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ISES Melbourne Student Conference delivers


Industry leaders have inspired the next generation of event managers and brand visionaries at the 5th annual International Special Events Society (ISES) Melbourne Chapter’s Student Conference.

More than 350 students from educational institutes across Victoria attended the conference which was held on Monday, May 13, 2013 at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, with the theme `Creative Events: Colour, Light and Sound’.

A dynamic list of guest speakers entertained and informed delegates while imparting valuable knowledge and personal experiences.

Amanda Walker of Melbourne Olympic Parks Trust commenced the presentations by outlining the 12.12.12 event hosted by her organisation last year. The audience was exposed to the art of using colour, light and sound to create different environments and were transported on an ethereal journey to the heavens through theming and lighting.

Shay Murphy from Showtime Events Centre had delegates captivated as he showcased some of the challenging events he has created, while embracing the idea that anything is possible.

Mitch Catlin, Head of Partnerships, Community and Media at Swisse Wellbeing gave an entertaining presentation on the enormous and often challenging logistical process of bringing US talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, to Australia and his involvement in signing Academy Award winner, Nicole Kidman, as the first Global Swisse Brand Ambassador. Mitch emboldened delegates with his belief that hard work, creative ideas and belief can make even seemingly unreachable ideas achievable. Importantly, he encouraged attendees not to be scared to think big.

The inaugural ‘Speed Star’ sessions were warmly received with five event professionals outlining their career journey. Andrew Marsh, from Norwest Productions, gave an illuminating presentation on his work at the Winter Olympics in Canada and the 2012 London Olympics. Jess Young, from Plan-it Roxie, and Sophie Fernandes, from the St Kilda Festival, along with Tanya Brockhus and Jacinta Shepheard from the conference and events team at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, spoke about their career pathways, what keeps them inspired, and the satisfaction they derive from creating a successful event. Gian Blundo, from Décor It Events, gave an informative presentation on the art and current trends of weddings.

A panel of industry experts rounded out the conference, giving delegates a chance to interact and ask questions. Sherridan Green, from L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, and Ben O’Callaghan, from the Future Music Festival, gave great insight into the highs and lows and demands of festival work.

The conference included plenty of colour and movement , including a beautiful morning tea by Sofitel Melbourne On Collins featuring a giant chocolate fountain, creatively decorated cup cakes, toffee apples, and fruit skewers, magic and balloons from Chris Morant, acoustic music from the `Inside Job’, a DJ set from Top Dog Entertainment, and daiquiris from Frozen Daiquiris Australia.

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