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  • Streams
  • Engaging with China
  • Experience Development
4:00 PM
  • First Timers Welcome

    A fantastic opportunity for AACB Conference newbies to meet others in the same boat for a quick pre-drink before the Welcome Reception. 

    Registration for this function is required - email if you'd like to attend.

    30 mins
4:15 PM
  • Transfer to Welcome Reception

    Transfer from Mantra Mooloolaba Beach. 

    15 mins
4:30 PM
  • AACB Welcome Reception @ Pier 33

    Come and catch up with old and new industry colleagues over drinks and canapes to kick off the first night of conference!  

    Dress code: Smart Casual

    2 hours
7:30 AM
  • Mindfulness in Practice

    The Magic of Qigong/Tai Chi

    • Learn and practice some simple techniques that might change your life.
    • 30 minute practical session for anyone at any level.
    • A combination of breathing, moving meditation and gentle exercise.
    • Set yourself to “pay attention” all day and realise your full power and presence in each moment.
    • Learn – “Shaking”, ‘Splashing Water”, “Palms over Body”, “Hands out to the Universe” and “Tiger’s Claws”
    Peter Bliss

    Peter Bliss is a wellness, mindfulness and human behaviour coach, an international keynote... More

    30 mins
8:00 AM
  • Discover your Mantra - Breakfast

    Mindful or Mind Full? How is Mindfulness relevant to our industry?

    • Get a greater understanding of Mindfulness. What is it? How do I incorporate it daily?
    • Learn simple techniques to use personally to create greater awareness.
    • The science behind Mindfulness.
    • Expanding event attendee experience (at this conference).
    • The 7 secrets to Mindfulness.
    • Mindful listening and communication.
    Peter Bliss

    Peter Bliss is a wellness, mindfulness and human behaviour coach, an international keynote... More

    1 hour
9:00 AM
  • Break
    30 mins
9:30 AM
  • Conference Opening and President's Address
    Lynne Schinella

    Lynne Schinella is the ideal MC to facilitate the AACB 2017 conference. With a tag line of... More

    Karen Bolinger

    Ms Karen Bolinger is the Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention... More

    15 mins
9:45 AM
  • What Emerging Technologies are lurking in the Next Wave?

    How can we plan for the future if we’re not sure what’s coming? The big brands such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook are betting big on new versions of Augmented Reality (AR) being a major method of communication and interaction - arriving much earlier than we’ve been expecting. Problem is… most of us don’t understand the technology, let alone know how to harness it.

    Experience designer and emerging technologist David Shering will discuss how next-gen artificial intelligence (AI) is not all about robots taking over the world - instead he’ll show how it’s being used to build next-gen AR to spectacular effect.

    In this thought provoking, visual-led presentation, David will bend your mind with how this technology can enrich your end-user’s experience to enthralling new levels, and explain his take on where AR is going in the next 2-5 years.

    This session is proudly sponsored by Simpleview

    Dave Shering

    David Shering is the founder, principal and creative director at one of Australia’s... More

    45 mins
10:30 AM
  • Morning Break
    15 mins
10:45 AM
  • Visualising the future of business events: unlocking the beast

    Are you tired of trend sessions? So am I. Can’t cope with more buzzwords as ‘disruption’, ‘hyper growth’ or ‘thinking out of the box’? Welcome to the club. Do you need more answers? Come and learn about the ingredients that are reshaping our industry.. and some bold predictions.

    This session is proudly sponsored by PCMA


    Oscar Cerezales

    Oscar Cerezales, born in Barcelona (Spain), has been working in the meetings industry for more... More

    30 mins
11:15 AM
  • The Future Traveller influencing today's policies

    Future Travellers - Future Opportunities, by Rob Donelly, Austrade

    The nature of travel is changing as people’s needs and expectations evolve and international travel becomes more accessible than ever. Business events travel especially is going through a time of change, helped along by globalization, maturing people-to-people links and the impacts of digital disruption.

    This presentation draws on findings from industry and government workshops which examined how changes in society’s values and behaviour could affect visitation to Australia over the next 5-10 years, and applies them to a business events context. It then considers the implications of these changes for the industry.

    Underpinning this is Colmar Brunton’s Millennium Monitor, a framework for anticipating social change, which uses a scenario based approach to capture emerging trends and consider the industry’s future state.

