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From the desk of Emma Bowyer…

What a year!

As I write this I’m acutely aware of the way the virus shapes our lives at the moment. As we head into the home run of Christmas and celebrations I’m thinking of those families separated and those that adapt as well as they can.

There have been many challenges over the year. For our national clients dealing with border closures, to our international colleagues who we’ve worked with presenting up-to-date information. I’m very proud that we retained all our clients, bar two, in 2020 who either moved to fully virtual, hybrid and in-person (yes, we ran a fully in-person event in QLD this year!). Without the support of these clients we would not have made it through.

There is even more pressure on event organisers to be all things to all people; organisers, creatives, strategists, multi-media experts, producers, directors, technicians. In turn the supply chain supports, understanding more than ever that what takes place in the room is just a fraction of the experience, and the reach of the room far exceeds its physical footprint.

They say that tough situations make you stronger. When I shared any problem with the wider team, I received helpful advice with revenue stream ideas for clients and, therefore, us. At our core we are a service-based company and it is true to say that many of us worked harder than we’ve ever worked this year.

We moved so effortlessly into the virtual world and had good systems to support us. We met new suppliers as part of that journey. I’m convinced that hybrid meetings are part of our future and convincing clients of the merit of this has been part of the story of 2020.

My prediction for the years ahead are not about managing the virus per se. We will always see challenges that face our industry and whether it’s a virus this year, volcanic ash, September 11, airline strikes, fires and floods, I’m confident that this year has allowed us to shape these conversations about managing certainty and risk from the beginning.

The famous Roman author known as Pliny the Elder once said that the only certainty is that nothing is certain. If you think 2020 was a challenge, step into 2021 with this knowledge and worry about the things you can control, the things that give certainty. This has been the trick this year and it’s worked for us.

I’ve been told I am a realistic optimist. This year I feel grateful we are still as one, that we have been able to demonstrate our strengths and we look forward to what the New Year brings.

Click through to From the Desk of Emma Bowyer

ICMSA develops blueprint for Hybrid Meetings

Through its work on delivering five virtual meetings in 2020 and its efforts to bring the 3,000 person Committee on Space Research International Congress to life as a Hybrid event in Sydney in late January 2021, the ICMSA team has developed a blueprint for successfully staging events in a COVID-19 world.

ICMSA offers to share its strategies with those who are considering moving their events to an on-line or hybrid format in 2021 and working with ICMSA. 2021 is being dubbed “The Year of the Hybrid Meeting”.

Talk to us today about your event needs in 2021.

You don’t have to lose 60% of revenue: ICMSA MD

The impact of COVID-19 on association, government and client revenues has been severe during 2020 but with careful planning and consultation it doesn’t have to continue, says Managing Director of ICMS Australasia, Emma Bowyer.

ICMSA has delivered five virtual events in 2020 with the majority exceeding sponsorship revenue targets and seen an increase in attendance figures compared to previous live meetings.

“As Australia’s oldest professional conference organising company we quickly adapted to COVID-19 and set about reimagining the meeting experience virtually for our clients. With great success for each one,” Ms Bowyer said.

“Experience running those events puts us in a strong position to assist associations and companies deliver virtual and hybrid meetings for their members and stakeholders in 2021. We know what works and what doesn’t.”

By way of example, ICMSA organised the 6th International Conference of Quantitative Genetics in November which had a 200% increase in delegate attendance and achieved 130% of sponsorship targets. The Australian Music Therapy Association’s 2020 National Conference, also in November, resulted in a 200% increase in delegate registrations.

You can see the closing “wow factor” video of another successfully staged virtual event – the MD Student Conference 2020 – by clicking here.

Five more meetings secured for ICMS Australasia in 2020!

In-between delivering events and advising clients, ICMS Australasia has had a strong year of securing future large meetings management contracts for events from 2021 until 2024. Events secured at the time of going to press include:

  • IEEE SMC 2021 (International Conference on Systems, Man & Cybernetics) on Augmented Reality and Robots (600-1000 pax MCEC).
  • Lung Foundation of Australia Australian Lung Cancer Conference, the Australasian Rare Lung Disease Short Course and the Lung Foundation Australia Gala Dinner planned for 2021 and 2022 in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. (1,000 pax across the national events)
  • The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and CSIRO hosting the International Mineral Processing Congress 2022 (1,000 pax Melbourne)
  • NSW Government hosting the upcoming XXIII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2023 (4,000 pax Sydney)
  • International Mathematics in Education Conference 2024 (4,000 pax Sydney)

Practicing what we preach: staying connected

Throughout 2020 ICMS Australasia senior management have been diligent – and vigilant – in keeping the company’s 35 full-time staff connected across its three locations in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, holding daily and weekly Zoom meetings and keeping in regular contact on email and phone.

Activities during the year included a Directors’ Strategy Meeting in the Hunter Valley, surprise birthday visits to staff members’ homes and wonderful Christmas lunches to celebrate the year of 2020. We consider that we have thrived in these challenging times!

After such a testing year everybody is looking forward to taking a break over the Christmas period with family and friends and returning reenergized to do it all again in 2021. Although COSPAR-2021-Hybrid in January 2021 means this team won’t have a long break, we formally open the doors again on 4 January 2021.

Brad Foster, formerly of Micenet, joins the ICMSA Team

We feel very privileged that Brad Foster has joined us since our last communique. He is a talented writer, being the former Editor of a well-known industry publication. His position title at ICMSA is Corporate Communications Specialist and he will be working on PR updates for all of our clients as the priority. He’ll also work on special projects we are working on in the media space. Watch for more updates as we progress! Contact Brad Foster directly at [email protected]

When Experience Matters

ICMS Australasia manages projects from concept through to final audit, providing expertise in attracting delegates, sponsors and exhibitors; budget and cash flow control, business and scientific program development; information, presentation, communication and staging technology, creation and delivery of social and recreational activities and accommodation. From idea generation to post event evaluation we provide expertise, creativity and a healthy respect for the financial bottom line.

If you are interested in bidding for an event or need help with an event already confirmed, pick up the phone or send us an email.

Our experience will matter.

Talk to Emma Bowyer now on your 2021 ambitions.

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