MEA 2018 conference in full swing in Adelaide

Event planners, PCOs and suppliers have arrived in Adelaide in droves for the 2018 MEA National Conference. Here's a rundown on what's happening over the next few days.
Images courtesy of Oneill Photographics

Event planners, PCOs and suppliers have arrived in Adelaide in droves for the 2018 Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) National Conference.

Speaking at the official welcome ceremony, MEA chief executive Robyn Johnson said: “MEA has chosen the best destination this year for its conference.”

“It’s been nine years since we were last here, and the city has really transformed itself since then. We’re very pleased to be able to showcase the city to you during this conference.”

Day one of the conference focused on the strategic drivers for MEA, which saw members engage in an update on the three-year strategic plan, discussions around planning and sharing of information across the branches and more national connectivity.

This strategic session was followed by four 60 minute concurrent sessions with the various MEA committees, including Conference Local Hosts, Accreditation, Awards and the Program Committees.

From midday, the newly invigorated 90-minute MEA Industry Forums were held in the Riverbank Rooms. Topics included Staffing and Recruitment; Governance and Ethics; Sustainability, Risk and Security; and the most popular session, Event Design and Technology. The outcomes of the Forums will be made available to the broader membership following the 2018 Conference.

Meetings continued throughout the afternoon, including the First Timer’s Welcome, followed by the launch of MEA Future Leaders, a tour of the Adelaide Convention Centre, and the Conference Exhibition area was also officially opened.

The Conference Opening Ceremony was held from 5 pm, including an exciting presentation from Local Conference Champion, Annabel Crabb; welcomes from CEO of SA Tourism Commission and Rodney Harrex; General Manager of Adelaide Convention Centre, Simon Burgess; and the official address from CEO of MEA, Robyn Johnson. The host for the Opening was Cosi from “South Aussie” (Andrew Costello).

Delegates were then led to nearby transport to the National Wine Centre for the Conference Welcome Function, followed by the late night ClubMEA event held at Nola Craft Beer and Whiskey Bar.

Day two of the conference (07 May) saw delegates dive into the latest in digital vs analogue worlds, event design, AV and technology, sales and marketing and security.

There were also practical sessions on deep listening; how to attract sponsors and business development techniques; topics for business owners and senior leaders included mental health and the workplace; how to build exceptional places; cultivating innovation; and the state of our economy and how that impacts the event sector.

A casual social function was then held at the Adelaide Oval.

All images courtesy of Oneill Photographics.

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