PCOA 2019 – Photos by Magnetic Shots

Australian event managers and PCOs arrive in Sydney

13 Dec 2019

ICC Sydney proudly hosted the 12th Annual Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCOA) conference and exhibition this year. Building on the discussion from PCOA 2018, the core focus this year was to equip and prepare attendees, Australian professional conference organisers and event managers, for a world where anything is possible. This year’s program explored new ways of thinking, working and creating with an emphasis on ingenuity, creativity and unpredictability.

ICC Sydney provided a platform for the three-day gathering, where attendees had the opportunity to hear from industry leaders, practitioners and ‘edge-thinkers’, with the chance to network and learn about practical examples to implement at their next conference, within their businesses and careers.

As a sponsor of the event, ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy gave a warm welcome to 300 attendees to kick off the conference. ICC Sydney unveiled its 2020 Menu Collection through on-stand activations, enticing attendees to sample elements within both the food and wine menu. This comprised of the best produce the NSW region has to offer, emerging culinary trends, native ingredients and superfoods whilst supporting a wide variety of tastes. The culinary team at ICC Sydney designed the menu to be authentic, balanced and driven by expertise.

Brian Nash talks tech in PCOA Speed Mentoring
ICC Sydney Director of Audio Visual Services, Brian Nash offered his extensive audio visual knowledge and personal experience in a ‘Deep Dive’ speed mentoring session to PCOA attendees. Brian offered advice on how connecting with AV venue teams early can help better integrate services for a conference. Also, by building relationships with those service teams, you’ll grow the trust between the event and venue teams and enhance the overall delegate and visitor experience.  On a personal level, Brian provided insight into difficult conversations saying, “Believe in yourself and your purpose, and don’t sweat the small stuff.” If you didn’t get a chance to connect, reach out to Brian today.

Building Unbreakable Relationships
Malu Barrios, Director of Event Services at ICC Sydney had the honour of being a panellist alongside key industry players, Mary Sparksman and Sarah Markey-Hamm. The session, ‘Couch Conversation’, was facilitated by renowned coach Jakki Govan, where they discussed building unbreakable relationships in the professional world. Malu spoke to her 20 year career as an events director and provided tips on how important relationships are in this industry. Her three key takeaways were:

  1. Listen to understand, not to reply.
  2. People don’t remember what you say, but how you made them feel as a result.
  3. If an event or even relationship doesn’t go to plan, reflect on your role in this breakdown, give it time and work on resolving the relationship.

Managing Dietary Requests and Expectations
In a PCOA Conference 2019 panel session, Director of Culinary Services Lynell Peck shared tips on navigating the dietary minefield. Key to a successful event is managing requests and expectations from our clients and delegates, in which communication from both parties is a critical step. Also explaining that visitors with food intolerances and medical allergies need to take extra care when selecting foods at events with communication with the venue team being of key importance.

ICC Sydney’s involvement across the event as honoured host, exhibitor and featured panellists showcased more than just the new 2020 Menu Collection but the world class venue, its services and customer-focussed team.