Meetings & Events Australia, the peak membership body for the events industry, has secured top talent from around the world, to speak at the upcoming National Conference, which opens this Sunday 6 and runs until Tuesday 8 May 2018. More than 500 delegates will meet, network and learn at the National MEA Conference at the newly expanded, spectacular Adelaide Convention Centre.
The program features what’s new and next for all sectors of the events industry; ranging from technology to entrepreneurship, drones and data. Over three big days and nights, delegates can expect to learn about the key innovations inside and outside of the industry and how the curious, the creative and competitive can change transform their business and the landscape of the events industry now and into the future.
The MEA 2018 Local Champion is journalist, author of bestselling book “The Wife Drought”, host of ABCTV’s Kitchen Cabinet and proud South Australian, Annabel Crabb.
The 2018 program features more than 30 international and local speakers – some of the highlights include:
Conference MC: Carolyn Miller
Carolyn is a regular panellist on the highly popular ABC Television Program ‘Gruen’ and is regularly featured in a variety of television shows including Sunrise on Channel 7 and The Today Show on Channel 9. Carolyn loves seeing brands and businesses succeed and is passionate about bringing ideas to life. Her background as a strategist not only gives her great insight into the brand and advertising world, but also the heartland of consumer sentiment and shifting cultural trends.
Anders Soorman-Nilsson – “Digital Minds / Analogue Hearts”
(Keynote, Monday 7 May)
A global futurist and innovation strategist who helps leaders decode trends, decipher what’s next and turn provocative questions into proactive strategies. He will teach his 5 steps for designing attractive B2B/B2C customer journeys; how to successfully position and differentiate events in the emerging transformation economy; and how to use big and small data to drive ROE (return on events).
Dr Steve Brown – “Event Design Strategy for the Future”
(Keynote, Monday 7 May)
Steve Brown is one of Australia’s most respected event designers, producers, marketers and educators and has pioneered a wide range of large scale outdoor events in most states of Australia and is internationally recognised in the field of event design research and practice. His session will introduce key principles of event design and how applying these to events will help future-proof the event in today’s – and tomorrow’s – highly competitive environment. The session will provide practical, real-world examples of how to take your event to a whole new level of experience.
James White – “Blockchain and bitcoin: a change in the way the world works”
(Cultivating innovation stream, Monday 7 May)
James White is an economist, strategist and portfolio manager at Lessep Investment Management, a global equities investment firm. He is responsible for portfolio management and research. His core research focus is the global improvement in productivity due to technology and emerging economies. James will present his insights into blockchain: how it does the job of an electronic bureaucracy; how Bitcoin represents the value we place in technology’s ability to manage our lives; and how, together, these new technologies can empower human relationships and make them more valuable.
Jan Tonkin and Darryl Gobbett – “Events and Economics – An Update”
(Keynote, Monday 7 May)
Jan is the Immediate Past President of IAPCO (International Association of Professional Congress Organisers) and is actively involved in its Education Taskforce, teaching conference management in various countries. She is also the founder of The Conference Company, which is in its 28th year of operation. Jan will share her story of setup to success and what’s on the horizon as she branches beyond Australia’s shores.
Hugh Forrest (SXSW)
(Keynote, Tuesday 8 May)
Hugh Forrest is the Chief Programming Officer for South by Southwest (SXSW). South by Southwest Conference & Festivals is an annual event that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries fostering creative and professional growth alike. He will share his strategy, stories and struggles with delivering nine days of panels, presentations, brainstorming, networking, deal-making, socialising, creating, innovating, and fun to 70,000 industry creatives at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
Dr Catherine Ball – “Innovate and Create”
Keynote, Tuesday 8 May
Dr. Catherine Ball is an author, founder, and ethics advocate working across global projects where robotics and new technology meet environmental protection. A sought-after voice in industry, Dr. Ball is now working with the application of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) aka drone technology across remote communities, schools, industry, and citizen scientists.
Dr. Ball will share her story, how technology can make an impact on people and places and her next steps as she leads the call for discussions around the ethics of spatial data, and commercial drone operations.
Brett Biddington AM, Susan Scott, Sarah Gunn – “The Legacies of Events”
Plenary Panel, Tuesday 8 May
Brett Biddington founded a consulting company in 2010 that specialises in space and cyber security matters. Professor Susan Scott is Professor of Theoretical Physics in the Research School of Physics and Engineering at the Australian National University (ANU). She became the first female Professor of Physics (with one other woman) at ANU in 2009. Sarah Gun is an international award-winning innovator, disruptor, thought leader and crusader for a socially equitable world. This exciting panel discussion will delve into how we can design events that make an impact for all industry sectors now, and most importantly, a social impact for our world in the future.
The Conference concludes with the Meetings & Events Australia National Awards, where MEA and the broader events industry acknowledges the outstanding work and excellence of individuals and businesses in Australia. This year’s MEA Award categories were also rejuvenated to recognise the evolution of the meetings and events industry, its professionals, roles, organisational changes and education.
The industry’s Outstanding Industry Professional and the Conference destination will also be announced at this event.
The Conference will deliver on 8 key objectives:
- Discover – what you don’t know or what you may have forgotten
- Get creative – open your mind and your business to create new opportunities
- Learn – through more than 30 keynotes, industry forums and deep-dive breakout sessions.
- Grow – MEA provides practical tools to improve business and motivate delegates in real life
- Be Inspired – Hear from top talent from around the globe, both inside and outside of the events industry, plus industry leaders and influencers
- Celebrate success with those at the top of the event industry at the National Awards ceremony
- Make new friends – Engage with future leaders and network with the leading lights in the Australian events industry at scheduled breaks and evening networking events.
- Have fun – The conference is a chance to enjoy the landscape through pre-and post- tours across the host region, Adelaide, plus music and fine food and wine from the area.