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ICMSA delivers seven virtual events in the last 12 months

Since June 2020 ICMSA has delivered seven virtual meetings for its clients with over 4,000 delegates attending. The good news is that all of these have been monetised through the support of sponsors, with six of them returning a profit for the owners. The seventh, the University of Melbourne MD Student Conference, was a compulsory meeting for 1,200 medical students and even with over 180 speakers and complicated production requirements needed less financial input than in previous years!

Virtual meetings were:

The University of Melbourne MD Student Conference 22-25 June, 2020 – over 1,200 delegates

9th World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology 20-22 October, 2020 – over 1,500 delegates

46th Australian Music Therapy Association National Conference 13-15 November, 2020 – over 300 delegates

9th International Conference on Control, Automation & Information Sciences 16-19 November, 2020 – over 600 delegates

6th International Conference on Quantitative Genetics 2/3 & 11/12 November, 2020 – over 500 delegates

43rd Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research 28 January – 4 February, 2021 – over 2,000 delegates

International Medicine in Addiction Conference 25-28 February, 2021 – over 500 delegates

ICMSA Managing Director, Emma Bowyer, said through the experience ICMSA has gained managing these conferences they have gathered strong evidence to support the fact that virtual events can and do deliver beyond expectations in terms of both attendee engagement and financial rewards. Putting a value on content creation has been the important lesson here.

COSPAR 2021 delivered at the virtual International Convention Centre, Sydney.

We did it! The largest virtual space research conference on the planet

ICMSA delivered the largest virtual space research conference on the planet from Sydney in late January, with more than 2,000 full-paying delegates downloading 5,283 presentations and engaging in over 1,500 interactions with one other.

In total there were 1,800 presentations and 615 sessions spread over the six day program, with a mix of live and recorded content including a pre-recorded Welcome to Country and an Awards Ceremony.

Despite the event being virtual, ICMSA’s designers created a truly Sydney look to the on-line platform, adding images of local icons and including a video of the harbour city designed to entice international attendees to visit when they can.

Originally planned for August 2020, ICMSA and its partners had just six months to reimagine the live meeting to a virtual one.

Anchor Sponsor, Lockheed Martin, said following the event: “LM applauds you for your unwavering determination to make this Assembly a major success, against all odds. And you did it. We would like to express our great pleasure in being a part of the Assembly. Our only regret is not being able to join you in Sydney.”

Read a story Emma Bowyer did for MIX magazine
on COSPAR 2021 by clicking here.

Ten team members now celebrate over 10 years at ICMSA

ICMSA is Australia’s oldest Professional Conference Organising company and it has some of the most experienced business event specialist working in the country. ICMSA is proud that 10 full-time staff members have surpassed 10 years with the company including:

Emma Taylor,
Senior Event Manager
10 years

Blair Hardaker,
Website and Design
12 years

Kate Stevens,
Director Conferences
12 years

Helane Clarke,
Manager Delegate Services
13 years

Suellen Holland,
Executive Director
14 years

Radhika Kulasakera,
Financial Controller
15 years

Selina Moscatt,
Director Business Strategy
15 years

Emma Bowyer,
Managing Director/Owner
16 years

Fallon Beatty,
Director Sponsorship and Exhibition
18 years

Albina Bradford,
Design Manager Website and Design
27 years

The long tenure of many of ICMSA’s staff not only provides company stability but gives peace of mind for clients, particularly those who have meetings planned years into the future.

Emma Bowyer’s future outlook

I often get asked what my predictions are for our industry in 2021. I believe we are going to be delivering virtual conferences for the next little while and at least solely until June 2021. The reason for this is that vaccination numbers and surety of interstate borders remaining open is probably going to happen from the middle of this year rather than the first half of this year. Once this is settled, I do think there is an appetite and propensity for risk by some meeting organisers that make a latter half in-person gathering in late 2021 very attractive.

The likely scenario is that international borders, even if it is just to green-lane countries, will open from early 2022. I hope it’s earlier, but from what I have foreshadowed with our own internal timelines is that there are a lot of factors outside of our control that need to be considered.

