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Leonie Ashford
International Bid Manager, Tourism New Zealand

"The Ways Asia Pacific Conference Centres are Leading the World"

In 2011, Tourism New Zealand established the Business Events team and Leonie was the first employee, this team has now grown to 14 staff based in New Zealand, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Singapore.

The role of International Bid Manager provides the opportunity to work with people who are passionate about what they do and eager to share their experience and expertise with others around the world. Leonie is in constant liaison with the conference & incentive industry from throughout New Zealand to ensure the industry meets high professional standards and new projects and challenges are supported with experienced management.

A strong background in customer service and loyalty ensures that Leonie is focused on new partnerships and is committed to the growth in the conference & incentive industry both with New Zealand and across the Asia Pacific Region.

Ryan Ashton, Chief Yarner at A Few Quiet Yarns (AFQY)
International Bid Manager, Tourism New Zealand

"Without ROI, your event will die"

From Megaclubs to Michelin Star restaurants and 15 years of Corporate Sales and Marketing including Conference management and sponsorship sales; events have been at the core of Ryan's work. Ryan' business A Few Quiet Yarns is a multifaceted event and social media business with "AFQY" a monthly networking event attracting up to 200 people per month at the core of a range of services including Networking and LinkedIn training along with bespoke event management. Ensuring clients make the most of their investment is crucial to continued success and growth in this session you'll gain insights from experiences that will help you help your clients, who grow your business.

Mark Cooper

"IACC Meeting Room of the Future 2017; Key Global Trends"

The way people interact has changed a lot in the last few years. This includes participants' interactions at meetings and events. Consider findings from IACC’s recent global research, the IACC Meeting Room of the Future, we will consider trends in meeting environments—not only the rooms themselves, but also the spaces where delegates congregate, network and socialise. Understand how the meeting space affects learning and networking, and ultimately the goals and objectives of meetings and events.

Learner Outcome
  • Learn how different meeting rooms support learning outcomes.
  • Develop a better understanding of how technology can help build multi-way communication in the room.
  • Consider the different venue types and non-traditional room layouts that help foster connections between and among delegates.

Robert England
Lead. Up There Everywhere

"The world has changed. Has your marketing?"

In this online age, information is instantly available. Armed with user reviews and price information, the consumer seems to have all the power. Are we at their mercy, or can marketers redress the balance? Robert presents a simple approach for businesses to influence consumers at the right time in their buying journey – and thereby influence their choices.

Rustica Lamb
Principal of Bloom Learning Technologies

"Changing trends in Corporate Learning & Development"

Rustica is a learning designer, edupreneur, facilitator and founder of Bloom Learning (2012). She is one of NZ’s best known learning and development personalities, a trusted L&D advisor and a well respected leader in the industry. Rustica has 25+ years’ experience as an L&D Manager, eLearning designer, senior instructional designer, capability advisor, SAP trainer, facilitator, project manager and mentor. She designs learning experiences and spaces which are engaging, affirming, empowering and inspiring.

Rustica has worked internally and externally with a number of organisations, including: Westpac, ANZ, Ministry of Health, Contact Energy, Vodafone, Ministry of Justice, Mighty River Power, Telecom, Green Cross Health, Orion Health and Morgan & Banks. She held the position of Vice President for the New Zealand Association of Training and Development (NZATD) from 2012 to 2015, and was the NZATD Practitioner of the Year in 2012.

Stephen Noble
Manager Asia-Pacific
The Conference Company

"The Ways Asia Pacific Conference Centres are Leading the World"

Stephen has over 15 years' conference, expo and event management experience and is a key member of The Conference Company's senior management team. Stephen joined The Conference Company in 2007 as a Conference Manager after many years working in the professional sporting world. He has led the Conference and Events team and was instrumental in the growth of the company's Australian operations. Today, as Manager Asia-Pacific he draws daily on this extensive hands‐on conference management know‐how to lead The Conference Company's operations in Asia and Australia. Part of his role involves ongoing discussions with key clients to understand their drivers and strategies and adapt solutions to accommodate those. These discussions also include bidding for international or Asia-Pacific meetings, where he has worked with clients in New Zealand and Australia in successful bid outcomes. Stephen still looks after a blue‐chip list of international multi‐day conferences and their associated exhibitions where he enjoys the challenge to bring latest thinking in meeting design and use of technology.

