Conferences & Events for MICE

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The Event Symposium to go fully interactive in November

The 2018 Australian Event Symposium program has been released and it’s 100% interactive.

With entries closing soon for the 2018 Australian Event Awards, organisers have announced a significant change to the approach to professional development across the events industry.

Taking place 20-21 November on the Sunshine Coast, this year’s program features a day of industry based, collaborative Workshops followed by a day of Masterclasses led by ground-breakers from beyond the events industry.

The theme, The Skill’s The Limit: Enriching Events focusses all session on tangible take-aways for attendees. The Symposium will be topped off with the 2018 events industry extravaganza: the 10th Australian Event Awards.

“This year’s celebration of our events culture will be the biggest we have seen yet,” said Event Awards and Symposium Managing Director Ian Steigrad.

“We have focussed this year on event professionals getting their hands dirty and taking away real skills – it will be fun and interactive but also an opportunity to grow as professionals and get some serious skill injection.”

Former Wallaby and journalist Peter FitzSimons will deliver an interactive Masterclass at the Australian Event Symposium | Photo supplied

In opening registrations for the event, organisers have announced one Masterclass presenter will be Peter FitzSimons – The Wallaby, the Journo and, of course, the Republican.

The Event Symposium team is working closely with Peter to develop a special interactive masterclass under the title “Creativity and Agility – Ducking and Weaving in the Events World”.

The Masterclass will lead attendees through the creative process and all the challenges and opportunities that come with the territory, from identifying creative triggers to building resilience and flexibility to meet today’s ever-changing event environment.

The session will include the opportunity to complete tasks and obtain Peter’s feedback in a relaxed atmosphere.

Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event partnerships to enhance connectivity

Talk2 Media & Events, the company charged with relaunching and delivering Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME), announce new partnerships with preeminent, international industry organisations – PCMA and ICCA.

These important partnerships with Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event indicate the commitment Talk2 Media & Events has to elevate the overall quality and experience of the event; forging and extending connections across the Asia Pacific region and the world. PCMA and ICCA will both be involved in the framing and delivery of the AIME Knowledge Program which opens the three-day event.

Recognised as exceptional providers of education for the meetings and events sector, PCMA’s international network of thought leadership in business events strategy will provide provocative and informative content to visitors and exhibitors alike. The PCMA program will inspire the audience and will enhance the potential of the individual and their business, ahead of the trading days.

Antonio Codinach, PCMA Regional Business Director-APAC, commented “With the changes happening in the region, it’s a timely opportunity for PCMA to join forces with AIME to deepen delegates’ knowledge and help them deliver a show-stopping business event. We are looking forward to helping the attendees at AIME access our industry leading educational programme, which will drive their professional and personal development, and in effect drive economic and social prosperity.”

Information sharing across the industry is a fundamental benefit of AIME, and the inclusion of ICCA’s Business Exchange in the Knowledge Program is a valuable tool for attendees. Participants exchange critical information on events they have recently managed; information crucial to the bidding process such as contacts, budgets, and the decision-making process. Synonymous with providing industry know-how and contacts the Business Exchange will be anchored at AIME – beneficial for negotiations with the associations’ sector.

As an ‘ICCA Supported Show’ this partnership reinforces the relationship with ICCA’s network of international suppliers, and provides assurance through the support, knowledge and experience built up across 50 years,

“ICCA has a long history with AIME and we build on this partnership through education, business and networking. Teaming relationships allows us to leverage and bring different specialities to the show, and together create a more robust event for everyone. The event is a professional platform for creating business opportunities and exchanging expertise. AIME enjoys a great reputation among exhibitors (many of whom are ICCA members) and hosted buyers. We are delighted that this unmissable event in the Asia Pacific’s trade events’ calendar is a hub for everyone from the Business Events industry” comments Noor Ahmad Hamid, ICCA Regional Director Asia Pacific.

The learning experience and information sharing is a driving value at AIME. Accredited training, together with tangible business exchange will drive real outcomes from both a personal and professional development perspective.