    The Future Traveller and Innovation at the Border - by Melissa Bennett, Department of Home Affairs

    Border clearance of travellers is evolving and Australia is at the forefront of innovation. The Department of Home Affairs has delivered world leading initiatives in automated border processing and is leading the way in removal of manual paper based processes such as the outgoing passenger card.

    Industry and travellers are constantly seeking improvements in border clearance and facilitation. This presentation outlines the work of the Department to modernise the border, how in the years to come there will not be a need for a manual government checkpoint and paper based processes such as the incoming passenger card and how government will partner with industry to deliver a truly seamless, secure and personalised border experience for travellers.

    Melissa Bennett

    Mel Bennett has over 20 years experience in public administration working in the Australian... More

    Rob Donelly

    Rob Donelly is the General Manager, Strategy and Business Transformation with Austrade. In this... More

    45 mins
12:00 PM
  • Lunch
    45 mins
12:45 PM
  • Don't get Caught with your Stats Down: The Shift to Data Driven Marketing

    Tourism marketing has changed significantly over the last decade and is on the cusp of another big evolution. New technologies and concepts are becoming a reality including big data, Marketing Automation, and Artificial Intelligence. Additionally, DMOs are facing increased pressure from stakeholders to drive results.

    To prepare for these changes destination marketers need to start measuring their customer’s journey from awareness to conversion and beyond. Is your DMO ready? In this session, join Aaron Nissen, Digital Strategist, as he takes you through real-world solutions that apply marketing science to consumer-centric, results-driven marketing programs. You'll see firsthand where tourism marketing is going and the marketing concepts you'll need to remain relevant.

    Aaron Nissen

    Aaron Nissen joined the Simpleview team in 2017. As Digital Marketing Strategist, he works with... More

    30 mins
1:15 PM
  • The Art of Storytelling

    Stories are an invaluable companion for people. Stories pull people to cinemas, glue them to TV sets, or have them logging on to watch Netflix or Stan. They come with us on our journeys, they teach and help us learn, and become the means by which we share the rich moments of our lives. Stories are scale-able – for example, you can share a story of an organisation from an organisational level through to the connected stories of their teams and individuals. Stories can be shared in a diversity of ways that include film, books, brochures, websites – they can also be shared through the interactions you have with your customers, colleagues and other people who engage with your business. When seeking to share message, stories help cut through bias and judgements that can constrain an audience such that they are able to entertain new perspectives. And within such contexts stories can help us listen.

    Within this session we will be sharing the power of stories to help identify your position within the marketplace, to help differentiate your business from others. We will also be sharing how stories can help to unify a business to a common purpose. We will be doing this by introducing techniques for crafting and sharing your story, which includes spending time getting creative in the creative thinking sandpit.

    John Pastorelli

    John is just as comfortable scratching stories in the dirt with Aboriginal Peoples in remote... More

    1 hour
2:15 PM
  • Transfer to Noosa
    45 mins
3:00 PM
  • IMEX Deep Dive Sessions

    An amazing opportunity to "Deep Dive" with some of our speakers and global partners through a variety of break-out groups. Discuss serious topics of interest in a casual setting with drinks and nibbles. First in, best dressed - so be ready! Spaces per topic are limited!

    1. Fearful or just time poor when it comes to presenting in public? Join Lynne Schinella for a chat about being an impactful, influential leader - LYNNE SCHINELLA, Ripe Learning
    2. Fascinated to explore the future firsthand? Why not jump aboard with David Shering and try your hand using next generation augmented reality? - DAVE SHERING, Handbuilt Creative
    3. Data is the driving force behind more engaging destination marketing. Find out how collecting the right data can help you make waves in a crowded marketplace - DAN GARCIA, Simpleview
    4. Energise your intrinsic talents for crafting stories on any subject and within any timeframe… all you need bring is your willingness to be curious, have some fun, and play off the cuff - JOHN PASTORELLI
    5. Learn about Chinese hierarchy, ‘guanxi’ (networking) and when ‘yes’ really means ‘no’ with a world expert on doing business with China - LEONIE McKEON, China Educated Strategist
    6. Connecting China to the rest of the world – the Sinorbis journey to remove common barriers to market entry - NICOLAS CHU, Sinorbis
    7. It’s a competitive world out there. If you can’t share your good leads, are you willing to share bad leads as a formal way of co-opetition? - NOOR HAMID, ICCA
    8. Join Adeline and Russell to hear the scoop on competitor strategies swaying corporate clients to their destinations. Is the tide coming in on reward travel and how are companies measuring ROI? – ADELINE KANG, Amex and RUSSELL PEACOCK, Executive PA
    9. Where are you fishing for your leads? Join Matt Pearce to discuss the sales cycle from prospecting and qualifying through to nurturing and conversion – MATT PEARCE, Talk2ME
    10. Navigating international waters - Get some one-on-one time with the team from BEA in this session designed to give you an opportunity to ask questions on the how, why and when of business events marketing and distribution for Australia - MONICA ARMESTO and KELLY MAYNARD, Tourism Australia

