Leisa Thompson – Event Manager
Tina Gaudry – Event Coordinator
Our Event Associates Leisa and Tina were delighted to organise the 22nd Annual Professional Development Network (PDN) School Leaders’ Conference, held from 1-3 August 2018 at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast.
The conference theme was centred around ‘Framing the Future’, and the purpose was to provide stimulating, practical and applicable educational content to school leaders (principals, deputies, and in many cases whole leadership teams) to inspire them to play their part in framing the future of education. The conference has a reputation as the top professional development event of the year available to QLD School leaders, and our mission was to maintain and elevate this reputation.
Event Associates, in collaboration with the PDN committee, developed a stellar program jam-packed with keynotes and workshops from some incredible speakers and experts, from a wide range of backgrounds. Guest speakers included Olympic, World, Commonwealth and National Champion cyclist Anna Meares, multi-award-winning speaker, trend forecaster and six-time bestselling author Michael McQueen, leading researcher on principal wellbeing Associate Professor Phil Riley, and expert influencer Jane Anderson, to name a few.
The conference was not all about educating! Several social events, including a welcome reception, a VIP dinner, as well as the gala dinner on Thursday night, gave attendees plenty of opportunities to network and share their experiences. VIPs were treated to a very special private dining experience at Royal Pines’ Arakawa Restaurant, and Comedian Fred Lang had the crowd in stitches at the gala dinner.
A challenge of a conference this size is ensuring that sponsors, who play a pivotal role in funding and adding value to the event, are visited by the delegates they are paying to have access to. To encourage exhibitor interaction, we implemented several strategies, including running a very successful (and fun!) exhibitor passport competition with a prize draw at conference closing, as well as running a social media competition and having photographers with props roaming the exhibition foyer. We also encouraged exhibitors to engage people with interactive booth activities, and the conference exhibition evolved into an exciting space buzzing with activity and meaningful interactions. All sponsors were looked after by delegated PDN committee members, who are all highly influential industry leaders. We also tailored many of our packages to fit the specific needs of our valued sponsorship partners. Their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and so far 100% of sponsor survey respondents agreed that the conference met their business objectives, and they would consider returning next year.
The conference team at RACV Royal Pines Resort could not have been more attentive, and we were very impressed by the way their staff seamlessly handled the days. The catering in particular was phenomenal, and many attendees commented on their positive venue experience, so a huge credit to Jordan Laverack and the wonderful team at Royal Pines!
The 22nd PDN School Leaders’ Conference was a great success, and Event Associates was proud to organise this event. Leisa and Tina walked away exhausted, elated, and with a new appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our QLD School Leaders! We look forward to working with PDN and Griffith University again in the near future.
Get in touch to find out how Event Associates can bring your next event to life!