We are extremely pleased to have linked partnerships with both PCMA and ICCA. It is really important for AIME to offer strong and relevant content to our visitors and exhibitors. The educational content from PCMA on the Monday of AIME will be first class and relevant to many. Likewise, the ICCA Business Exchange is an integral component of the knowledge sharing that makes AIME so relevant and important.” explains Talk2 Media & Events CEO, Matt Pearce.
For more details and to submit your interest to attend AIME in 2019 visit

Former White House Events Director headlines new B2B event industry conference

Australia’s newest events industry conference, The Business of Events, will present a bevy of industry heavyweights offering middle to senior management professionals a wealth of the latest findings, updates and in-depth discussions in Sydney from 7-8 February 2019.

Laura Schwartz, White House Director of Events during the Clinton Administration, will be MC and keynote speaker at the debut two-day event. Schwartz brings a wealth of experience, having produced over 1,000 events during her time at the White House including the Presidential Inauguration, one of the most coveted events in Washington.

Ms Schwartz said, “I am excited to share the tips and ‘insider tricks’ I learned first-hand from my experiences leading the State Dinners, press conferences, NATO’s 50th anniversary, and more.

“This knowledge applies no matter the size of the event and I look forward to passing this on to others in the events industry.”

The conference will focus on the theme ‘Powering Growth’, providing attendees with invaluable opportunities to maximise their own potential and performance with tangible takeaways from international and domestic speakers.

With events playing an increasing role in the growth of the Australian economy, along with investment in critical infrastructure around Sydney such as a new airport, redevelopment of stadia, hotel and venues; the industry is on an upward trajectory. According to the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia, the business events sector is forecast to rise to $31 billion by 2020.

Gary Daly, Exhibitions & Trade Fairs’ Managing Director, believes there is no better time for a high-quality conference specifically created to provide strategic advice for senior managers.

Laura Schwartz was the Director of Events at the White House during the Clinton Administration | Conference website

“Market research identified that the events industry needed a conference to address these market opportunities and global trends. It is important to have a platform where senior professionals can learn about global developments and participate in an exchange of knowledge.

“Delegates will be able to identify new market opportunities and hear the latest findings, including the future of event technology, tourism and aviation, safety and security, sales and marketing growth and changing business models.

“Every event has its challenges and coordinating the White House’s annual event calendar was no different. Drawing on her experience, Ms Schwartz will share her years of lessons learnt, delving into how cultural sensitivities, cross-border politics and conflicting stakeholder interests impact an event’s design.

“This won’t be specific to ‘big budget events’ either; Ms Schwartz will show delegates how they can bring her learnings from the White House to their own ‘house’. We’re looking forward to Ms Schwartz’s Australian visit.”

Mr Daly concluded; “Through best-practice case studies and hearing industry leaders, attendees will leave The Business of Events knowing how to power their organisation’s growth. This inaugural conference will be unmissable for professionals, whatever their speciality in events.”

The Business of Events will be held at Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, from 7-8 February 2019.

Tania de Jong AM on speaking at the PCOA National Conference

As Tania de Jong AM gears up to speak at the Professional Conference Organisers Association National Conference in December, she opens up about why she has joined the program.

“I have spoken and performed at hundreds of conferences over the past three decades and produce the award-winning Creative Innovation Global conference series,” she says.

“Thus, I am passionate about the conference and events industry to bring people together to prepare for and manage challenges, opportunities and change.

“Our world is changing more rapidly than ever before, agility and flexibility are fundamental attributes to deal with increasing uncertainty and volatility. We also need to come together and unite as ONE community to solve increasing social and economic problems.

On her session topic, Thinking Outside the Box: Leading Innovation and Change, she says, “This era of globalisation is unleashing a massive wave of technological, economic and sociological change. Innovation is coming from everywhere. Almost anyone can be an entrepreneur.

