Evolve 2020’s program creation is well underway. There will be eight track topics that feature content relevant to event professionals.
Over 35 sessions will have specifically chosen subject matter expert speakers from our industry and from the broader business sector.
Click on each track or session to learn more about the speakers and to explore the sessions.
Please note: speakers and session times are subject to change.
Sunday 3 May
Workshop summaryThe MEA Evolve 2019 dietary session opened up a hot conversation for many in the industry. It certainly was a dynamic conversation! The ongoing issue for many event professionals from the coalface through to venues, is establishing an understanding of dietary deliverables for both client and delegate. This session will launch the MEA Dietary Guidelines that have been collated over the past 12 months in response to the Evolve 2019 session. These guidelines will provide information for all silos of the industry to use as they set event planning procedures with clients, venues and operational teams. Implementation of policies will be discussed along with a review of key stumbling blocks to ensure the discussion facilitates continuous improvement for all parties.Key takeaways:1. Understanding dietary needs across key cultural and medical areas2. Understanding best practice of dietary management3. Risk management with dietary requirements
Workshop summaryMost people work on building up their financial assets. But how many people work on building up their greatest asset: their brain?Neuroscience has revealed that we are not passive victims of our genes. We can change the very structure and functioning of our brain through what we do, think and believe. Discover immediately implementable strategies to boost your brain and achieve more than you ever thought possible.Key takeaways:1. Sharpen your thinking and problem solving2. Increase your physical and mental energy3. Tap into brain potential you never knew you had4. Reduce your risk of depression, anxiety and Alzheimer’s disease
MEA brings together the experts and industry leading organisations to discuss and debate the impact of the bushfires, floods and COVID19. The events of the first two months of 2020 have been unprecedented, and many businesses that operate in the events sector have been impacted. MEA has invited industry representatives to update and discuss the fallout and how, as an industry we can safeguard and recover from these global and local crises.Welcome to hell: Coronavirus, the recession and when will the economy recover?The Australian economy is on the cusp of a recession. But it can be avoided if there is a potent policy response. The jury is out whether what has been delivered so far is enough. Australia hasn’t seen a recession for nearly 30 years. I lived through the last one, was in Treasury in fact, and know what it is like. Should you prepare for a recession? What happens to your business? Your personal finances? Housing? Recessions are game changing, ugly and painful.Global Impact: Rebuilding the Pipeline
Monday 4 May
Session summaryMitch will share his story with mental health from a personal and professional perspective that will include insights around his core thesis of: “the day we feel understood is the day we start to heal”. In this inspirational hour you will learn about the five primary issues facing our society and explore the role of mental health in the workplace; what we can do to improve, destigmatise and normalise its universal nature.Key takeaways:1. Tips to implement immediately to improve individual and group mindset2. Resilience and thriving techniques3. What to do next after we ask someone the question “RUOK?”
Track Sessions 1
Session summaryEvery event involves risk. The type and level depends on variables such as the activity, the location, scheduling and the number of delegates / participants. Whatever your event, it is essential you are prepared by managing these risks. Successful organisers manage risk rather than avoid it: They focus on goals and safety, not just compliance. With effective risk management you can minimise the potential costs and liabilities of event planning, leading to a safer, more enjoyable event. It really is as easy as ABC ...Key takeaways:1. Why you have to write a risk assessment2. What to consider in your risk assessment3. Why you should probably never include walruses in your risk assessments
Session summary20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% in the second year, 50% close their doors after five years and 70% of small business owners fail in their 10th year in business. What does it take to get over the ten-year itch? Our panel of company owners will share how their insights and actions how they have survived more than ten years in the events industry.
