Evolve 2022 wraps up

The events community came together in Melbourne last month for MEA’s Evolve 2022.

A Melbourne laneway-inspired Welcome Reception greeted in-person delegates on 29 June, where the team from Sofitel Melbourne On Collins put on a fantastic display of entertainment – complete with dancing kids, drag queens, a DJ and renowned artist Gosia Wlodarczak who sketched a one-night-only masterpiece to commemorate the evening.

The next day, more than 300 delegates, whether they were there in person or tuned in online, were treated to a fantastic line-up of professional speakers, industry experts, and business events trailblazers.

Highlights of the jam-packed educational program included former Head of Innovation and Creativity for Disney, Duncan Wardle, who proved that face to face isn’t the only way to fully engage an audience.

His ‘Think Different – The Disney Way!’ keynote had the audience brainstorming creative event ideas with their neighbour starting with the words ‘What If…’.

Retired Royal Australian Navy Commodore Martin Brooker’s ‘Leadership Under Fire’ keynote spoke to many about how to lead under pressure and in times of uncertainty – something everyone in the events industry would be intimately acquainted with after the last two years of challenges.

He shared an anecdote about the need to ride the wave in times of stormy waters, and that once you are on the other side – you can focus on righting the ship, coming about face, and pointing yourself towards the storm’s eye.

In addition to hosting the day, Holly Ransom delivered a session counselling that astute leading is done through managing your energy, not your time, and that the future is determined by what we do today.

Her insight in taking the steps towards change one bite-sized action at a time is something every busy event professional can appreciate.

Shark attack survivor Brett Connellan’s story was one that had the audience on the edges of their seats.

“Failure is not aiming high and missing – but aiming low and hitting” was his insightful message.

The various breakout session presenters, panellists and moderators delivered insights on Best Practice, Building Confidence and Future Leaders. From Graeme Cowan’s mindful minute that had everyone on their feet to Matt Whisker’s informative look at experiential event design, there were multiple takeaway learnings offered up for everyone in attendance.

The day concluded with a ClubMEA social where delegates squeezed in one last round of networking over drinks and canapes.