Adelaide, South Australia has just held its largest ever business event, the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC).

4470 delegates from 71 nations plus visits by 700 school children and several thousand members of the public (who attended the public exhibition day), made the 2017 congress one of the biggest in IAC history. (Mexico in 2016 had 5500 delegates). Of major significance in these numbers is that the distance to Australia from the northern hemisphere was not seen as a negative by industry delegates, Governments, space agencies, organisations or corporations.

IAC was the first major event to be held in the newly expanded Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC). Australia’s first purpose-built convention centre, the ACC was reborn as the country’s newest, most versatile and technologically advanced meetings venue in August following the completion of a A$397m redevelopment. The IAC comprised a detailed program including eight plenary sessions, three highlight lectures, two breaking news, 200 technical sessions and a custom exhibition – all of which utilised every square metre of the centre’s available 20,000 sq/m. The venue’s highly flexible floor plan was put to the test with exemplary results and commendation by organisers and delegates.

Adelaide delivered! With high praise from all involved, including the International Astronautical Federation itself, the ‘Team Adelaide’ approach for which the destination is renowned delivered a world-class event. Michael Davis, chair Space Industry Association of Australia who worked with the Adelaide Convention Bureau to bring the event to Adelaide acknowledged “that the event has been universally judged as one of the most successful ever”. This success was due in no small part through to the efforts of PCO All Occasions Group – an Adelaide business who won the role following a world-wide tender process.

Being a smaller city of around 1.3m people, Adelaide became totally immersed in this highly prestigious event. The opening day announcement by Sen. Simon Birmingham that the government would commit to developing Australia’s own space agency through to Elon Musk’s presentation, ‘Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species’, drew massive crowds and generated much local excitement as well as extensive national and international media coverage. Beyond the official program at the Convention Centre, IAC associated exhibitions at the State Library and Museum were exceptionally well attended with traffic up by 50 percent on the week prior. The closing gala dinner at the Adelaide Oval’s Magarey Room was a sell-out, providing spectacular views across the river to the ACC and the city’s iconic Riverbank precinct, while local businesses welcomed delegates with open arms during official sightseeing tours throughout the week.

The Adelaide Convention Bureau in conjunction with the SIAA (Space Industry Association of Australia), commenced researching and pursuing the International Astronautical Congress in 2008. A failed bid in 2011 (lost to Toronto) was turned around in 2014 with the announcement made in Toronto that Adelaide was to host the 2017 event, beating out Germany, Turkey and the United States.

Economic Benefit
The estimated economic benefit for South Australia from the event was A$24m

Thank you Adelaide!


Sue Hill
Foster Hill PR & Marketing
E: suehill@fosterhill.com.au
T: +61 (0)418 822 629



New Zealand takes a refreshing approach to 10th PCOA Conference

100% NZThe 100% Pure New Zealand hub promises to be a welcoming space for delegates to engage and network at this month’s Professional Conference Organisers (PCO) Association conference.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Australia Manager Sharon Auld says the Kiwi team is planning a refreshing approach to help energise delegates.

“During the conference breaks on Monday 27 November, delegates can power up by pedalling the CINZ MEETINGS 2018 smoothie bike to blend their own juice,” she says.

At Tuesday lunch, the team will be sharing more good things from New Zealand, including top-rated organic wine from the Central Otago region.

To rehydrate at any time of the day during the conference, delegates can grab a glass of New Zealand’s artesian water, Antipodes at the 100% Pure New Zealand hub.

“We have exciting new venues and activities to unveil this year, including Christchurch’s new convention centre, a landmark for the South Island with its prime riverside position in New Zealand’s newest city.”

The NZ$475m Christchurch Centre is scheduled to be completed in early 2020, with the first conferences held later that year. The Centre will host up to 2,000 people, and the tiered 1400-delegate auditorium can be split to host two 700-delegate events simultaneously.

A record 18-strong team is joining CINZ at the 10th PCO Association conference on the Gold Coast from Sunday 26 to Tuesday 28 November.

