"Engaging content. Stimulating discussion. Effective networking." EEAA 2014 Conference 20 November 2014Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)MelbourneTV and radio presenter, James O’Loghlin, hosted the Conference with key themes around:marketing‘internationalising’ events, andsecurity.It was opened by EEAA President Domenic Genua who welcomed guests from around Australia and New Zealand. Domenic Genua said he was proud of the Association’s achievements in 2014 and pleased to have welcomed new members.“We’ve taken on some new opportunities this year as we grow the reach of the Association into the various stakeholder groups in Government, business and marketing sector, “ he said.“We are frugal and highly targeted in our work. And I am pleased to announce we are on target with our five year plan.”In her opening address, EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, called on the Members to work with the Association to change the “narrative” about what exhibitions deliver. Joyce highlighted the achievements of the EEAA in its engagement with the Government but said there was still a long way to go in pitching the merits of exhibitions to the decision makers in marketing.“As live events, exhibitions deliver what all other marketing channels aspired to achieve and it is time the industry step up and change the way in which the sector presents its strengths,” she said.“We need to take the message about the Power of Exhibitions to a whole new level and deliver the exhibition experience in ways that are compelling, contemporary and reflect the way consumers and businesses now want to interact.”“This is a job not just for the Association but every single person that works in the exhibition and events industry – if we are in the world of experiential marketing then let’s make sure that all who work in the industry reflect this.” she said. CONTENT HIGHLIGHTSMarketing“Trends come and go and it is important for companies to adapt quickly. Our world is getting stronger. Nothing has the right to survive.”What’s happening in marketing, technology and consumer behaviour?Matt Jones, Director & Creative Strategist, Better HappyMatt Jones kicked-off the Conference with a pitch on culture, consumers and companies. Matt discussed the changes in the way people communicate and the impact this is having upon the exhibition and event industry. Matt spoke about change as a terrifying yet exciting concept. He offered three recommendations to survive in the ever- changing world of technology:1. Adapt to the future2. Focus on your purpose3. Don’t be rational“Digital engagement is something the exhibition and event industry should be working WITH, not AGAINST.”Data sharing and connectivity – should businesses “open” up?Shane Crockett, V3 Leisure Management & MarketingShane Crockett covered topics of data sharing, digital engagement and “uberfication”. Sharing data can be on many different levels, particularly Consumer to Business and Business to Business. Shane said 47% of people are willing to share data on a Consumer to Business level if they can see a benefit in sharing it.Panel DiscussionMatt Jones, Director & Creative Strategist, Better Happy; Shane Crockett, Executive Director and CEO, V3 Leisure Management & Marketing: Brian Cohen, Marketing Director, Diversified Communications Australia; and Paul Kenny, event strategy and communications leader.The panel discussion covered many interesting ideas and challenges. Brian Cohen of Diversified said change is necessary, yet change doesn’t always have to be new. Brian spoke of some old marketing mediums becoming trendy again with some companies are getting back to producing high quality cut-through direct mail. Matt Jones said it was easy and cheap to have everything on-line, however, real-time and tangible events needed to be extraordinary to pull a crowd, posing new and exciting challenges for exhibitors.Internationalising eventsEEAA’s work to help its Members “internationalise” their events and services was centre-stage at the Conference.Four international sessions – including keynote addresses by Austrade CEO Bruce Gosper, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Director, Bonnie Shek and a workshop with Austrade’s Trade Manager, Services, International Operations, Gabriella Nunes, all identified practical opportunities for working more effectively in the international landscape.Key lessons from the sessions related to:Calendar and timing: The importance of timing of events and ensuring they do not conflict with key major shows in other parts of AsiaHosted Buyer Programs: Ensuring hosted buyer programs deliver a full suite of language services, hospitality, introductions and value-adds such as site visits and other commercial introductionsTrade Missions: The value of participation in Austrade trade missions and business matchingKey Industry Pillars: Clarity