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1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf VIC 3006 South Wharf


A hybrid event hosted by MCEC bringing together thought leaders across innovation, technology and business events to demonstrate that MCEC and Melbourne is the go-to destination for events of the future. This event will use and showcase the new MCEC virtual and hybrid digital platform, along with MCEC end to end technology service to bring business events back and re-energise the industry.

It’s Time to RETHINK, CREATE and CHANGE the way we connect.

For all the uncertainty in the current events landscape, there’s one guarantee: virtual and hybrid is here to stay.  

So how can we create high-impact, human-centred virtual and hybrid events that deliver meaningful connection and engagement?  

Join thought leaders from the fields of innovation, events, technology and business transformation for this immersive event experience, and discover first-hand how technology is illuminating new paths to connection and driving breakthrough thinking across the globe.  

Packed with ideas, insights and inspiration, this pioneering 2-hour event will help you rethink, create and change your approach to events and set a benchmark for the future of connected event design.  

Insights and Inspiration from Industry Experts 

Featuring presentations from MCEC Chief Executive Peter King, transformation guru Lisa McInnes-Smith, branding visionary Richard Curtis (FutureBrand) and strategic innovation leader Paul Hamshere (IE Company), this pioneering 2-hour event will help you rethink, create and change your approach to events and is a must-attend for events professionals who wants to learn to connect more creatively and explore the latest innovations in virtual and hybrid event technology.

Whether you choose to attend online or in person, you’ll have access to interactive discussion panels, keynote presentations and masterclasses in digital event production, virtual networking, and how to engage and inspire audiences live, online and on demand. 



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  • 8:00
    to 18:20
  • No activities available
  • 8:00
    to 8:30
    Pre-Welcome to Defy All Conventions
    Pre-Welcome to Defy All Conventions

    From 8am, join the MCEC team for a warm welcome and a chance to settle in. Online attendees will be walked through our digital event platform, while our in-person guests can explore the space and enjoy an unconventional breakfast prepared onsite by our award-winning chefs. This is the perfect time to set up your platform profile and select your topic tags to make sure you’re getting the most out of your morning.

  • 8:30
    to 8:50
    Traditional Welcome to Country & Introduction
    Traditional Welcome to Country & Introduction

    The event will officially commence with a traditional, yet ‘unconventional’, Welcome to Country ceremony performed by a First Nations group, followed by a special Ministerial address, an introduction from your MC for the day, and a word from our CEO, Peter King.

    We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land, the Wurundjeri people, on which Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is built. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

  • 8:50
    to 9:10
    Defy All Conventions Keynote Speaker
    Defy All Conventions Keynote Speaker

    Check back soon for an exciting addition to our inspirational lineup.

  • 9:10
    to 9:25
    Panel and Q&A with Peter and Richard
    Panel and Q&A with Peter and Richard

    Join the conversation with brand transformation expert Richard Curtis (FutureBrand) and panelist Peter King as they deep-dive into the world of virtual and hybrid and explore how we can deliver effective engagement, grow successful brands and navigate business transformation in a virtual world. Make the most of this unique opportunity by submitting your questions directly to the panel via our digital event platform.

  • 9:25
    to 9:40
    Morning tea break
    Morning tea break
  • 9:40
    to 9:50
    Masterclass: Bridging the Gap - Production AV, Networking & Sponsorship
    Masterclass: Bridging the Gap - Production AV, Networking & Sponsorship
    Watch and discover how to create and run a seamless hybrid event offering for your audience as the team layers important event elements right before your eyes.  
  • 9:40
    to 9:50
    Masterdemo: Cooking with Chef - An Appetite For Innovation (online only)
    Masterdemo: Cooking with Chef - An Appetite For Innovation (online only)

    This one’s just for fun and for our online attendees only! Laugh along with MCEC Executive Chef Peter Haycroft and Pastry Chef Renae Hooper as they ‘blow up’ the boundaries between science and cuisine. We guarantee a whole lotta fun whisked in with some high-larious results!

  • 9:50
    to 9:55
    Wrap Up with Peter King
    Wrap Up with Peter King

    Close out the morning’s presentations with MCEC Chief Executive Peter King.

  • 9:55
    to 10:30

    Remember...people? Connect, explore and network with like-minded professionals and industry influencers. Join online breakout rooms and chat IRL with other humans who are similarly curious about the potential of virtual and hybrid in the future events landscape.


