Association Events Summit

29 October 2020



Thu 29 October 2020


Registration Opens




Welcome from Major Sponsor - ICC Sydney

Geoff Donaghy, Chief Executive Officer, ICC Sydney


COVID-19 and the Future of Business Events

COVID-19 has had a drastic impact, with the cancellation of nearly all in-person association conferences and exhibitions for 2020. Whilst associations still have their main member services and sources of profit, the impact on the meetings and exhibitions sector has been devastating. Andrew Hiebl will discuss:

  • Research and statistics for the events sector
  • Future developments

Andrew Hiebl, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Australian Convention Bureaux


In-Person, Hybrid and Virtual Association Events

Associations have had to change their events to a virtual or hybrid format in 2020. This session will consider:

  • Respective advantages and challenges of each delivery method
  • Should associations invest in new delivery or wait out the pandemic?
  • Changes that will be seen permanently in the sector

Nick Whitefield, General Manager - Events, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine

Kandy Musgrave, National Events Manager, Australian Veterinary Association

Kirsty Grimwade, Senior Manager, Conference and Events, AusIMM


Meet and Greet Networking Break/Morning Tea


Force Majeure – forcing a review of your event contracts

Your event contracts are your front-line defense for managing the risks of “force majeure” circumstances, like COVID-19. In this session, Matt Crouch will explain, in clear language, the concept of force majeure in the context of event contracts and what association event managers should be doing to improve and update their event contracts, with delegates, sponsors and exhibitors. He will also address how to spot potential problems in venue and other supplier contracts, and explain what you may be able to do to renegotiate existing contracts when you are struggling with an event that may, or may not, proceed due to COVID-19.

Matt Crouch, Principal, Matt Crouch Legal


Event Innovation: Interactive Workshop

Whether through topic, format or style, innovation is key for all events. This workshop will be discussion-based with delegates being separated into groups. Discussion will be focussed on the following questions:

  • Positive changes to events pre-pandemic
  • Examples of transformation due to COVID-19
  • The importance of engaging with your audience
  • Methods to facilitate flourishing ideas that become innovative

Facilitated by Associations Forum




Marketing Events

After laying the groundwork to construct your event, sometimes the hardest part is ensuring that you receive ample registrations to meet contracted venue numbers and meet budget. This session will consider:

  • Effective segmentation for event marketing  - focusing on the why rather than the who and how many.
  • Avoiding overkill and annoying potential delegates
  • Choosing the right marketing channels
  • Growing your audience - how to reach non-members   

Thy Boskovic, Marketing, Membership and Events Coordinator, Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists


Mix It Up: Impact from Good Delivery and Technology

Assuming a speaker is competent, how can association event managers or PCOs assist them in making a memorable and lasting positive impact? This panel session will consider:

  • Training virtual presenters to be on-camera and on-mic
  • Role of apps including live surveys with instant results
  • Utilising exercises and group interaction
  • Instructing presenters to get the timing right

Sarah Allen, Conference and Events Coordinator, Australian Psychological Society

Tamara Vermeend, Head of Events, Self-Managed Super Fund Association

Brian Nash, Director of Audio Visual, International Convention Centre Sydney


Networking Break/Afternoon Tea


Next Steps for Sponsorship of Association Events

Coronavirus has affected the ability of associations to retain, maintain or gain new sponsors. This is significant, as sponsors provide value of knowledge to members of relevant services, plus income to the association. This session will consider:

  • New methods to involve sponsors with events and activities e.g. online chatrooms
  • Reasons why brief advertisements are sensible
  • The importance of the association delivering value for money

Tom Dunsmore, General Manager, Australian Boarding Schools Association


Optional: Site tour of ICC Sydney’s Hybrid Event Spaces

Join a tour of ICC Sydney’s Hybrid Event Spaces that allow event organisers the flexibility to host their audience onsite, while streaming live to their online audience in a virtual format. The site tour is available both face to face and online. To register, please contact:

Tina Eggers, Business Development Manager - National, ICC Sydney
Direct: +61 2 9215 7100 I Mobile: +61 429 227 124


Register now