From industry’s mouths for industry’s ears 

By CEO, Peter McDonald

Evolve 24 - what can I say, I loved it! This conference left me feeling inspired & ready to take on the world!! Lots of great takeaways that I can implement straight away! Content was industry relevant. It was great to reconnect with all my industry colleagues! It is the conference for our industry! Don't miss next year!!

Evolve 2024 was the most enthusiastic conference/gala event I have ever attended with the perfect mix of educational content with exceptional keynote speakers in their fields, networking and annual awards.

Evolve is an incubator for creative discussion, connection and growth for anyone with a connection to the events industry. A place to meet peers and leaders who will inspire you.

As our first trip to a MEA Evolve conference, my team and I didn't know what to expect. We are pleased to say our expectations were beyond exceeded! Great networking, insightful and inspiring speakers, and lots of fun. We will be back in 2025, thank you MEA.


At the helicopter level, the event received an overall satisfaction rating of almost 80%, itself a 5% improvement on Evolve 2023. Nearly 20% of respondents gave Evolve 2024 a full 100% satisfaction rating.

More than 80% of respondents told us that their objective for attending has already been achieved, be that professional development & education, and/or business development, and/or networking. “Excellent Program Structure allowing choice of streams most relevant and a really interesting collection of speakers” was a response, as was “Met with a wide range of industry professionals and have since had some positive business activity.”

Our event MC Luke Hannan received glowing scores and commentary on his performance in both the conference and awards dinner environments. One person said “Luke was fantastic, he speaks with such energy and knows how to control a restless room and keep focus. It is also clear that he listens to the other speakers, and this ensures he keeps energy going for Q&As and can steer the conversations when needed. He finds opportunities to tie threads of each speaker throughout the day together in his wrap ups so the whole program feels cohesive.”

Our venue partners Rydges Resort Hunter Valley and Brokenwood Wines both rated highly with satisfaction scores into the 80-90% range. A respondent commented “Rydges did conferencing extremely well. Every small detail was considered. Friendly staff, healthy but tasty food, exciting ways of serving food aka the live cooking stations. Fresh ingredients, tasty. Good venue sizes suitable for the needs of the conference”, whilst we were also told “Fantastic fun networking venue! Loved the pods. And the food served was fantastic” about Brokenwood.

We’ve been given some great insight about what people would like to underwrite next year’s event program which will absolutely be factored in its design. Over half of respondents told us we’re holding the conference at the time of year most suitable to their business – reassuring, for sure – and our 2024 learning program length of 2 days was 3 times more popular a response than the next preferred length.

We got good intel about destinations that delegates would prefer for future conferences, which will be factored into decision making about those. We plan to go to market seeking requests for proposal for 2025 and 2026 event partners in the near future. So if you’re a destination wanting to showcase itself to the national events industry, keep watching MEA Express.

With it all now said and done, and weight of evidence suggesting successfully so, I’ll analogously sign off Evolve 2024 using the major sporting event that’s currently underway in London – Wimbledon – as inspiration with a ‘thank you linesmen, thank you ballboys’ to anyone who participated in the event in any way, be that as a delegate, partner, presenter or organiser.

MEA looks forward to gathering the events industry nationally again next year, its 50th anniversary year, for Evolve 2025. If you couldn’t make it along this year, we hope that these shared perspectives of your industry peers will be motivation enough to warrant you making sure you’re there for it.