Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reach Foundation Heroes day

By Jan-Marie Henry,

Phil & myself were recently invited to a Reach Foundations Heroes day.

I remember watching a particular video last year when Jim Stynes spoke about the program & the teenagers they help & I had rather hesitant visions of myself blindfolded & swinging through the bush on a flying fox or perhaps being harnessed to a telegraph pole & being encouraged by those below to jump off

When we arrived at the bus I asked the question again & was told it would be an adventure & I would probably need tissues!

We proceeded to get to know each other on the trip there & told the person next to us stories of dysfunctional, non communicating childhoods & heard stories of philandering fathers &  parents losing their money. I could relate to the stress of that & to the difficulty of listening to parents argue over money. I didn't speak to this person one on one for the rest of the day & I do wonder if I'll l only be remembered for my dysfunctional family & parents who didn't know how to talk or relate to their children. Strange topics with which to speak to strangers at 8.30 am you may ask & I asked myself the same thing.

We arrived at the venue & were seated at the back of the room out of  view of 400 15 year olds.
Throughout the course of the day they were shown videos, asked to express their feelings - no mean feat when your peers are giggling next to you, & asked to give their opinions on various topics.

I found the facilitators fantastic as they made each child feel brave for standing up & speaking with the microphone.
No wrong answers all positive reinforcement & I'm sure at one point each of us up the back had wished there was a Reach foundation waiting there listening to us during those formative teenage years of our own.

What amazing work this foundation does for the youth of this country.
Identifying problems, seeking out peer group leaders, listening to those who can bravely find their voice amongst 400 kids & say their often life changing words in front of a huge crowd.

We were hit by a few bombshells throughout the day & I feel so happy that these kids have taken the first step towards entering the rest of their teenage years with a more positive attitude knowing that they have a support network that they can rely on.

That network is Reach.

Phil & myself both feel enormously privileged to have been invited to such an inspirational day & to be able to witness first hand some of the wonderful work the Reach foundation do for the youth of Australia

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Case study of the 2012 PeSA internet Conference

 CASE STUDY – Prepared by Klara Vida, Communications Manager, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
Paul Greenberg
 The Professional eBay Sellers Alliance unveiled a comprehensive program for the 6th annual PeSA Internet Conference (formerly the PeSA Summit) at the Gold CoastConvention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) in 2012, teaching the practicalities of online selling by 70 featured international and local expert speakers.  Targeting small to medium-sized sellers from the online realm who make up the majority of the Australia e-commerce market, PeSA showcased expert advice from a rich agenda of speakers including Gabby Leibovich, Co-founder of CatchOfTheDay and Scoopon; Ruslan Kogan, Founder and CEO of Kogan.com.au; Deborah Sharkey, Managing Director of eBay Australia; Ahmed Fahour, Managing Director and CEO of Australia Post; plus a bevy of other relevant and extremely successful internet sales experts and strategists.  Featuring 31 exhibitors, five breakout streams, three networking events, and a Gala Charity Dinner raising $89,000 for the Reach Foundation, the Conference showcased a competitive program focused on practicality and attracted approximately 600 attendees.  Topics covered in the breakout sessions summarised new products and services on the market, advice on where to invest marketing dollars, the tips and tricks of selling, achieving conversions, creating websites, competing in new markets and dozens of other sales-focused topics tailored to illustrate a complete picture from the experts. 
Since inception PeSA has steadily attracted more registrations at each of its conferences which offer solutions-driven advice and focus on the practicality of selling rather than the prevalent ‘get rich quick’ approach.
PeSA attendees
Located in the Arena, southern-end foyers and nine meeting rooms the Conference consumed approximately 4622 square metres of exhibition space.  Half the Arena was allocated to the plenary and half for a Gala Charity Dinner seating 300 guests.  The exhibition was located in the foyers while the meeting rooms housed concurrent breakout sessions from the main plenary.
Conference organisers are looking at expanding the event at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in 2013 by adding 1275 square metres of convention space to cater for escalating requirements.  Since the inaugural event, registrations for the PeSA Conference have been adding incrementally as more and more e-commerce operators are sprouting with viable products and services which are undercutting bigger business.  As e-commerce has gathered momentum so has the PeSA Conference attracting online retailers, eBay PowerSellers, entrepreneurs and anyone looking to optimise their skills in web selling.  PeSA Internet Conference Founder and Managing Director Phil Leahy said that in 2012 the conference expanded its content offering, featuring more streaming sessions and solutions-focused exhibiting parties, including eBay, PayPal and Australia Post. 
PeSA was situated at the Centre for its second consecutive year, formerly rotating between Sydney and Melbourne before organisers chose to take it to the Gold Coast as an alternative meetings destination.  Phil added that the Gold Coast is a relatively cheap and accessible destination to fly to – there are plenty of low cost carrier options – and accommodation is ample and tailored to all budgets so visitors are spoilt for choice.
As a new initiative for PeSA in 2012 QR codes were introduced allowing exhibitors to scan registrants’ conference passes with their smart phones to gather delegate information.  This not only saved exhibitors’ resources - eliminating the need for additional staff or expensive machinery – but also helped PeSA to be at the forefront of online change.
Phil Leahy
Phil Leahy

PeSA concluded with the networking highlight of the conference - the Gala Charity Dinner which raised $89,000 for the Reach Foundation.  A chance to relax, enjoy a well-earned glass of wine and sample a taste of the Centre’s award-winning cuisine, the Gala Dinner was the perfect setting to mix, mingle and discuss lessons learned from the action-packed event.  Each year the Reach Foundation runs preventative programs designed to promote health and mental wellbeing for more than 60,000 young Australians. 

Gil Levy ecommerce Partners
Gil Levy (ecommerce partners)

 Save the date for the next PeSA Internet Conference on 29 - 31 May 2013 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.  For further details visit PeSA’s very comprehensive website which details everything from this year’s agenda, speakers and exhibitors to frequently asked questions, delegate profiles and a list of useful resources. www.internetconference.com.au.

The Gold Coast exhibition Centre is the best venue to hold an event in Australia. I have also held over a dozen events in different cities across the USA and found the team at the GCEC to be very friendly and professional and I highly recommend them as conference & event partners.

Sheridyn Fisher
Sheridyn Fisher
Jim Stewart
Jim Stewart