I was an Evolve first timer - and I'm hooked

By Gabby Boshier

As a first-time attendee at Evolve 2024, I don’t think I could have had a more exciting and valuable experience. Not only as a first timer to a MEA conference but also being new to the industry, Evolve delivered the perfect introduction. Over the course of two days and two nights, in the picturesque NSW Hunter Valley, I connected with like-minded peers, gained greater insight into the industry and genuinely learned the importance of an industry association.

The conference kicked off with the ‘First Timers’ session led by Norm Pounder from Be Challenged, which ignited the energetic atmosphere that remained for the duration of the two days. Nerves settled, I instantly felt as though I was in the right place, as each session that followed offered an opportunity for me to learn more about how the events industry truly operates. Each keynote as inspiring as the next, paired with expertly led panel discussions and hands-on workshops, delivered a seriously comprehensive agenda which I felt meaningfully covered the entire breadth of the industry.

But I must admit, for me, what I found truly invaluable and what I will forever remember, were the conversations that I had. The moments in between sessions, on the exhibition floor, at Brokenwood Wines, during the National Awards Dinner and in the Lovedale Bar at Rydges Resort, where I had the opportunity to introduce myself to those who I had been emailing and calling for the past six months, to people who have been in the industry longer than I have been alive and to people who shared an absolute love and passion for the industry. These were the moments in which I really learnt what it is to be a part of the Australian events community.

What was even more exciting was how each person I met was from a different segment of the industry. From suppliers to organisers, exhibition builders to venues, from bespoke entertainers to educators, everyone offered a unique perspective, proving just how diverse our industry is and how important it is that an association exists that is fully representative, and holistically inclusive, of each amazing component, that genuinely is EVERYTHING events.

I am confident in the fact that I will be able to add value to MEA, its members and all of its stakeholders as a result of my experience and new connections. I do honestly, strongly encourage anyone, especially new to the industry to attend Evolve 2025, which is set to be even more special being in the 50th anniversary year of MEA. If you are a manager recruiting between now and then, please consider the potential value add to your business. I can only speak for my own personal experience, but if my inspired enthusiasm for my job and the industry can be anything to go by, I suggest it will be worthwhile sending employees you value to Evolve.

I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who attended, to all the speakers and exhibitors and a special thank you to Janette, Andrea and the team at TPM Events for your advice and guidance throughout. I absolutely cannot wait for next year and I hope to see you there!