around the key industry pillars on Austrade’s agenda: Food and Agribusiness, Advanced Manufacturing, Infrastructure , Resources and Energy, Health, Services and their alignment with major trade and consumer exposGrants and Assistance: Where to look for information about Austrade support http://www.austrade.gov.au/Assistance Bonnie Shek, Director, Australia and New Zealand, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Bruce Gosper, CEO, Austrade (Australian Trade Commission) Panel DiscussionBonnie Shek, Director, Australia and New Zealand, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC); Bruce Gosper, CEO, Austrade (Australian Trade Commission); John Gorton, Executive Director, Reed Exhibitions Australia; Fred Lazzerini, MD – Asia Pacific, Ungerboeck Software International; and Jon Perry, Group Exhibition Director, Diversified Communications.Security Keeping your exhibitors, visitors and general public safeBrian Curley, Victoria PoliceInspector Brian Curley from Victorian Police gave an overview of what security threats mean to exhibitors and the importance of keeping everyone safe. Brian said places of mass gathering can be a target for terrorism and security threats, from major events to iconic symbols/locations. He then discussed who is mainly responsible for these threats. Brian spoke of the impact the internet has upon security threats.Panel DiscussionInspector Brian Curley, Victoria Police; Bryan Santilli, Core Security Manager, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre; and Sam Johnson, General Manager, Southern Cross Group Services.The panel drilled down into more specific risks facing exhibition and event security issues. Bryan Santilli and Sam Johnson joined Brian on stage to discuss the issues that many security services are facing within the exhibition and event industry.Breakout A – Is your WHS house in order?Presenter: Kristy Nicholson, Principal Consultant (Vice President), Workforce Strategies, Marsh Risk Consulting; Facilitator: Kate Neal, Head of Show Services, Exhibitions & Trade Fairs.Kristy spoke about what you can do to embrace a safety culture, what happens when things go wrong, what the areas of greatest risk and how can you mitigate these.Breakout B – How you can work with Austrade. What is involved and what services exist?Presenters: Gabriella Nunes, Trade Manager – Services (A/g), International Operations, Austrade; John Gorton, Executive Director, Reed Exhibitions Australia; Facilitator: Fred Lazzerini, Managing Director – Asia Pacific, Ungerboeck Software International.Guests heard about how they can be part of EEAA’s initiative with Austrade to grow their events, products and services.Panel Discussion: A Year in Review – An Australian Organisers and Associations PerspectiveRoss Ferrar, Chief Executive Officer, Gaming Technologies Association; Gary Daly, Managing Director, Exhibitions & Trade Fairs; Mark Harvey, Managing Director, National Media; and Kate Smith, Managing Director, WALDRONSMITH Management.This panel discussed the past year of events. The changes and challenges in the industry as new events were launched and as governments took a greater interest in the world of exhibitions. They discussed lessons learned and trends.Panel Discussion: Australia’s Mega EventsWorld AIDS Congress: Peter King, Chief Executive, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition CentrePeter King gave an inspiring presentation about The World AIDS Congress held in Melbourne in July. The mega event attracted participants from 60 countries and was embraced by the whole city. Over 700 presentations were uploaded to YouTube in 48hrs. Peter talked about the impact of the MH17disaster in which leading delegates from the AIDS community, who were bound for Melbourne perished. The crisis was tightly managed and the event proceeded honouring the delegates. Peter wanted to note the legacy this event left was far beyond an economic impact.“Koalas work a treat.”G20 DebriefShane Rodgers, Chief Operating Officer, Brisbane MarketingShane Rodgers spoke about the juggernaut G20 event an event that attracted 3,200 journalists to Brisbane. He said the city leveraged the media opportunity to position the city and Australia on the world stage. He said Brisbane Marketing ran a promotional program alongside the G-20. The challenge for Shane was to work Australia, more specifically Brisbane, into the news. Shane highlighted the appeal of Australian native animals as props for the media. Shane said if Brisbane can host the G20, it can host anything. How can you dispute that? Congratulations Brisbane and EEAA members including BCEC, host venue.Meet the Richard Geddes Young Achiever nomineesIn three sessions throughout the day, EEAA attendees heard from the Young Stars in our Association who had been nominated by their employer for the EEAA Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award.