My view on hybrid meetings, where virtual technology is used, is our bright future. The reason I believe this is so is because it solves our tyranny of distance issues, likely future funding issues (especially for developing countries and younger members), and represents a growth area for conferences to reach a wider audience.

One thing I am certain about is that we have great expertise in virtual conferencing to carry us forward, which I hope we can implement long into the future.

In the news...

ICMSA has been in the news in early 2021, with articles appearing in Marketing Magazine, CIM Business Events, Asia’s creative meetings magazine MIX and M&C Asia.

We’ve also been assisting some of our clients with promotional activities around their events including COSPAR 2021 for which we secured a number of radio interviews and close to a dozen articles in publications and on space-focused websites like Cosmos Magazine.

Brad Foster attended the Harry’s Masters Golf tournament.

Out and about with ICMSA staff

In-between managing our clients’ meetings we’ve been enjoying stepping out and about at a range of events over the past two months.

ICMSA’s Brad Foster participated in the Harry’s Masters on the NSW Central Coast – a two day golf tournament run annually by Harry The Hirer, while the Sydney team led by the National Accommodation Manager Adriane Pinto and Ava Davidson from the Sponsorship and Exhibition team enjoyed a hotel update with the Four Seasons.

Emma Bowyer and Selina Moscatt learnt of the latest offerings in Canberra from the comfort of their own desks but with a nice bottle of red wine and charcuterie board delivered by the virtual event organizer Canberra Convention Bureau.

Meantime the Brisbane team had the pleasure of a “three-hour tour” on the Brisbane River, but unlike the SS Minnow, the girls were well catered for by Business Events Gold Coast on the luxury “YOT”. This well planned and timely event provided the team with a long overdue networking opportunity to meet 35 Gold Coast partners; supporting our planning for upcoming events on the magnificent Gold Coast.

It’s great to see our industry beginning to get back into the swing of things and providing us with opportunities to connect. We certainly hope it continues.

Emma Taylor, Tania Luck and Jemma Hampel enjoying the "YOT" tour.

New clients since our last update

National Economic Forum 2021

NEDC is the flagship event of Economic Development Australia (EDA). EDA is the national peak body for economic development professionals; building capacity, promoting excellence and providing leadership on issues that matter to our members. With over 750 members, EDA is a nationally recognised network of economic development professionals, fostering prosperity in communities across Australia. We look forward to delivering this event in Mackay later in the year.

International Mineral Processing Congress 2022

IMPC gathers over 1000 professionals and academics from the mining industry representing around 50 countries. Leading universities specialising in mineral processing, all major mining companies and global providers of services and technologies will attend the congress. The technical sessions will facilitate knowledge exchange and transfer of the most recent innovations in the area of mineral processing. Our Melbourne team are happily working with the AusIMM team to deliver this event in 2022.

World Mining 2023

Inaugurated in 1958, the World Mining Congress (WMC) is the leading international forum for the global mining and resources sectors. For the past 60 years, WMC has been held triennially across the world. It presents a unique opportunity for international representatives of the world’s leading resource economies to meet, find new partners, discuss current challenges, and share the latest research, technology and best practice. In a first for Australia, Brisbane will host the 26th World Mining Congress (WMC) at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in 2023. The Congress is expected to welcome 2,000 delegates from 40 member countries responsible for 80% of the world’s mineral production.

Funding grants for new meetings

A number of convention bureaux around Australia are encouraging meeting planners to help restart the business event sector by running meetings in their city or state with grants of up to $150 per delegate (with minimum numbers) to do so. ICMSA has been in talks with each bureau on these initiatives and are in a strong position to assist our clients with navigating the process and options available.

Talk to us...

Talk to us about your upcoming meetings, be they virtual, hybrid or in-person. We’re about to release a White Paper on Monetising Virtual Meetings which will be available to all of our clients. If you would like to receive a copy or chat to us about your future plans in 2021 and beyond please contact Emma Bowyer – [email protected].

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