“A number of leading authorities have suggested that 40-60% of current middle-class jobs could become redundant over the next decade due to artificial intelligence, robotics and other new technologies. We will need to be more creative and innovative than ever before.

Tania de Jong AM | Photo:

“Empowered people and groups are thinking ‘outside the box’ and challenging the established order in new ways never before imaginable – from building new business models and social enterprises to challenging old institutions.”

Tania’s keynote will look at developing a creative, intuitive, right-brained and agile mindset, thinking ‘outside the box’, dealing with failure and developing resilience, building a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship for business growth, preparing for and managing in times of uncertainty, disruption and change, understanding the role of diversity in increase your organisation’s productivity and sustainable growth and making a difference to the communities in which a business operates.

De Jong is the Founder and CEO of Creative Universe, Creative Australia and Creative Innovation Global.

How Get Global combined Business with Education

With Get Global having wrapped up on Friday evening, the team behind the one-day exhibition are contemplating the areas of success behind the trade event’s second year.

Donna Kessler, co-founder of Get Global said, “The attendees who registered early enough and were able to catch Lola Berry at our Get Up & Go Breakfast in the ICMI Inspiration Corner, were amazed at how approachable and warm she was.  We felt very lucky to have secured Lola through our great partnership with ICMI Speakers and Entertainers. I loved hearing the feedback after her talk – we were all motivated to put down the unhealthy food and reach for a piece of fruit!”

“I was lucky to have been able to see some exceptional speakers during Get Global.  Their knowledge, passion and unrivalled experience with some of the most well-known brands in the world, helped not only to break up the day, but gave me lots of inspiration when I returned to work on Monday!”  enthused Janelle Maber, Event & Registration Co-ordinator, Isagenix

Barry Markoff, CEO, ICMI Speakers & Entertainers said, “ICMI already has a great reputation for sourcing the right speakers for events all around the world, but our partnership with Get Global has shown how speakers of such diverse backgrounds can be integrated into a trade event.  Sparking many conversations on the exhibition floor, and no doubt, back in the office this week!”

Lola Berry was followed throughout the day by Contiki Holidays veteran, Mark Carter, corporate motivator and skills trainer, Andrew Klein, Stevan Premutico, founder of restaurant booking tool, Dimmi and former Facebook ANZ CEO, Stephen Scheeler and pocket rocket, Samantha Gash, endurance athlete and social entrepreneur.

Gary Bender, co-founder of Get Global said, “One of the biggest successes of Get Global 2018 was our partnership with ICMI. They were able to add another dimension to our event and the mix of speakers really created a great deal of talkability during and after the event. The quality of speakers and their chosen topics inspired and motivated me, and certainly all who attended the sessions.”

Vanessa Grant, Account Director, 212f said, “I loved the concept of the ‘silent disco’ in the speaker corner. As it was located right on the exhibition floor, we were all given Silent Sounds headphones to listen to the speakers.  This meant we weren’t disturbed if we were not at the speaker session while trying to have business discussions and vice versa.  What a great idea! And made it even more memorable!”

Who Gives A Crap? Simon Griffiths does.

Simon Griffiths will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming PCOA conference in December. Simon’s presentation is sponsored by ICMI Speakers who sent along a little Q&A with Simon.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m the Co-founder and CEO of Who Gives A Crap.  We sell good looking, forest-friendly toilet paper, paper towels and tissues in 36 countries and donate 50% of our profits to help build toilets for those in need. As much as I love toilet paper, the reason I started this business is the impact we’re having on the world—since starting in 2013, we’ve donated almost $2 million!

Why did you accept to speak at PCOA18?

I’m really passionate about embracing (and creating!) change, so this year’s conference theme is compelling.

Simon Griffiths

How will your presentation resonate with the PCOA18 conference theme, Embracing Change’ – How Agile Are You?’

Everyday I encourage my team to embrace change by testing out new ideas and learning from what works and what doesn’t work.  I’m looking forward to sharing some of the things I’ve learned from this approach, alongside some other lessons I’ve learned from running a Purpose-led business.