Session summaryLife is busy... building a career, juggling family, working long hours, trying to stay fit, and it is even tricky fitting in a social life! Everyone wants to be healthy but they do not want an extreme diet, a costly approach, or to be preached at. Interesting research is unveiling how quality nutrition can not only improve our physical body, energy and sleep but also our mental health, brain function, memory, and moods. Michele, explores non-extreme, sustainable changes in our eating habits and will discuss current health issues and serious topics in a light, humorous way.Key takeaways:1. Identify the key nutritional factors in a person’s daily routine than impact their physical and mental health-brain clarity, hormones, moods, immune system, weight, sleep and energy to exercise.2. Identify how stress, even without sugar, can manifest the same physical symptoms on the body and how to modify their risk factors.3. Identify how sleep can be improved for physical wellbeing, weight loss, and cognitive function.4. Discover how your wellbeing toolkit can include coffee and wine
Session summaryStories and storytelling can inspire, influence, motivate and engage people where logic and bullet points may not. Business storytelling is storytelling with a purpose and for results. Whatever it is you are trying to do in business – whether you are leading people, managing change, influencing the board or building your career, storytelling can help you do it better … that’s a guarantee. Key takeaways:1. Discover business storytelling – a hot emerging business skill2. Explore the use of storytelling as an sales tool3. Identify applications for storytelling within your business
Session summaryDelivering unique customer experience through technology solutions has become a game changer in the past decade. Think about how we access music, how we watch and consume content, how we travel, how you check in or check out at airports or hotels, how you pay for items or even how you unlock your phone. Technology has given consumers a choice to ‘opt in’ for a better experience making technology the enabler. The use of Biometric technology (Facial recognition, fingerprint, gaze) through AI is fast becoming a unique opportunity to impress and engage customers, providing them through your business a long-lasting positive experience.Key takeaways:1. Understand the role biometric technology is playing in changing the customer experience to be immersive and engaging2. Understand more about privacy and data protection eradicating the fear from clients or risk to your business3. Learn why biometric technology is a solution for your next event with a recent implementation case study from an Australian venue
MEA National Awards 2018 Winner – Event of the Year (Incentives & special events)
Track Sessions 2
Session summaryIf negotiating is a big part of your day but you find it challenging to step up to the deals table with confidence this session is for you. Dealing with supplier demands and client expectations is a constant balancing act that can mean things don’t always run smoothly. In this session Sam will share a framework to help you strengthen this skill by understanding the foundations of a good negotiation and the practical applications of it, so you can negotiate with more confidence.Key takeaways:1. Learn a framework for good negotiations2. Pick up some tips and tactics you can implement today3. Shift your mindset and feel more confident negotiating
Session summaryFor business, the risk of cyber security event is no longer one that causes a slow day, it can easily lead to a CEE (Company Ending Event). But cyber security can be used to grow your business, rather than slowing you down.In this session I’ll cover how to protect you and your company, break down some of the myths and give you practical tips to take away.Oh, and it won’t be boring!Key takeaways:1. Turning cyber security into part of growing your business2. Simple actions you can take to protect you and your teams3. What your clients expect and how to exceed that!
Session summaryIs your gut sensitive, irritable, leaky or inflamed? Are you into prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, psychobiotics, synbiotics or antibiotics? Why does it matter? Because your body is home to 100 trillion micro-organisms with a combined weight of over 2kg. That’s more than the weight of your brain! Discover the secret life of your gut bacteria and how they impact every aspect of your physical, mental and emotional health.Key takeaways:1. What are all those busy bugs doing?2. How do our gut bacteria communicate with our brain and what are they saying?3. How to heal your gut and maintain optimal gut health throughout your life.
Session summaryWe compete for customers attention. They have less of it every day. Impatience grows also, and your competition is the best online experience your customers have, regardless of the industry. To stand out, you need more than relevance and context. You need a personality. You need to mean something. You need to be compelling and evoking. Digital provides the ability to drive demand, drive awareness. drive engagement. drive results. Practical tips, tricks and war stories on what works and what doesn’t.
Session summaryFrom show floor VR, event data (tracking session scans, booth scans and interactions across the event) to AV (27 projector 195 metre wide screen) and the event operations centre (central monitoring from a security and people flow standpoint). This session will deep dive into how Salesforce bring their company values to life through technology and innovation at the one day event.Key takeaways:1. The power event technologies play in attendee experience2. Bringing company values to life through events and technology3. The importance of maintaining focus on customer experience
MEA National Awards 2018 Winner – Corporate Event of the Year
Track Sessions 3
Session summaryThis session is designed to support your development in communication, influence, rapport and self-awareness. Heighten your understanding of social motivators and improve your ability to influence and collaborate with others more effectively. We will also draw from the field of Neuromarketing regarding persuasion and delivering messages with emotional impact through effective story-telling techniques.Real workplace examples will be utilised for participants in discussions and interactive exercises, with the ability to apply what you have learnt straight away.Key takeaways:1. Understand the social motivators model to improve your ability to influence and collaborate with others effectively2. Differentiate how you communicate and gain buy-in through creating powerful emotional connections through storytelling3. Receive a stakeholder engagement top six checklist of the key elements to build engagement confidence.
Session summaryWe have moved from the era of ‘why’ marketing, to ‘who’ marketing. Learning to brand yourself authentically, both on and offline, is one of the most valuable lessons that will lead you to success. Yet, many of us feel overwhelmed about how to start and know how much of your brand you should share.Key takeaways:1. Discover practical tools to turn your personal brand into an asset.2. Understand the five steps to owning your personal brand.3. Activating your personal brand within your business and externally to the market.
