The 2017 Australian Men’s Shed Association Conference

Mantra Hotel on View, Surfers Paradise
29 September – 1 October 2017



Dianna Crebbin writes,

The Men’s Shed movement is an Australian initiative, with the primary objective to provide safe, friendly environments where men feel they belong and are able to work on meaningful projects in the company of other men –hence advancing the health and well-being of male members. There are now over 900 Men’s Sheds throughout Australian cities and country and the movement has spread to Ireland and Canada.

DC Conferences (DCC) has been involved in managing the biennial Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) Conference since the Association was formed in 2007 and it was a privilege to celebrate the AMSA ten-year anniversary at this Conference in the Gold Coast with the theme Onwards and Upwards – Share, Talk, Discover.

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Daylight Robbery

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Originally posted by MiceNet Magazine

A bunch of industry comrades and I watched helpless as a plenary presenter stole $15,000 from us, as surely as if he’d held us up at gunpoint and made us toss our wallets and purses into his bag. He seemed pretty relaxed about his thievery, prattling happily without a care in the world, drunk on the sound of his own voice, ignoring frantic wind-up gestures from offstage.

This is what happens when presenters think only of their own egotistical needs, with no thought for the complex commercial ecosystem that keeps conferences alive. If a conference consistently loses money, soon there’ll be no conference. Exhibitions are a core part of balancing the conference budget, and selling those booths is tough work.

The exhibitors only get limited face-to-face time with delegates: coffee breaks and lunchtimes. That’s a few hours over the course of the event. So those delegates had better be in that trade show area for the duration promised, or your exhibitors will be coming after you with pitchforks and burning torches.

So Plenary Thief went fifteen minutes over his allocated time, apparently believing that a shorter lunchtime was a fair price to pay for an extra dose of his awesome international knowledge. As an exhibitor, I was sitting there working out the cost of each minute that he went over time. Based on the number of stands, times the cost of each, divided by the total minutes of delegate face-time in the program, it was a shade over $1000 per minute. That’s $15,000 of measurable commercial value stolen by one presenter, and that’s not even considering the salary costs of all the people working on the stands.

The repercussions didn’t end there. Five breakout presenters had their sessions shortened, trying to bring the timetable back under control. Five people who put a lot of time and effort into preparing those talks, with high hopes for lifting their personal profiles, building their brands and raising the skills of the industry community. Instead they’re clicking through their slides at Morse code speed and chopping their material to bits on the fly. Then there’s the army of catering staff waiting around, stressing out. Radiating shockwaves of damage, all from one selfish man.

So if you’re a presenter, don’t be a dickhead. You’re not some beloved entertainer with an audience hanging out for an encore. You’re one small cog in a large machine. Use a timer and get off that stage on time. If drug-infused musicians can stick to rigid time schedules at every music festival on earth, so can you. As someone who has to smash through about 150 slides in 45 minutes, I set up fifteen-minute time checkpoints, so if I’m not up to the picture of the hippopotamus at the thirty minute mark, I hit the accelerator. Presentations must open and close strongly. Do what you like in the middle bit, but if your presentation ends on “… there’s a lot more I’d like to say but I’m out of time”, that’s a bad presentation.

Remember your time slot will be shorter than the conference timetable says. Those are drawn up as if the audience is instantly teleported into breakout rooms, rather than the minimum of ten minutes it takes a crowd to shuffle from room to room, particularly in large convention centres.

If you’re a conference organiser, invest in a plenary stage manager who can keep things on track. And foldback monitors so you can send a large visual signal to rogue presenters that they need to leave the stage NOW. Stage Timer 2 is a good app for this. These simple precautions will help you sell a lot more trade booths for next year.

Ian Whitworth is the co-founder of Scene Change, a national AV company

Originally posted by:


Sails Resort – Port Macquarie by Rydges

Jo Robinson writes, 

The launch of the new Sails Resort Port Macquarie By Rydges took place at QT Sydney recently. The “By Rydges” brand is a new concept for the company and with Sails Resort Port Macquarie it showcases a 4.5 star resort with a luxe Hamptons feel.

The Resort, set to complete its last stage of a major refurbishment in late 2017 will have 92 guest rooms and suites and an events centre for up to 300 pax. With a $59pp day delegate package or an accommodation package from $229.00 with breakfast for one it makes it a very affordable new conference option in regional NSW for conference organisers.

By Rydges” is a unique new brand under the EVENT family of hotels and resorts. It is a little outside of the box sitting between a Rydges and QT with a 4.5-star rating.

Sails-Resort-Port-Macquarie-Low-res-36Sails-Resort-Port-Macquarie-Low-res-19Sails Resort, Port Macquarie, NSW.