I’ve attended nearly every MEA conference for over 25 years – that’s a lot of destinations, a lot of presentations, a lot of awards and a lot of networking.
Traditionally the #1 reason for attending is the networking – catch up with old acquaintances and to meet new ones.
Since Hobart in 2007 the #2 reason has been to collect the T shirt from the #2 AV company in Australia (sadly there will be none this year).
#3 is the keynote speakers – over the years we have been treated to some very memorable keynote speakers such as Li Cunxin in Brisbane and Dr Fiona Wood (now Professor Wood) in Perth.
#4 is the education – especially the panel discussions on issues in the industry.
#5 is the MCs – and this year we will be remembering the antics, education and humour of Toby Travanner
#6 is the destinations – especially the remote ones – Hamilton Island, Alice Springs, Darwin, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.
#7 was the Special Interest Groups.
Previously there were discussions about industry issues that were conducted through Special Interest Groups. These discussions variously sorted issues out or just became a platform for grievances with no resolution. But they had people talking about the industry.
So far this year the big issues affecting our industry are related to the recovery from two years of COVID – staffing (and training), insurance, and the relevance of our industry associations (especially in dealing with government).
So these issues are to be given prominence this year – right?
Well, there will be presentations on Innovation and Creativity, Leadership, Resilience, Sustainability, Technology, Sponsorship, Empowerment, Inspiration, etc.
But will any of these sessions tackle how as an industry we are going to train and find new staff? How event producers and suppliers are being hammered by massive increases in Public Liability Insurance and the effect this will have on how we design and deliver events in the future?
What about the relevance of MEA and the other associations and BECA, and the latter’s representation to the new federal government? What about industry representation to state governments?
What about industry involvement in TAFE to ensure students are taught what is actually useful to employers when they graduate?
I assume that the MEA Update session will address the current state of membership of the association and any effect that is having on resources. But what about the other issues?
Yes the conference has new branding, Evolve 2022 – but it still an association conference that focusses on the needs of its members?
So will I see you there?
29th and 30th June at the Sofitel Melbourne