    This session is proudly sponsored by IMEX

    1.5 hours
4:30 PM
  • Storytelling through Food - a destination showcase!

    Chef collaboration and local producers' showcase, by Chefs Shane Bailey and Matt Golinski

    How do we use storytelling to make the positive impacts of business events come to life and have impact? How can we best communicate our unique differences against competing destinations? One way of telling the destination story is through food, an increasingly key component of conference programs. What role does food play in business events? What are the trends in delegate and client expectations of food at events? How do you effectively tell a story of the destination through local produce?

    Martin Latter, Executive Chef of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, will also present on working with local suppliers, sustainability, food wastage, and allergen management programs.

    This afternoon offsite session will highlight:

    • How a sense of place can be conveyed through gastronomic storytelling
    • Showcase destination, local produce and producers
    • What makes the Sunshine Coast unique in terms of food/produce/chef community?
    • What is the Sunshine Coast food story?
    • How can the essence of a destination be conveyed through food and the food experience to conference delegates?
    • Importance of sustainability message – in tourism and events for Noosa and Sunshine Coast region.

    This session is proudly sponsored by Visit Sunshine Coast

    Shane Bailey

    Chef Shane Bailey began his initial culinary career at quintessential Melbourne restaurant... More

    Matt Golinski

    Matt Golinski is a highly regarded, professional chef with a passion for creating cuisine using... More

    Martin Latter

    Executive Chef, Martin Latter, whose high-profile career spans two hemispheres, likes to create... More

    2 hours
6:30 PM
  • Transfer to Mooloolaba
    30 mins
8:30 AM
  • Know Next Now

    Are you feeling negative about the state of the world in 2018? Is the news getting you down? Have you had enough of people arguing on your Facebook feed? The Future Crunch team might be able to help.

    Showcasing their infectious brand of musically inspired, intelligent optimism, this is a story about the human race you've never heard before. Diseases are being eradicated, war is decreasing, millions are being lifted out of poverty and billions are gaining access to the greatest information resource humanity has ever known. We can control robots with our minds, use machines to translate any language, cut and paste our own DNA, and we’re taking brave new steps into space. We're just not hearing a lot about it.

    We know the challenges we face, here in Australia and around the world. This is the story of how – with boldness, creativity, and revolutionary technologies that build on thousands of years of human ingenuity – we are rising to meet them.

    This session is proudly sponsored by Destinations International

    Dr Angus Hervey, Tane Hunter and Will Tate

    Are you feeling negative about the state of the world in 2018? Is the news getting you down?... More

    45 mins
9:15 AM
  • Resolving our BE Challenges
    Lynne Schinella

    Lynne Schinella is the ideal MC to facilitate the AACB 2017 conference. With a tag line of... More

    Oscar Cerezales

    Oscar Cerezales, born in Barcelona (Spain), has been working in the meetings industry for more... More

    45 mins
10:00 AM
  • Business Events Australia update
    Monica Armesto

    With a background in corporate communications, product development, and destination marketing,... More

    20 mins
10:20 AM
  • AACB Scholarship Presentation: Is your CRM working for you?

    After attending the Simpleview Summit in Arizona, I will be sharing what knowledge I received from the summit and how this can assist our bureau, staff and members.

    The main focus of this presentation will be on what are you and your bureau getting out of your CRM and what can be implemented to get the maximum benefit for the bureau, staff, members and clients.