What are the three key messages delegates will take away from your presentation?

  1. Doing good is good business: consumers want to give back and are on the lookout for value-aligned brands that let them create more impact with every dollar they spend2. Doing good isn’t always easy: doing good is good business, but purpose-led businesses are held to a higher level of scrutiny than regular for-profit businesses.  So it’s important that you show customers that your company is true to its word. When you do this well, it helps to build an abnormally high level of brand trust… resulting in customers going above and beyond for the brands that they love!3. Everything is marketing: in the new world of hyper-connectivity where customers can share brand moments at the swipe of a finger, everything that a company creates can (and must!) be thought of as a marketing opportunity.

What advice can you give to those entering the ever-changing events industry?

Learn by selling: keep trying new things, then listen intently to your customer to find out what worked and what didn’t work so well. If you use this information to adjust your approach in the future, it will make you more successful with every sale. Never be afraid to get things wrong – it’s how we learn!

Get Global success hailed and 2019 date announced

Buyers and exhibitors alike have again congratulated the Get Global team over the unrivaled success of the second year of the one-day trade event for international product.

With 286 senior local and international Go Getters (buyers) interacting with 140 international suppliers from over 20 different countries, attendees once again enthused over the flexible format and the introduction of new elements like the ICMI Inspiration Corner.

“I was thrilled to hear business being confirmed right on the exhibition floor as well as anecdotally throughout the day,” said Donna Kessler, Get Global co-founder. “And that is what Get Global is all about.  We are, of course, thrilled with the large turn-out of exhibitors, buyers, suppliers, sponsors and speakers, but the real success of the event is the business and the new partnerships formed.”

According to Pierre Lang, General Manager, Alila Seminyak, “A great atmosphere, great networking, great concept, great food, great bar concept! All like-minded, senior people exchanging ideas. Having fun doing business!”

Co-founder of Get Global, Gary Bender, “We are thrilled to announce we will be back on 26th July 2019.  But having sold out of our exhibitor spaces this year, with the opportunity to sell many more, we’ll inevitability have to look for expanded or alternative event space for 2019.  I expect an increase of over 30% of both buyers and exhibitors next year.”

“When you are expecting people to leave their offices for a day or more, our focus is  on delivering the best event and help create real connections, networking opportunities and the flexibility to business,” Bender concluded.

Michael Walker, Supplier Relationship Manager, Directions, Conference & Incentive Management enthused, “Love the freeflow and flexible time to meet with who I want and need to for my immediate business needs. Relaxed way to meet and connect with suppliers and peers”

Get Global sees a record number of buyers registered and ready to win big!

Get Global 2018 starts tomorrow morning and the team behind the one-day trade event for outbound product, could not be more pleased with the quality of the buyer registrations.

Donna Kessler, Get Global co-founder, “We are thrilled over 300 buyers have registered with 20% travelling from interstate, NZ and Asia.  With no hosted buyer program these delegates have invested in travelling to Get Global and added the event to their annual diary as an opportunity to self-educate, network, and plan.”

Buyers who download and use the Get Global app throughout the day (available on Android and iOS), also have the chance to win over $200,000 of international travel prizes.

Get Global founders Donna Kessler and Gary Bender with larger than life images of their app. | Photo supplied

The app, created by Touchpoint and Get Global, features the full schedule of activities, including the times of the renowned speakers in the ICMI Inspiration Corner, when the prize draws will occur and helps buyers manage appointments and contacts. By managing their own appointments, attendees are not forced into appointments that may not be relevant.

Touchpoint will also be launching a new type of registration check-in technology (‘Beacon Check-in’) at Get Global.  Get Global will be the first event globally to use this on the EventsAIR platform.  Attendees will simply need to scan their QR code (included in their app) at check-in.

