The Event Summit | Our Key Take-Aways

Last week we took some time out of the office to attend Event Summit 2019. With 20 sessions, 30+ speakers and topics ranging from examples of branded activations to why your event might need paid policing, it was bound to be an informative day.

Here’s a quick recap of our key takeaways from this year’s event and why you should get in early to secure tickets for Event Summit 2020…

Event Summit


Hosted at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia during the Vivid Sydney, our first impressions of the day started well – the views from the Harbourside Terrace are spectacular (morning and night) and we appreciated the barista coffee after an early start.

The content during the day was predominantly aimed at those working in the festival, public and large-scale event arena. Delegates in attendance included event professionals from Australia’s largest venues, government, event agencies and festival planners (some interstate and international guests too).

We admit we didn’t get there quite early enough for the 7.30am expert-led tour of the Vivid and Australia Day event sites, but we heard it was interesting and a good way to start the day.

For those of us who joined the group at the MCA post-tour, the day kicked off with a heartfelt Welcome to Country from Yvonne Weldon, Chair of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council before heading into a jam-packed agenda of presentations.

The program was fast-paced, with sessions ranging from 20 to 40 minutes, and at times it was hard to choose between concurrent sessions.

While there was a range of topics covered Event Summit, we felt there were a few key themes that ran throughout….

Event Summit


The presentation from Nick Morris, Director at Morris Goding Access Consulting  was truly insightful, and not just because of his firsthand experience as a dual Paralympian and a person with a disability.

Nick’s presentation was direct, to the point, and included great examples of simple things Event Managers can do to make their events more accessible (more about this in another blog soon).

One of the things that stood out about this presentation was that it wasn’t focused on accessibility for wheelchairs (the most common thing people think when they hear the term “accessibility”. Rather it focused on accessibility for EVERYONE.  Nick gave a few examples for event managers to consider:
  • Ladies finding it hard to walk on grass with stiletto heels
  • Older guests who can’t stand for extended periods of time
  • Guests who have hearing or visual impairment
  • People who require mobility access

Taking the time to consider how EVERYONE will access and enjoy your event – no matter how big or small the issue may seem – is important to its overall success.


There were numerous speakers who touched on event safety and risk during their presentations - highlighting the need for risk management and due diligence to be a major priority for all event organisers. 

During Event Summit 2019 delegates were given key insights into how event organisers of Glastonbury and Beijing Olympics approached risk management. We also had the opportunity to hear from Darryl Jeffrey, Chief Operating Officer at Sydney Showground and others, who demystified some of the debate surrounding at-risk behaviours at music festivals and the necessity of medical facilities at large scale events.


The third theme and takeaway for us during Event Summit 2019 was the need for event organisers to exercise flexibility and be prepared to adapt when plans change. We thoroughly enjoyed the presentation on this topic from Elise Doganieri, the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of The Amazing Race

Elise explained how they quickly learnt there was a need for them to stay ahead of the participants in order to avoid issues with production. Elise focussed on adjusting plans and systems until they had perfected the process for producing an event - Elise has now been involved in over 400 episodes of the show.

Other speakers including Jamie Skaltsounis from Samsung Electronics gave great examples of how they assess their events and plan ahead for change to continually improve their offering.


Event Summit was a productive day with high-level speakers and a LOT of content. This event gave attendees the opportunity to learn from both local and overseas events and expertise, plus capitalised on Vivid Sydney in its final days for 2019. For those of you who are wanting to get some ideas and information about large scale events and festivals, it is a must-attend event.

P.S. We LOVED the catering throughout the day from The Fresh Collective and the post-event cocktail function overlooking the spectacular lights of Vivid Sydney.