    Leah Muir

    Leah has 13 years’ experience in the business events and hospitality industries, currently... More

    10 mins
10:30 AM
  • Morning Tea
    30 mins
11:00 AM
  • Tame the Tiger: The Art of Negotiation

    As China is now the world’s largest economy, and a key driver of Australia’s tourism and business events industry, it is crucial for you to understand how to best conduct business and communicate with your Chinese clients. Conducting business with Chinese people means having some knowledge of the Chinese negotiating culture, and it is this knowledge that will be your greatest asset. In negotiations and daily communication most Chinese people know and unconsciously use the 36 Chinese Strategies derived from Sun Tzu’s - The Art of War. From this presentation you will learn about how the 36 Chinese Strategies are used, and therefore understand the motives of the Chinese people with whom you are conducting business.

    This session is proudly sponsored by AIME

    Leonie McKeon

    Leonie McKeon is an Australian China-educated strategist and author who teaches the fundamental... More

    45 mins
  • Finding your Destination Story: And Bringing Industry on the Journey

    Mark will share insights from across the globe on how destinations are finding their authentic stories and turning them into high value visitor experiences that build a brand and position a destination for success. Following a short presentation of the learnings from around the globe, Mark will work with participants to define their unique story using the Storytelling Toolkit he developed with Tourism and Events Queensland in a fun and educational hands-on experience.

    Mark Olsen

    Mark has spent nearly 25 years developing world-leading and sustainable tourism projects,... More

    45 mins
11:45 AM
  • Using the right digital channels to reach and engage a Chinese audience

    Australia is already the fourth most desirable destination for Chinese tourists, leaping up the bucket list from tenth position in just two years. This increasing popularity as a travel destination also opens up an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen Australia’s standing as a destination for exceptional business events and conventions – a place where Chinese travellers can build and expand their trade relationships while enjoying the great experiences and lifestyle we have to offer. Learn how to capitalise on this opportunity by leveraging China’s unique digital ecosystem to reach and engage with Chinese audiences.

    This session is proudly sponsored by AIME


    Nicolas Chu

    A global digital thought-leader, Nicolas Chu has been building and managing technology and... More

    30 mins
  • Measuring the Delegate Experience

    “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction” was released by the Rolling Stones in 1965 meeting with both outrage and incredible sales success. They read the pulse of human truths in a changing world.

    This session looks at the fuzzy concept satisfaction. Why do we need to know about satisfaction and how do we measure it? In this session you’ll be challenged to prove that satisfaction, as measured by surveying, is a useful predictor of future customer loyalty and actions.

    Does relying on simple measures of customer satisfaction lead to “satisficing’ or the creation of innovative approaches to enhancing customer experiences and ROI? Come along and be prepared to challenge the norms.

    David Gration

    David is the Director of Events Tourism Associates, a company established to provide high... More

    30 mins
12:15 PM
  • Lunch
    45 mins
1:00 PM
  • Future Perspectives - Association, Corporate and PCO

    Understanding the future needs of association and corporate markets, as well as professional conference organisers, is critical to the demand side of the business events industry. In order to exceed tomorrow’s expectations, we need to get a better understanding of future client needs, trends and insights. Panellist presentations will be followed by an in-depth Q&A session.

    Noor Ahmad Hamid

    Noor has been the Regional Director Asia Pacific of ICCA since 2009. Prior to joining ICCA,... More

    Adeline Kang

    As the Regional Strategic Sales and Account Management lead for American Express Meetings &... More

    Tamara Kavalec

    Tamara is a highly regarded and accomplished leader within the event and exhibition industry and... More

    45 mins
1:45 PM
  • Engaging Your Audience

    We’re already seeing trends of how individuals engage with content, especially in the age of social media and shorter attention spans. As registrations fees increase and people become time poor, how can we better engage our audiences and ensure the continuous improvement of events?

    Chad Davis

    Chad has had a long, winding and somewhat treacherous path to get to where he is now. In the... More

    Marianne Edmonds

    Even the most incredible journeys start with a single step. Following  a lifestyle of beer... More

    30 mins
2:15 PM
  • Afternoon Break
    15 mins
2:30 PM
  • Designing for the Future in Travel - comes in a pack!

