ArneTech attended the annual IAP2 Australasia conference on the Gold Coast on Oct 23-25, 2018. Since last year the conference has grown even bigger and better. The conference had almost 300 delegates attending, starting with elective master classes and workshops on the afternoon of Tuesday Oct 23. The amazing location on Gold Coast and the Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove resort I feel, had gotten people on the move early since at least half of the delegates where at these elective master classes. That was a pleasant surprise and we could dive right into community engagement with great presentations and interested discussions from the moment our team arrived on site. We had a strong presence with Albert Matthews (Engagement Solutions Manager), Darren Keenan (General Manager, Strategy & Engagement) and Kristian Jaakkola (Owner & Managing Director). In addition the CEO of Future Dialog was part of our team during the conference. Future Dialog is a European mobile app for community engagement that ArneTech has brought to the Australian market.
Wednesday Oct 24 marked the official opening of the conference. The day started with interesting plenaries and all delegates seemed very well engaged. ArneTech, one of the event sponsors, had a stand in the foyer of the conference. We had been updating some of your materials and visuals for the conference and were a bit unsure if we would get everything shipped to Gold Coast on time. We were happy to notice that everything arrived as expected and we could present our stand right from the start. Our new focus on Engagement Transformation and our holistic engagement solutions including consulting and software solutions seemed to catch a lot of attention. Having keen interest from the delegates of course made us happy and told us that we’re on the right track to provide services that are valuable to the community engagement community. During the afternoon I delivered my presentation on “Communication Strategies to Make Public Engagement More Effective”. The presentation features some design principles and several examples from Australia, Europe and the US on how to make community engagement more effective with simple things. The presentation was very well attended with people standing in the doorway and some sitting on the floor. Once the videos of the conference presentations are published I will look into providing a link to the presentation video. Wednesday evening was the traditional Core Awards Gala with great company, amazing food, lots of awards and the usual dancing in the end. We really enjoyed the evening and our team went to get some rest around midnight to prepared for the last day of the conference.
Thursday Oct 25 was kicked off with ArneTech sponsored keynote presentation from Future Crunch. They presented thought provoking and also in some case mind-blowing ideas about the development of humans as a civilisation and how technology is taking us to new era of existence. With their captivating presentation technique and amazing content they kept the audience locked to their chairs for 1.5 hours. As we were talking with people during the day everyone kept on coming back to the keynote presentation and the themes discussed. It had really energised the day on a positive note. During the day we experienced again a lot of amazing presentations and workshops with a lot of networking and discussions during the breaks. The conference was closed around 4pm on Thursday with a closing plenary to consider the future of community engagement.
All in all the conference was a huge success and we would also like to thank the IAP2 team for excellent organising of the conference and putting together such an amazing event. Next year the IAP2 Australasia conference will in Sydney. We can’t wait to experience if it’s still possible to improve on the success the event had this year. For closing we would also like to thank all the delegates that attended and made the conference the success it was.
Author: Kristian Jaakkola