“Who wouldn’t want to win four United Airlines tickets to anywhere on their network, or how about Air New Zealand flights and accommodation at the Langham in Chicago? We also have Hawaiian Airlines flights and accommodation in Hawaii and Intercontinental Hotel accommodation and flights Air Tahiti Nui – some of the best destinations and airlines in the world,” said Get Global co-founder, Gary Bender.  “We will be drawing the prizes all day, so there are lots of opportunities to win.  Just book with the app and the more appointments you make the more chances you have win one of the fantastic prizes!”

With the Get Up & Go Breakfast with Lola Berry and the first ICMI speaker session completely booked, the Get Global team are encouraging buyers to get in quick!

New Zealand debuts new look and new venues at AFNC 2018

Nine New Zealand representatives are ready to showcase new venues and experiences at the Associations Forum National Conference (AFNC) on the Gold Coast this month.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Australia Manager, Sharon Auld says three new exhibitors will be joining the 100% Pure New Zealand team on 16 and 17 July.

“We’re excited to debut Te Pae, Christchurch’s new convention centre opening in 2020. Also, we are welcoming the recently relaunched Cordis Auckland, formerly The Langham. Venues Wellington, with six venues across New Zealand’s capital, is another partner joining us for the first time.”

This year AFNC delegates can also expect to see a new look for the 100% Pure New Zealand space.

“We’ve designed a welcoming place to visit and learn what’s unique about New Zealand as a business events destination, from study tours to congresses, and experiences beyond the convention,” she says.

“We can help everyone find a stand-out region for their next event and access the support available through Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme.”

Another drawcard for AFNC delegates is New Zealand’s annual Cloudy Bay wine hosting. The renowned wines will be served at the 100% Pure New Zealand stand during lunch on the final day. Delegates will also have a chance to win a selection of the award-winning wines when they visit the stand.

Te Pae, Christchurch’s new convention centre, due to open in 2020

More flexibility as AIME registration opens for 2019

Registration to attend the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meeting Event (AIME) is now open to the Asia Pacific, and wider global meetings industry.

New management to AIME, Talk2 Media & Events, has reviewed multiple facets of buyer needs, exhibitor requirements and registration procedures, and has new initiatives to ensure a smooth, robust process.

“Hosted buyers, both quantity and quality, together with geographic spread are core to underpinning the future success of AIME. We have invested heavily into the Hosted Buyer Program and it’s pleasing to receive strong early interest from buyers in Asia-Pac and Australia alike,” commented Talk2 Media & Events Director Matt Pearce.

All buyer expressions of interest are vetted for professional suitability before being invited to register for the Hosted Buyer Program. Registration details cover experience, annual event budgets, purchasing authority, and their event portfolio over the next five years. With up to four reference checks, this comprehensive assessment of applicants ensures the right buyers will be at AIME in 2019.

The purpose of AIME is connecting the interested buyers with the right exhibitors. To improve this process, Talk2 Media & Events conducted a thorough audit of event planning software and have appointed Centium as the supplier of the meetings scheduling software. Able to manage simultaneous and complex scheduling, AIME 2019 expects to deliver over 14,000 business meetings through the GDPR compliant EventsAIR software, with every hosted buyer allocated 32 well matched, pre-scheduled appointments (PSAs) across two event days.

Time is valuable and committing to the entire three-day event isn’t always practical, so in 2019 there will be a range of options for participation at AIME. Immersing in the entire event, buyers can attend through the Hosted Buyer Program or flexible packages over one, two or three days are available as a Pre-Registered Trade Buyer.

“The business events industry is a unique and diverse pool of people. By creating a flexible program, we are offering all buyers the opportunity to attend the event at a level that suits their availability and objectives. Being fully engaged in the whole program, or just having a taste of the event, buyers can find those serendipitous moments. Our new offer is the fruit of countless conversations with various stakeholders over the past months,” explained AIME Event Director Jay Martens.

AIME is the platform when global exhibitors meet with a diverse pool of buyers from Australia, New Zealand, and Asia Pacific, as well as buyers from the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Buyer destination and interest is aligned against exhibitor services and capabilities, guaranteeing that everyone’s time is worthwhile.