMAG (image magnification). The AVCAL event backdrop was the centre piece (6m wide x 3m high) featured directly behind the stage.

AVCAL’s Nilanga Kotigala was thrilled with another wonderful event, “The alpha conference 2017 was a real success and we would like to pass on our sincere thanks to our AV Partners, Staging Connections for the fantastic support provided”.