Gillian Officer
Director of Sales Conventions,
SkyCity Convention Centre and CINZ Board Member

"The Ways Asia Pacific Conference Centres are Leading the World"

Gillian’s experience in hospitality spans over 25 years of working in the industry, and 20 of these specialising in Convention Centre Management. Gillian has worked as Director of Sales at SKYCITY for six years, before which she held both Acting GM and DOSM roles at the Wellington Convention Centre for four years; and Convention Services and Booking roles at THE EDGE– Auckland Convention Centre for six years. Gillian currently heads up a team of three experienced sales managers at SkyCity who promote and sell the SkyCity Convention Centre and their outcatering division THE KITCHEN c/o SkyCity. Gillian also sits on the Conventions Incentives NZ Board with a group of like-minded industry colleagues who help strategically drive CINZ in their efforts to support and promote the Conventions Industry in New Zealand.

Mel Rowsell
Wisdom at Work

“Translate the soft skills of Emotional Intelligence into solid business results”

On the back of Mel’s business card you will find the words: Enhance your culture, inspire your people, unlock your wisdom. This is what Mel does in her business aptly named Wisdom at Work. The journey here has included 20+ years working in Human Resources, establishing and growing Vend, a business that went from 2 to 250 people in under five years, plus an intense interest in coaching, neuroscience, mindfulness and development. These days you will find her working within ambitious and high growth organisations, shaping cultures, developing leaders, and imparting her special brand of Wisdom at Work.

Evan Urbania
CEO, ChatterBlast Media

"Activate Your Events and Your Marketing With Smart Social Media"

Go beyond social media 101 and learn how to engage your clients with new social media tactics that can be applied to your own marketing, as well as to support client events to produce more impactful results.

Evan Urbania is CEO and Co-Founder of ChatterBlast Media, a social media marketing and online strategy firm. ChatterBlast serves a range of clients that include Fortune 50 companies, small businesses, non-profit organizations, cultural institutions and government entities. The company is also home to ChatterBlast University, an educational training platform focused on the fast-changing world of social media marketing strategies. ChatterBlast employs 15 professionals and is recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Philadelphia Business Journal. A graduate of Drexel University, Evan holds a degree in business administration and marketing. In 2013 Evan was recognized as a “40 Under 40” by both the Philadelphia Business Journal and Drexel University Magazine.

Peter Vaughan
Lettrology™ the means to predict man's footsteps

“Profiler Specialist - Cracking the Code of how people Think”

The Alphabet, is a 26-piece chess board. How you play your Name Game is the difference between check and Checkmate!

Peter noticed people with the same name had similar qualities. A hobby, now a profession, Peter believes Lettrology™ will revolutionize the way we look at life.

A qualified electrician, Soldier, Ambulance Officer, inventor of fish/seaweed fertilizer, met Professors at Hissar Agricultural University India, developed technology BP and Z-Energy use to stop fuel theft, and one of the top twelve of 470 participants at the Entrepreneurs Summit run by Tenby Powell.

Peter starred in the TV series "The Profilers," performed criminal investigations for "Sensing Murder". His goal; to raise people from mediocrity to their full potential. Peter has engaged services with Banks, Politicians, Police, Lawyers, Investigators, Celebrities, Magnates, the Military, Television Networks, and more.

Mark Wager
Australiasian Leadership Institute

“Taking the next step in your leadership journey”

Originally from the UK Mark now resides in New Zealand where he is the current Chief Leadership Coach at the Australasian Leadership Institute delivering leadership workshops and Performance Coaching across the Asia Pacific region. Mark draws upon his thirty years of managerial experience when working alongside leaders who “want to make things happen” delivering a personalised learning experience tailored to a leaders unique goals and challenges. Mark has worked with leaders from a range of top organisations including Unicef, The Delegates of the European Union, The Fred Hollows Foundation, Barnados, St Johns ambulance services, the Ministry of Justice, the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation and many more.