• Air New Zealand
• Auckland Convention Bureau
• Auckland Museum – Tamaki Paenga Hira
• ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau
• Christchurch Centre
• Cordis Auckland
• Destination Rotorua Business Events
• Dunedin Convention Bureau
• Heritage & CityLife Hotels
• Hobbiton™ Movie Set
• Napier Conference Centre
• New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC)
• Queenstown Convention Bureau
• Real Journeys
• SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre
• Skyline Queenstown
• Tourism New Zealand
• Venues Wellington

Join us for the 10th Annual PCOA Conference and Exhibition, at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, between 26 – 28 November 2017

Why Why Why Why Why; The Questions Behind Design Thinking

Tom Kelley, best-selling author and partner at the renowned design thinking and innovation consultancy IDEO wrote, “Innovation and Creativity are now widely accepted as the driving forces behind business success, and are among the most highly prized qualities in today’s leaders”.

Organisations are increasingly aware of the need to implement practices that ensure creativity and innovation are integrated into daily activities. Design Thinking empowers individuals within organisations to identify and better understand their opportunities and their environment. Even more relative to business success, is the understanding that empathy with the client and stepping into the shoes of the end user is crucial to solution based operations.

Design Thinking involves several steps: ideating (identifying a problem or opportunity), planning, prototyping, testing, iterating (changing) and taking action. Design Thinking is a mind-set focused on solutions and it challenges the assumptions we make everyday.

Imagine the Washington Monument. It’s the world’s tallest obelisk, built to commemorate General George Washington. It also lines up with the Lincoln Memorial, The Capitol and the Whitehouse. Quite impressive.

The Washington Monument was deteriorating due to the harsh chemicals used to clean it. Too many pigeons were ‘pooping’ all over it! Harsh chemicals were needed to clean the monument because you can’t have a US monument with poop all over it! Instead of assuming that all that was required was a less abrasive cleaner, someone had a light bulb moment and decided to investigate why the pigeons were attracted there in the first place. An obelisk, a really tall needle type structure, is not exactly an ideal place for a pigeon to rest or nest, not when compared to an abandoned building.

The root problem, investigators discovered, was that the birds were in fact attracted by spiders. Lots of spiders. Spiders that also liked to chill around the Washington Monument. But why were there lots of spiders? Because of the moths of course, a gourmet dining delicacy (to a spider at least) that turned up every evening when the monument was lit up for the benefit of all the tourists.

So, at the root of the problem were the lights! The solution therefore was not as assumed, harsher chemicals. The lights were turned on a few hours later, resulting in less moths, resulting in less spiders, which meant the pigeons stopped visiting the sight, resulting in less poop.

Here’s three quick and simple processes that can be implement into daily business practices to start the Design Thinking journey:

1. Have an “I Need Your Input” wall. Write a one-paragraph summary of a problem you are trying to solve internally or for a client, and place it on the wall. Design Thinkers understand that divergent thinking, opening up to many solutions, is most likely to result in success. Invite colleagues to write their ideas on post-its and stick them on the wall.

2. Identify someone you admire in your field and with each action you take or thought you have during a nominated day ask, “What would ‘my hero’ do about that/think about that? This allows you to consider a problem from a different perspective.

3. Introduce a Why Not policy. If someone comes up with an idea, start from ‘Why Not’ as opposed to ‘No Way’. Make it harder to reject an idea than to test it quickly and efficiently.

Investigate, probe and dig deep; these are the core principles of Design Thinking. Use a diverse group of people, to investigate a wide range of solutions, using the collective experience of the room. The theory sounds simple. The application is dynamic!

Christina Gerakiteys_HeadshotAuthor: Christina Gerakiteys is presenting at the 10th Annual PCOA Conference and Exhibition, being held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, from 26 – 28 November 2017

Register for the PCOA conference & Exhibition here

Christina Gerakiteys is founder of Ideation At Work and author and facilitator of The Rippler Effect Innovation Program. She is an ideator and innovation and creativity consultant and educator, inspiring hearts, minds and businesses to possibility.