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A couple of weeks ago I had the great opportunity to support our client AMPC (The Australian Meat Processor Corporation) by being on the ground for two days at their inaugural Innovation Showcase. Held at Melbourne Showgrounds, the Showcase attracted over 300 participants, two dozen speakers, had 40 innovation projects on display and was the industry’s first completely carbon neutral event.

Over the two days I supported media and facilitated interviews, captured content and published to social media while working closely with their fantastic, hardworking and creative photographer/videographer Graham Jepsen – who I would highly recommend for your next event.

There was a lot going on but if felt great to be back in the thick of it myself, on the tools doing the work. Getting this close to the work, it also gave me pause to think and have some of my own ‘aha’ moments about where we might tweak and refine some of our own internal tools and processes in the spirit of innovation.

The event was a huge success on all accounts, from the profile building and media coverage across print, online and radio that is about to tip over the seven million reach mark, to the connection, learnings and opportunities created for those attended. Our client at the helm of this massive project, comms manager Maria, did an incredible job leading her team to success and to continue in the spirit of innovation I thought I’d share a few observations that may help when you are planning your next event.

  • Choose your MC wisely. The amazing Pip Courtney of Landline fame was MC for the event. She was an incredibly generous and engaged MC getting in close to the content and really learning and becoming curious about all aspects of the industry and getting to know it inside and out over the course of the three days. This level of exposure to an organisation by someone like Pip is invaluable in now creating opportunities for the stories and people that sit deep in the industry to have a voice and come to life. So when choosing your next MC, don’t just think about who can do a good job navigating the program, keeping to time and asking the right questions – but who would it be good to immerse this deeply in your industry to help you achieve your goals. They may be media, a consultant, or an influencer.
  • Build an incredible program. It kind of goes without saying that you should build a great program but this AMPC event really stood out for the quality of the speakers (a balanced combination of internal and external experts) and things to see, do and touch. The topics that were discussed on stage came to life in demonstrations and exhibits. Each part of the experience built on the previous and it was thought-provoking. And when there is an incredible program with not only great subject matter on paper but great images and video to capture it gives you a world of content to work with.
  • Invite media to the inner circle. If you can entice a journalist to attend your event and make this investment of their time worth their while it will deliver in spades. As you would well know journalists are being stretched in every direction and there are fewer of them. If your event can deliver quality of content and connection – you will find they will not only cover the main story of your event but file many, many stories in the days and weeks thereafter to make the most of the investment in their time. 
  • Many bites at the cherry. Meat processing and the topics covered, while firmly grounded in the agribusiness space, is also a story about regional revitalisation and community, labour and skills, manufacturing providence, innovation, sustainability, technology and the list goes on. We’ve been able to pitch the main story with small pivots to these subject matter areas to interest a wide range of media.
  • Walk your talk. At an event where much of subject matter was about how to minimise environmental impacts, and work in new ways that are more sustainable it was great to see the conference fully walk its talk by being carbon neutral. Ndevr Environmental who presented at the conference managed that aspect – so look them up if interested for your next event. 

If you would like to get some help making the most of your next event with a media and content plan that maximises your investment let us know. [email protected]

Sue Hardman