The last few weeks have been rather busy with conferences and trade shows for the events industry and next year it will be insane!
This year it started comfortably enough with AIME (back to the regular slot in February), Brisbane's Event ConneQion (it's not a typo, remember, to Queenslanders XXXX spells beer) in March followed by the Meetings and Events Industry Conference in April (just before Easter).
The first RSVP for Melbourne was held in May followed a week later by the Australian Events Expo (formerly Sydney on Sale) in Sydney.
Then it got a bit silly in July with the Melbourne chapter of ISES hosting the Regional Educational Conference (REC) at the RACV club followed a week later by the International Event Research Conference in the same venue, especially as neither party was aware of what the other was planning.
So as if things weren't silly enough this year, next year it all gets positively ridiculous!
The MEA conference is on in Alice Springs 10th - 12th May, the Australian Events Expo is slated for 13th & 14th while RSVP Melbourne will be on 14th & 15th May – Go figure!
Regarding the ISES and Event Educators Conferences - a positive outcome from this is that ISES and the organisers of the Event Educators conference (ACEM, UTS and Victoria University) are now talking, and hopefully will get together for their next conferences.
Both are held bi-annually and as ACEM have plans in place for the next Event Educators conference to be held in the Gold Coast in 2009 it makes enormous sense for the new Queensland ISES chapter to host the ISES REC concurrently. Just look at the benefits – both conferences are small in delegate numbers (ISES attracted around 80 delegates and Event Educators around 150) so they can combine the social functions and plenary sessions, thus sharing costs and hopefully attracting relevant speakers.
Certainly a number of speakers at each conference this year would have been welcome and appropriate at the other e.g. Tim Holding (Victorian Minister for tourism), Wayne Kayler-Thompson (CEO Victorian Events Industry Council), Dr Stephen Silk and Dale Monteith (Victoria Racing Club), Paul Gudgin (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Andrew Walsh (Ceremonies – Athens Olympics and Melbourne Commonwealth Games), Robyn Archer (Festival Director) and of course Joe Jeff Goldblatt the founder of ISES who was brought to Melbourne for the Event Educators Conference and the ISES organisers didn't find out he was coming until a couple of weeks prior to the REC.
Reports on these conferences and trade shows are in our features section.
Your comments are welcome.