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Vaccinating for the future

By ICMSA Owner and Managing Director Emma Bowyer

We as a nation will soon be emerging from a lockdown that in 2021 has been longer and some may say, more challenging than that imposed in 2020. With vaccination rates increasing and the Federal Government’s pathway for a return of travel and gatherings, the signs are all positive that 2022 will be a watershed year for business events.

We are fully behind the planning for this and I am delighted to report that our corporate statistic for vaccinations is 100%. Whilst I did not have to mandate to get to that figure, I’ve made a commitment to my staff that I will mandate for the future, so it’s clear that any new team member who joins us does so knowing our corporate culture expectations and that we’re playing our part towards a safer future where we can all be together again.

Until that time, we’ve continued to excel in the delivery of virtual conferences. In the last three months alone, ICMSA has assisted six clients to run virtual and hybrid meetings up and down the east coast of Australia, with attendee numbers ranging from 200 to over 1,400.

What we see occurring in the short-term will be a hybrid model for meetings – a mix of in-person and virtual attendees – with the virtual delegates predominantly being those from outside Australia.

Having now run more than a dozen virtual meetings over the past 12 months, ICMSA is in a prime position to add real value to meetings under our management that can combine the best of both worlds – the live environment and the virtual.

The 17th World Congress on Infant Mental Health in Brisbane in June 2021 was a hybrid Conference that attracted 1,136 delegates. A near-record attendance for this event and near-record sponsorship was achieved.

Equally as important was that the local Host, the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health, will use the surplus for legacy work in their sector and as the event is available on-demand and still able to register new participants, those numbers for impact continue to rise.

So, whilst doing our part for the vaccination effort continues, we’re continuing to contribute to the education and networking of our clients during this time and building a future that takes the best of virtual conferencing to shape the agenda for the future.

And three cheers for us!

It's official
ICMSA is Australasia's leading Professional Conference Organiser, as voted by peak industry body Meetings & Events Australia, winning the Association Event of the Year and the Regional Event of the Year awards for 2020.

The Association Event of The Year was for delivery of the 1,400 person University of Melbourne Medical Students’ Conference (within just three months of it being changed from in-person to virtual) and the Regional Event of the Year was for our management of the Association of School Business Managers (ASBAQ) Conference held in Mackay in 2020. This was the only event ICMSA ran in-person in 2020 after the pandemic forced many events to reschedule and delivered as virtual or postponed.

This is such a wonderful testament to the entire ICMSA team, who continue to work so tirelessly for the benefit of each other and our clients.

ICMSA expansion continues – introducing our new team members

The changing landscape in meetings management over the past 18 months has resulted in ICMSA expanding its team to ensure the company services its existing and new clients to the highest degree.

Since June 2021, ICMSA has added five new full-time staff members around the country in areas including website development, social media and virtual conferencing support. Get to know the new team members below...

Caitlin Brown, Event Assistant

My areas of responsibility include conference services such as registrations, delegate collateral, building online forms, assisting with database management and answering general questions. I am also working across sponsorship and exhibitions, which involves assisting with sponsorship entitlements, helping to develop event prospectus documents and building components for 3D virtual events.

Great meetings can invigorate a team, get them excited about potential opportunities, as well as make them feel valued for their individual knowledge, experience and ideas.

One of my strengths is creativity in problem-solving.

Something about me that other people may not know is in 2016, I trained as a special effects makeup artist at NIDA.

James Chung, Web Manager

My areas of responsibility include creating and managing conference websites.

I would like to contribute to the success of ICMSA by utilising my past experience in web design and working with the team to create high-quality functional websites for our clients. I will add my knowledge of 3D modelling and video editing. I have experience working with companies in Silicon Valley and I look forward to applying cutting-edge ideas to the virtual conference sector for ICMSA.

Something about me that other people may not know is that I like plants which I started collecting at the beginning of COVID and now have over 50 in my home!

Abby Moehead, Event Coordinator

My areas of responsibility include coordinating program structure, abstract management and delivery of programs. Whilst this is occurring virtually at the moment, I’m really looking forward to the opportunities of managing programs in-person. I know that a strong program is the key to a successful event.

In my mind, great meetings can change the world.

I’m very keen to promote information literacy, as well as apply my willingness to learn in an encouraging and rewarding environment.

I am an early riser and enjoy watching the sunrise at my local beach.

Alisha Hayes, Event Assistant

The main area for contribution in my new role is within the sponsorship and exhibition team, building and maintaining relationships and working closely with the virtual conferencing and website teams to build virtual exhibitions.

I believe that great meetings can result in establishing business relationships that can last a lifetime. I’m enthusiastic and very excited to be with such a well-reputed company.

Angela Halos

I work with ICMSA Executive Director, Suellen Holland, on market research for upcoming events as part of the web and design teams and on general administrative tasks. Once we return to in-person events, I will also be assisting with on-site delegate registrations.

I aim to contribute to ICMSA by bringing my skills as a great team player and my willingness to take on new projects in a positive and effective manner.

ICMSA in the news

ICMSA has again been in the news here and abroad, with ICMSA Managing Director, Emma Bowyer, being invited to share a “Day in the Life” with readers of the UK-based Associations Meetings International magazine. Emma spoke to Holly Patrick about the pride she has in her team, the adjustment and success of going virtual, and why a strong conference program is vital.

You can read the article by clicking here.

Digital marketing hits the spot

In this period of virtual meetings, attendee engagement has never been more important than now, and digital promotion is certainly playing a greater role in achieving this.

Recently ICMSA created a fantastic video for the international promotion of the 26th Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography, scheduled for Melbourne in 2023.

During a break in Melbourne lockdowns, ICMSA Creative Director Lili Lin worked with the Local Organising Committee to bring a promotional video concept to life. It was shown at the Melbourne handover of the preceding Congress in Prague in August 2021 to much applause.

The Congress relevant messaging, imagery of Melbourne and the many assets of Australia certainly created a buzz and will no doubt assist in attracting more attendees to our country in 2023.

Click here to view the video and contact ICMSA if you would like to do something similar for your upcoming Meeting.

Three months, six meetings, three states and 4,486 happy delegates

As a hybrid event, the Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health in Brisbane in June allowed for some fun interactive elements for in-person attendees, including a children’s performance by Petite Ballerinas during a lunch break.

Events delivered by the ICMSA team since June 2021 include:

Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health
Brisbane, 22-26 June 2021
1,136 delegates (hybrid)

University of Melbourne MD Student Conference
Melbourne, 25-28 June 2021
1,402 delegates (virtual)

IEEE Symposium on Information Theory
12-20 July 2021
978 delegates (virtual)

International Conference on X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure
11-13 July 2021
250 delegates (virtual)

Australian Rare Lung Disease Conference
6-7 August 2021
220 delegates (virtual)

31st Annual Conference of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology
1-3 September 2021
694 delegates (virtual)

New business secured

The ICMSA team has been buoyed by recently confirmed business and a high level of enquiries for national and international meetings and events in 2022 and beyond.

Through our work with the Forensic & Clinical Toxicology Association, ICMSA has been invited to manage The 58th International Association of Forensic Toxicologists Annual Meeting that was planned as an in-person event in South Africa but will now be virtual. This event will be delivered in January 2022.

Contact ICMSA for a quote for future events and the best advice for scenario planning.

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