OVERVIEW / PROFILE OF THIS EVENT
The Tertiary Education Management Conference (TEMC) is organised in partnership with the Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) and the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA). It is the only conference in the tertiary sector which covers the full range of functions in institutions and allows participants to reflect on their management practice in a regional, national and global context. In 2018, TEMC was held at the Crown Conference Centre in Perth from 9-13 September. The 5-day conference attracted 809 delegates from both domestic and international locations and included keynote, plenary and concurrent sessions.
The official program for TEMC is 5 days, however, with the addition of association meetings and post conference tours, this extends the conference to 7 days.
The published official program for TEMC 2018 kicked off with a Newcomers Function and Welcome Reception at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle. This was followed by three days of conferencing onsite at the Crown Conference Centre with 5 keynote speakers, 3 invited presenters, 90 session speakers, and 5 members of a Vice- Chancellor Panel. The conference concluded with the annual TEMC Gala Dinner at Crown with a nautical theme being celebrated in 2018. Optional post conference University tours were also available.
A silent but real challenge is the longevity of the relationship that exists with Leishman Associates and TEMC. As conference managers with a 14 year association with this conference, we carry the responsibility to deliver TEMC each year with a fresh approach, breathing new life and creating a new experience for the 800+ attendees, many of those who attend annually. This is a challenge that we accept readily, as we work collaboratively with the volunteer committees who change from year to year.
To respond to this challenge we review every component of the delegate conference experience.
- Onsite registration process
- Plenary sessions – what do these look like?
- The trade exhibition – bringing new life and new options for engagement with fellow attendees and exhibitors
- Ensuring the program meets the goals of Australian & New Zealand universities
- Social functions, changing from boring to fun and interactive
In addition to this ongoing challenge, each year there are new challenges that we deal with.
The Western Australian committee made the decision to follow the practices that exist in most Australian universities and offer a sustainable conference to attendees. Some of the initiatives that formed part of this sustainability program were:
The eradication of all single-use coffee cups. For us this meant working closely with Crown to provide crockery cups and saucers, which saw Crown change their banquet practices to accommodate our request. The initiative also impacted on sponsors of the Barista Cart, who would normally have branded disposable cups. We had to share the vision of a no plastic lid and no single use cup, and explain that the benefits of this initiative would not impact on a lack of their company logo on the cup.
One of our Barista sponsors, Spotless offered to provide a glass keep cup, which was a terrific outcome for our attendees, who would receive a valuable gift. However, this also led to some challenges that we did not really consider … would the cup fit into the dishwashers at Crown, this was resolved, and then the next challenge was the suede safety wrap around the mug. A resolution was that our attendees could wash their own mugs, however this was not readily accepted by the baristas who were aiming for a purity around their coffee. Spotless were then agreeable to have their glass keep cup as a giveaway only. Who would have thought that this one request could provide these challenges that needed to be resolved.
The sustainability initiative extended to the abolishment of a printed pocket program, no plastic cutlery at any function, the introduction of an extensive digital signage program, rather than single use signage, the decision not to provide paper satchel inserts, and offer an electronic brochure through the conference app. For those sponsors who wanted to provide a paper-based or promotional
item, this was offered at the “Information hub”.
TEMC has used an event app for the last four years. In 2018, we made the decision to go it alone and use the Centium EventsAIR app. There have been great initiatives made by the company over the last 18 months with the mobile app, and we were keen to reduce the double-handling, and decided to use the EventsAIR app.
Our team are experienced users of EventsAIR, and they worked closely with the Centium team to deliver the best possible user experience on the conference app.
Whilst there is still work to do, the EventsAIR app ticked most of the boxes for user experience and attendee engagement.
Through the app we were able to offer:
- Participation in lead-scanning and the exhibitor prize draw with TEMC Exhibitors,
- View the conference program and add sessions to their own personal “My Agenda”,
- Allocate themselves, and invite other delegates, to tables for the Conference Dinner,
- Post and share images to a private Event Stream social media wall,
- Contact other delegates or the Leishman Associates team on-site through the message function.
RAISING THE BAR WITH AUDIO VISUAL
With 800+ attendees at the conference with an amazing venue in the Crown Conference Centre, we were determined to ensure that the AV was as schmick as the budget could afford.
Working very closely with AV Partners from Perth, Steve Heales, who were incredible in their collaboration, we delivered an outstanding AV solution. This featured LED technology and a significant use of video. Using the creative skills of our team, and a Tasmanian software program called Biteable, we were able to provide cost-effective, non- PowerPoint videos which were a more interesting offering to attendees.
Other areas that we gave an in-depth review were:
Dietary requirements … working closely with the venue to ensure that as many of our 160 dietary requirements could be catered for through the main buffet.
Addressing healthy options in the food offering, whilst satisfying those with a sweet tooth.