1. Editor

    My first MEA Conference—WOW! I was lucky enough to be awarded the Qld
    MEA/USI Young Professional Scholarship, and as a result, was able to attend the
    2012 MEA Conference.

    Everything about this conference ‘opened my mind.’ The
    sessions I went to were incredibly inspiring, and I developed many new and
    creative ideas for both my organisation and my clients.

    The limitation on
    PowerPoint—one of my favourites! This really assisted in the speakers
    developing creative and participatory sessions.

    I have taken on so much advice
    as to the best way to present, and to inspire future event managers. This
    conference allowed me to further develop existing relationships, and I also met
    a significant number of incredible people, who I have since contacted and will
    certainly keep in contact with in the future.

    The best piece of advice I can
    give anyone new to the industry is…go to the MEA Conference! Learn, Grow and

    Becci Reid, MCI Australia

    MEA/USI Young Professional Scholarship 2011 (Queensland)

    May 3, 2012 at 10:56 pm Reply
  2. Editor

    I joined ACE (forerunner to MEA) in 1982 and have attended almost all annual conferences
    since then. Each sets the bar a little higher than the last, albeit in different areas.

    For example MEA 2011 was best known as the “friendly” conference as networking was seen as a priority and the “silent rave party” knocked everyone’s socks off—which will be extremely hard to top in future

    MEA 2012 themed “Open your mind” did very well in program content and the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre did a superb job on catering and presentation.

    Why do I attend? For me, the MEA conference is essential for a few reasons: to support MEA, who I consider the meetings and events industry peak body and who are very important to help mould the future of the industry; to learn some new tricks (no old dog jokes); and to meet both the old and young Turks—to see where the industry is going and who the players are. I would not miss it!

    Ray Shaw, Managing
    Director, MCI Australia

    May 3, 2012 at 10:57 pm Reply
  3. Andrew Howard
    Andrew Howard

    I thought the 2012 MEA National Conference was overall a cracker. But….

    ……the opening without the conference MC was a bit flat and i don’t think people felt connected together or thought wow i’m really looking forward to the next few days but that’s just my opinion.
    ……what was with that session Open Your Mind to New Forms of Connectivity by Liesl Capper, talking and having relationships with robots? Really this is everything that MEA does not stand for. The future of MEA should be all about meeting and  connecting with humans. MEA should really scene this sort of crap out, thank god it only went for 10-15minutes, but its still 10-15minutes i will never get back.
    ……its a shame that David Astle got lost in his words and trapped in a Creative Trance live on stage.
    ……would have been nice to open our minds and have a session or two outside in Darling Harbour, , just thinking ‘outside’ the square.

    Overall i thought the content was very good but it would be great for full delegates to in someway watch videos of or get notes of the sessions they could not attend as they picked a different session.

    Food was great, coffee was great too, which helps after having too many dodgy ice cubes the night before.

    The closing session was great.

    The gala awards dinner was hands down the best ever, well done to everyone involved. Not sure how you keep a crowd quite these days and i suppose that’s a tricky one to solve but the format and techniques used for the gala dinner were fanstastic. If anyone has any ideas on how to keep people quite i have a 5year old and a 3year old that i would love to test those technique on.

    Andrew Howard
    Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics

    These opinions are my own…….blar blar blar insert legal protection statement here blar blar blar

    May 7, 2012 at 11:43 am Reply
  4. Russell Bennett
    Russell Bennett

    Thanks Trevor a great round up of the conference – I to was disappointed with the noise during the awards – but then I also look at the night is supposed to be a gala and awards and I think it has become less gala and networking to an awards ceremony that is just far to long and I don’t know of many who would pay around $150 to sit through the hours of award presentations get it down to an hour – 1.5 very max and give back some enjoyment to a night that is supposed to wrap up a great conference not having guests bound and gagged for hours – maybe and out minor gongs on other nights and save the key ones for the Gala

    May 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm Reply
  5. Editor
  6. Lgaunt

    These comments are great and at MEA we will add to our formal evaluations. Eight months of hard work by amazing industry professionals went into this event and as the peak industry body for events we are very grateful. See you in Darwin?

    May 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm Reply
  7. Annabel

    Thanks Trevor for your summation of the conference – it is amazing how you are able to critique the program when you are dashing about the place capturing it all on camera.  What a legend !!
    The issue/challenge with the Gala Dinner is not exclusive to MEA – I attended the NSW Tourism awards late last year and Mike Whitney had a hell of a time trying to maintain order and sanity.  Perhaps the answer as someone said is to award some of the categories at the closing ceremony and what are perceived to be the bigger ones at the gala – but everyone wants their 5 minutes of fame dont they?
    So pleased that most people found the program strong and relevant – were were so lucky that we had such a passionate and committed  program committee – everyone pulled their weight and followed through on commitments.  Makes a difference. 
    Annabel Norris
    Co-chair Program Committee MEA 2012  

    May 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm Reply

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