Session summaryWhen it comes to growing a business, building traffic and optimizing for conversion, nothing beats video. In this session we’ll deep dive into the extraordinary world of video marketing, which consistently outperforms word / image based marketing by a factor of 10 or even 100. This dynamic, interactive and highly enjoyable workshop explores the possibilities for you and your business.Key takeaways:1. How to grow a YouTube Channel from nothing to 10,000 views a month2. The secret sauce that doubles your SEO3. Specific ideas on how to leverage video in your business
Session summaryEver felt confused looking over your AV quote? Not quite sure what to ask for? You’re not alone. This session will help unpack some common AV terms and help you make more empowered decisions. We’ll breakdown AV quotes, discuss some common equipment and reveal tips and tricks to add value to your event production. This is a session not to be missed. It’s your opportunity to learn everything you ever wanted to know about AV, but were too afraid to ask.Key takeaways:1. Understand how to prepare an AV brief and spec2. Better understand your AV quote and what questions to ask3. Understand how to add value to your event production4. Teasers for some new tech to lookout for
Session summaryFor over 20 years, GPJ and IBM have collaborated to deliver events across Australia & New Zealand. Attend this session to learn how, through strong client-agency collaboration, IBM’s flagship Think Summit grew to become a multiple award-winning experience.Key takeaways:1. How an agency and client come together to co-create award winning conferences.2. Using technology to understand more about the audience and creating events that are designed with a customer-first mindset.3. Building an annual flagship event that builds a community
Session summaryThe rate of change, failures and disruptions present ever increasing risks in our personal and corporate lives. Captain de Crespigny discusses the eight Elements of Resilience (Knowledge, Training, Experience, Leadership, Teamwork, Decision Making, Crisis Management and Risk), and how to harness them to keep calm, survive and thrive in face the crises, perfect storms, black swan events.Key takeaways 1. Harness the Elements of Resilience2. Become confident, courageous and intrepid3. Thrive and Survive.
Tuesday 5 May
Session summaryImagine the revolutionary thought that robots could be keynote speakers. AI leaders have exactly this vision – that robots can deliver talks and answer audience questions. Could we really have non-biological presenters? These questions will be explored as Dr Catriona Wallace unpacks Artificial Intelligence and the effect that it might have on the events and speaking industry.1. Artificial Intelligence made easy2. How AI will augment the events process3. Robot speakers – how might this work?
Track Sessions 4
Session summaryHow to combine brand, experience and human-centred design thinking to take your event strategy, design, creativity and delivery to the next level.Events are brands in action and communities in motion. So great events bring brands to life brilliantly and in ways that ignite passion and action in their audiences. This session will explore strategic, creative and design-led ways of thinking that will elevate your events and bring new creative possibilities into view.Key takeaways:1. You’ll be helped to rethink the possibilities of events through brand, experience and human lenses2. Challenge the conventions and limitations that are constraining your current event thinking.3. Learn new mindsets and skillsets to develop new, value-creating event and experience ideas.
Session summaryIf you struggle to express your ideas clearly and quickly in writing, this workshop will give you tips you can put into practice immediately. Discover ways to give your writing more impact and improve your editing skills. Plain English is the accepted way of writing for business; learn how it helps get your message across more effectively.Key takeaways:1. Get your readers attention2. Write with clarity and speed3. Edit writing and provide meaningful feedback
Session summaryWhat does it mean to be a leader? As middle management future leader, how do you skill up from being operational to strategic. What are the skills required to be a leader in the 21st century.
Session summaryLinkedIn is the perfect platform for businesses and individuals to position themselves and connect with their target audience. With a clever LinkedIn strategy businesses can share their business stories, company culture, track record and industry insights resulting in the generation of real commercial conversations. You will learn the importance of optimise; personalise and socialise.Key takeaways:1. You will learn what a ‘best in class’ LinkedIn profile looks like2. You will learn how to strategically grow a valuable LinkedIn network3. You will learn effective techniques to help you “find your voice” and stand out from the crowd
Session summaryWhat is the difference between making an association event a success compared to corporate or other type of events? Limited budgets don’t have to mean limited innovation. How can you maximise innovation when faced with a minimal budget? What is best practice to create an amazing delegate experience?Nicolette Hughes has spent 28 years in working with association events across various industries and you will hear the successes, critical reflections, mistakes and risks from her colourful journey.Key takeaways:1. What are some innovative ideas for delivering association events?2. How can you create excellence and a high standard?3. How can you leave an event legacy and make each year for an annual event a unique experience?
Session summaryLeaders must be aware of the big demographic forces that are shaping the 2020s. Global trends favour investment in Australia. The workforce is hollowing our into winners and losers. How can your business succeed in the new market realities? Simon runs a highly engaging and practical session that mustn’t be missed.
