The Exhibition and Event Association of Australia’s (EEAA) 2018 Leaders Forum and Conference delivered a packed program of learning, discussion and collaboration leading to the establishment of a committee that will spearhead the development of a new charter on sustainability for the sector.
New EEAA Board Member, and Chief Operating Officer, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Leighton Wood, led a session aimed at establishing a shared commitment to creating a more responsible industry, which resulted in the development of a working group that will work on building a sustainability charter and sharing best practice.
EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, said sustainability was a key tenet of the Association’s five-year strategy and congratulated the industry’s support of the initiative and the members who volunteered to steer the development of an industry charter.
“We are very pleased to have delivered this tangible outcome from our event. The discussion highlighted the importance of sustainability in our sector and the responsibility we all share in doing more to reduce waste and our carbon footprint.
The committee comprises of Leighton Wood, MCEC; Helen Mantellato, ICC Sydney; David Longman, Diversified Communications; Paul Elliott, Harry the Hirer; Ross Ferrar, Gaming Technologies Association; Cory McCarrick, Reed Exhibitions Australia; Adrian Slingsby, ICC Sydney.
“I look forward to working with the committee to build a charter for our industry on this important issue and to sharing the expertise and best-practice of Members who are taking positive steps already,”
The EEAA thanks its members, speakers and sponsors for their generous support of the event, with special thanks to Principal Partner, International Convention Centre, Sydney (ICC Sydney), which sponsored the full two-day program.
“As we celebrate Global Exhibitions Day, we are reminded of the important role exhibitions have in the business events industry and the economic impact they bring to their host cities,” Geoff Donaghy, Chief Executive Officer, ICC Sydney said.
“EEAA continues to provide leading industry events that allow members to collaborate, strategically discuss challenges and deliver the best outcomes for clients. ICC Sydney is proud to be a Principal Partner of the Association and looks forward to continuing its support and relationship for years to come.” Mr Donaghy said.
The two-day program featured an impressive line-up of speakers from within and outside the industry, including two international guests, presenting on the topics that are most relevant to the industry now and with the potential to impact the future.
“We were joined by global ‘rock stars’ in artificial intelligence (AI) who gave our members comprehensive insights to the role of AI in society today and what influence it will have on our sector in the future,” Ms DiMascio said.
“We also heard Explori’s results from our latest Market Monitor, which looks at how we compared to the rest of the world. This is the first time our data has been benchmarked against our global counterparts and this session certainly gave our members some food for thought.
“Deep-dive sessions on marketing, sales, exhibitor ROI, crisis management and event tech were also very popular components of the program, as were our ‘fireside chats’ with leading industry people.
“Overall, it was a balanced program that focused on high-level trends together with practical hands-on workshops – a mix we have found to be very popular with our members.”
Highlights from the two-day program
Artificial intelligence (AI), jobs and the industrial revolution, and the impact on the exhibition industry
Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Toby Walsh, and Founder and Senior Consultant in International Business, Exhibitions and e-Commerce, MBB Consulting Group, Matthias Baur
Global ‘rockstars’ on the topic of AI, Prof. Walsh and Matthias (Tesi) Baur together delivered three sessions over the two-day program on the topic of AI, providing both general trends globally and deep-dive analyses of AI as it relates to the exhibitions industry. It’s an area that we should all be knowledgeable about and both agree that it provides more opportunity than risk, assuring the audience that we are a long way from robots taking over.
“AI is going to have an impact on the world of work, but you have to be careful of some of the headlines you read. Most studies don’t consider all the new jobs technology will create. One thing is pretty certain – skills will keep changing so education needs to be a lifelong thing to keep people ahead of the machines,” Prof. Walsh said.
“We can’t fire the event manager yet. This is still a people-to-people industry and not to be replaced by robots. But, is the exhibition industry at risk of being Uberised? Areas most at risk of disruption have been viewed as expensive (e.g. taxis, hotels, music) – that’s an indicator that puts us on the radar for digital disruption,” Mr Baur said.