    As a design thinking and innovation practitioner across a number of industries: food, agriculture and travel, I can share why ‘working together’ can give a destination marketing in travel the winning edge. Through this narrative I’ll cover the following:

    • Concept of clustering (working in synergy together).
    • Why embracing diversity of thought matters?
    • How to make your failures worthwhile?
    • Millennial driven shift from marketing products /services to packaging authentic experiences.
    Jacqui Wilson-Smith

    Jacqui is an innovator, marketer, chair, director and board advisor. As an experienced... More

    30 mins
3:00 PM
  • Conference Wrap-up
    30 mins
3:30 PM
  • Break
    1.5 hours
5:00 PM
  • Transfer to Gala Dinner
    30 mins
5:30 PM
  • AIME Gala Dinner @ Spirit House

    Experience Sunshine Coast destination dining at its best. Award winning Spirit House Restaurant & Cooking School is renowned for its contemporary Asian cuisine and is set in a tropical oasis surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. Be prepared for a feast for all of the senses.

    This venue perfectly aligns with our premium partner and host - AIME - the leading trade event for the meetings and event industry in the Asia Pacific region. AIME is where industry decision makers connect, create and do business across the whole Asia Pacific region. This will be a spectacular evening celebrating our industry and its high achievers.

    Dress Code: Cocktail - the event is outdoors so please dress accordingly. Jacket or wrap recommended.

    The Gala Dinner is proudly sponsored by AIME

    4 hours
9:30 PM
  • Transfer to Mooloolaba
    30 mins
10:00 PM
  • After Party @ The Good Bar

    Mooloolaba’s coolest little back street bar, The Good Bar Mooloolaba, will be the venue for the post-Gala after party. The Good Bar provides a relaxed, casual Sunshine Coast atmosphere and is located just steps from the Mantra Mooloolaba Beach and The Esplanade.

    Address: 5/19-23 First Ave Mooloolaba.

    1.5 hours

Program Overview


This year’s conference theme fits the destination perfectly. The Sunshine Coast is a stunning location and the ideal setting to be discovering the ‘next wave’ of trends and opportunities within the ever-evolving business events industry. The topics we’ll unpack will inspire and challenge delegates to expand their thinking, leading them to go on and tell their destination story in the most authentic and innovative ways to exceed the expectations of tomorrow’s clients and delegates. If a key aspect of your role is to attract future business events to Australia and your region, this conference will be invaluable to your professional development.


PRACTICING MINDFULNESS. To kick the conference off, we’ll find the keys to practicing mindfulness, helping us gain focus, clarity and direction at the conference and in our everyday lives.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE BUSINESS EVENTS INDUSTRY? What does the future hold for the business events industry? Will it even exist in 10, 20, 50 years? We’ll try to unpack this question throughout the conference, discovering future trends and demands of the industry so that we can be best prepared for the uncertainties that the future holds. 

THE FUTURE TRAVELLER. We’ll look to discover what the future traveller looks like, the current and future trends of the ways in which they travel, their expectations when they meet our borders and the role that technology plays in how we’ll process increasing visitor numbers. With the exponential development of airport technologies, our travel industry is going through significant change at this time.

NEW TECHNOLOGIES. VR, AR, AI… we keep hearing these buzz words, but how will this impact our industry and how can we use these new technologies for our benefit? We’ll look at its current uses in the tourism industry and the opportunities and threats this has for our industry.

THE FUTURE IS BETTER THAN YOU THINK. Gain insight into scientific and technological trends shaping the world. Understand cognitive biases to create a new outlook on the world we live in and gain tools to find meaning and activate purpose.

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT AND THE FESTIVILISATION OF BUSINESS EVENTS. We’re already seeing trends of how individuals engage with content, especially in the age of social media and shorter attention spans. As registration fees increase and people become more time poor, how can we better engage our audiences and ensure the continuous improvement of events.

AUTHENTICITY AND STORYTELLING. The business events industry is poorly understood. How do we use storytelling to make the positive impacts of business events come to life and have impact? How can we best communicate our unique differences against competing destinations?

One way of telling the destination story is through food, an increasingly key component of conference programs. What role does food play in business events? What are the trends in delegate and client expectations of food at events? How do you effectively tell a story of the destination through local produce?

THE FUTURE EXPECATIONS OF OUR CLIENTS. Find out what the expectations are of our future corporate and association clients, the challenges they face and how, as a destination, we can all work together to best serve the customer.

ENGAGING WITH ASIA. China is the world’s largest economy and a key driver of Australia’s tourism and business events industry. Find out how to best conduct business and communicate with Chinese clients.

OTHER TOPICS include, experience development, measuring the delegate experience, attitudes towards failure, diversity and gender bias, and an update from Tourism Australia.