Track Sessions 5
Session summaryWe live in increasingly diverse societies creating ‘super-diversity’ in the workplace across gender, age, nationality, race and more. Bias affects how organisations make decisions that impact employee engagement, retention, organisational culture, client experience and brand perception. This session will equip you on:- What is Unconscious Bias?- Why it happens?- Types of Bias- How it shows up at work - The consequences of UB- What can you do to disrupt UB in your workplaceKey takeaways:1. The origin of bias and its importance2. Understanding and assessing your own bias3. Ways to move from bias to inclusion
Session summaryFollowing on from Part One of Navigating the Leadership Ladder, Sheridan Randell will interview our panel who will share their career paths and what toolkits they used to be where they are today.
Session summaryIn 2020 and beyond, customer centric organisations are set to learn more, win bigger, and grow faster than their competitors. As the lines between sales and marketing continually blur, this session will explore the state of the customer revolution and it’s impact on the way businesses function. It will showcase how – by focusing on the customers personality, interests and behaviours, marketers can unlock the critical insights to inform and drive action.
How small commercial radio station identified a niche in the music market which led to the development of possibly one of the largest and the most unique music festivals in the world.Key takeaways:1. From Little Things Big Things Grow.2. Events are key to regional growth.3. It’s not about the music choice, it is about the experience.
Session summaryGenerations Y and Z will soon comprise more than half of the workforce and so understanding their preferred way of work is essential for effective engagement. In this session, Ashley will give an overview of creating an engaging culture for a multigenerational workforce, and will equip attendees with the knowledge and skills to engage this post-literate, multimodal and tech-savvy generation.
Session summaryKirstin will use recent case studies and highly practical advice to provide the audience with an inspiring call to action for how every leader, regardless of their role within an organisation, can use emotional intelligence to be the most effective leader they can be. Using her own experience as a leader with personal examples as well as the latest research, Kirstin helps audience members understand what it means to be an emotionally intelligent leader who is able to build trust and lead courageously while understanding the impact of their decisions on others.
Session summarySimon will emphasise the importance of lifelong learning as our economy is in a state of permanent transformation. Events provide the crucial face to face learning opportunities that are so important in our knowledge driven economy. Simon shows how the changing nature of the workforce allows for big growth opportunities in the events industry and what type of workers will succeed in the sector. He will also share how data will help to better target and market events.
Track Sessions 6
Session summaryWant to sell green events but unsure what to offer? Aiming to do more than the usual reduce, reuse, recycle? Join Pat Dwyer as she shares her insights and experience on how to meaningfully adapt your events to manage resources well, and inspire creative offerings around food, setup and overall experience. She will share practical tips and case studies that help you work with your venues, suppliers, bookers and guests so your events are better for people and planet.Key takeaways:1. Eco-friendly goes beyond reducing packaging or handing out water tumblers2. Work out where in event management you have the biggest impact, and manage resources from there3. Eco friendly events make money – discover the secret.
Session summaryConnectivity between workers, customers, government are creating a Virtual World to do business. How do you take advantage of the opportunity? Or is it a threat? A deep dive into the connective tools that shape the future of work. Business performance used to be something left for the accountants, but digital trends are making data backed decisions everyone’s business. See how finance is coming from the back of the office to the front. New business models are re shaping the way traditional cash flow works for business making more businesses get paid, upfront and more regularly, whilst getting better access to the banks.
Session summaryThere is so much more that goes into pitching a product, service or idea than just preparing a well thought-out proposal. Agency Example takes a strategic and creative approach when it comes to selling. In this session, Andrew will reveal his tips, as well as outline how the agency guides its clients in effectively selling their destination or venue to B2B and B2C audiences.Key takeaways:1. Learn how a successful agency approaches pitching its services and ideas to prospective clients2. Hear and see case studies of how different destinations and venues effectively sell themselves to target audiences3. Know how to set yourself up for success
Event industry ‘track champions’ have been engaged to provide grassroots insights and expertise to ensure current and relevant session content and best practice.
Thank you to our track champions for their participation:
- Future Leaders – Natalie Bell (AA&P Events), Jessica Christy (Harry the Hirer) and Zac Leach (ibis Styles East Perth)
- Event Design & Management – Inge Garofani (DC Conferences), Rochelle Krason and Dorina Martelli (Bankwest)
- Business Management – Gary Bender (World Corporate Travel), Natalie Bell (Associated Advertising & Promotion)
- Sales and Marketing – Nicole Bates (Conversion Management), Mary-Jane Devine (Fusion Marketing) and Leanne Zeid (IHG)
- Best Practice Case Studies – Ian Stuart
- Wellness and Personal Development – Peter Bliss (Business is Bliss)
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.
We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their Elders – past, present and emerging.