Keynote Speaker

  • Lisa McInnes-Smith Global Keynote Speaker @ lisaspeaks
    Lisa has almost three decades’ experience as a psychologist, transformation leader and inspirational speaker. She was the first Australian ever to be inducted into the International Speaker Hall of Fame and is the author of seven best-selling books.
    Passionate, provocative and participative, Lisa is a master of shifting behaviour and inspiring audiences to find new ways of thinking and influencing. With a focus on developing high-performing people and teams, Lisa will challenge you to rethink your attitude, behaviour and mindset, and empower you to transform your approach to your work and future events.


  • Peter King Chief Executive MCEC

    With expertise in strategic planning and vision, event and brand management, Peter has held executive leadership roles in multi-national companies across a range of industries in Australia and Asia. He sits on several industry boards including the Business Events Council of Australia and Global Board of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), is Deputy Chair or the Melbourne Convention Bureau, and earlier this year was appointed Vice President of AIPC’s Executive Council.  


  • Richard Curtis CEO, Futurebrand

    Richard leads FutureBrand’s commitment in Asia-Pacific to creating brands for future business growth through a combination of commercial insight and creative thinking. 

    Richard was featured by AdNews in their 40 Under 40 list of rising stars of advertising, marketing and media, and was one of 20 visionaries invited to speak at VIVID on the future landscape of design and creativity in 2020. 

Guest Speaker

  • Hon. Jaala Pulford MP Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy

    Jaala oversees a dynamic portfolio for the Andrews government including Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy; Small Business; Employment, and Resources.

    She has a strong commitment to accelerating the growth of the digital economy through new and emerging technologies and ensuring Victoria maintains its reputation as a world-class leader in innovation.

    A political trailblazer in her own right, Jaala has led several innovative reforms throughout her career including the establishment of Victoria’s medicinal cannabis industry, the establishment of Victoria’s first digital agriculture strategy and the implementation of a data-driven traffic management system for Melbourne.


  • Paul Hamshere Commercial Product Principal @ IE Group
    A strategic leader, consultant and adviser in the consumer and enterprise innovation and technology space, Paul has driven multiple new product initiatives globally, including world first integrations with Google and Amazon. Paul has experience across Europe, North America, Middle East and Australia, advising on all aspects of technology with a focus on commercial outcomes, customer benefits and technical evolution.


  • Jake Maxwell Multimedia Specialist

    Jake has worked in live events for 15 years, with experience ranging from blue chip corporate events in the City of London financial hub through to the largest festival stages in Europe, before making a leap to Melbourne and joining MCEC in 2017. Before taking on the multimedia specialist role Jake was the team leader of the technology delivery team and has taken the lead delivery role on events at MCEC including PAX, Vidcon and the Good Friday appeal.

  • Helen Fairclough Chief Operating Officer, MCEC
    Helen is a highly skilled executive leader, strategist, and innovator with expertise in business transformation and change management, design thinking and employee engagement. Helen holds a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University. She is never one to lose sight of the bigger picture and has become an expert on transforming crisis into opportunity.
  • Melissa Sweetland Chief Commercial Officer, MCEC
    Passionate about designing and implementing innovative commercial solutions, Melissa has over 30 years’ experience delivering business transformation in the UK and Australia. Prior to joining MCEC in 2021, Melissa ran her own successful strategic advisory firm and was Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President of Engagement at RMIT.
  • David Strangio Manager Technology Operations, MCEC
    With more than 25 years specialising in technical operations for the music & events industry, David is an accomplished production manager and sound engineer.
  • Josh Bryce Manager Technology Sales, MCEC
    Josh is a highly experienced technology sales manager and events services industry professional. Skilled in production management, sales, digital technology, event management, and people management, Josh is passionate about digital event production and helping clients use technology to find new ways to connect and engage.
  • Peter Haycroft Executive Chef, MCEC
    As Executive Chef at MCEC, Peter drives the development of our food philosophy, culinary training program and sustainability management. His innovative approach and commitment to championing local producers has seen MCEC’s kitchen team repeatedly recognised in industry awards both in Australia and globally. Peter currently heads up a team of 40 chefs and 120 kitchen assistants, creating MCEC’s award-winning in-house menus using the best seasonal and local ingredients. 
  • Renae Hooper Pastry Chef, MCEC
    With a penchant for all things dessert, Renae is a skilled and experienced pastry chef, passionate about perfecting the fine art of Viennoiserie (croissants and danishes). Renae has studied both here in Melbourne and abroad in Paris and has been an integral member of MCEC’s kitchen team for over a decade.