Program Speakers


Anneli Blundell - Director, Anneli Blundell

Anneli is an author, speaker and communication expert (a.k.a professional People Whisperer), who helps her clients improve their communication, influence and engagement. She’s obsessed with decoding people dynamics for improved performance and specialises in interpersonal intelligence – the ability to understand and navigate the people dynamics in a given situation.

Anneli is the co-author of Developing Direct Reports: Taking the guesswork out of leading leaders. She is currently working on her next book, ‘Decoding Resistance: The real reason people won’t do what you want’, a practical guide for increasing buy-in, reducing push back and navigating the daily barriers that impact influence, engagement and change.

Dermot Crowley - Director, Adapt Productivity

Dermot Crowley is a productivity thought leader, author, speaker and trainer. He works with leaders, executives and professionals in many of Australia’s leading organisations, helping to boost the productivity of their people and teams. Dermot’s approach is inspiring, yet practical.

His passion is creating real behavioural change, and he has developed a system for working productively that is applicable to anyone working in today’s busy, email driven workplace. Dermot is the author of the best-selling productivity book, Smart Work and Smart Teams.

Tania de Jong AM - Founder and CEO, Creative Universe, Creative Australia and Creative Innovation Global

Tania is an acclaimed Australian soprano and one of Australia’s most successful female entrepreneurs and innovators developing 5 businesses and 2 charities over the past 3 decades.

She is the Founder of Creative Universe, Creativity Australia, Creative Innovation Global, Dimension5 co-working hub, MTA Entertainment & Events, Pot-Pourri and The Song Room.

Tania presents keynote speeches and performs around the world. She has released 10 albums. She works across the public, private, creative and community sectors. Tania’s TED Talk How Singing Together Changes The Brain has sparked international interest.

Tania’s mission is to change the world, one voice at a time!

Trevor Gardiner - CEO, Centium Software

Trevor is CEO, Founder and Chief Software Architect at Centium Software, a software development and support services company for the global meetings and accommodation industries. He has been involved with the global meetings industry since 1987 and has designed a product line of event management software that led to his latest initiative, EventsAIR.

Trevor is passionate about quality software design and has been chief software architect of mission critical software solutions for major world events including London Olympics, G20, APEC and CHOGM, where high-level security is paramount.

Russ Macumber - Digital Strategist, Impressive

Russ is a digital dude. His strength is cutting through the techy jargon to educate businesses large and small. He loves demystifying this thing we call ‘digital’, simplifying the complex and confusing world (wide-web) of acronyms, weird terms and numbers, numbers, numbers. He loves delivering online solutions for his clients that help them SMASH their goals.

Russ is an engaging speaker and podcaster, and for the past decade he has worked in event and digital sales (both phone based and f2f/field) and sales management (managing up to 15 BDMs). His passion has always been marketing, he finds the psychology of it fascinating and often find more interest in ad breaks than actual TV shows.

Rob McManus - General Manager, Event Health Services, St John Ambulance Australia (VIC) Inc

Rob is currently the General Manager, Event Health Services for St John Ambulance Australia (VIC) Inc.

St John provide best practice first aid and medical services to a wide range of events, attending 4,600+ per year in Victoria. With experience managing large and complex venues, events and organisations in Australia, New Zealand and England, Rob will provide you a unique insight on the importance of managing your risk with professionals.

Scott Millar - Young entrepreneur, CEO of Start Up company BOP (age 18)

Scott Millar has been working in the event technology space since he was 15 years old when he first started dabbling in hologram technology. Scott has since grown his company, BOP Industries, from selling at local markets, to now one of Australia’s leading holographic projections companies, specialising in events.

Having worked with brands such as GHD, NEC and Adapt, Scott lives and works with the cutting edge of event technology and is on a mission to make this technology affordable, accessible and easy to use for all. Scott looks forward to sharing some of his discoveries with the audience.

Sam Mutimer - Founder and Director of Social Media, Think Tank Social

A broken leg in 2008 (after playing rugby for England) was the tipping point for me, where I became aware of the true power of social media and how it plays a role in branding and business as a whole. Not one to rest on my laurels and wait for an opportunity to come knocking, I decided to make the most out of the injury time-out, posting my injury on YouTube as advertising space for businesses to then ‘bid’ for, in order to get their brand seen online. Unsurprisingly, the video went viral and received over 27,000 views in a matter of weeks. Watching the volume of inquiries flood through justified the value of great content and solid network connections for brands on social platforms… and an idea was formed.

Upon my return to Australia and becoming actively involved in social media marketing via digital marketing agencies, I launched my own company, Thinktank Social, as a ‘niche’ social media agency – one of Australia’s very first. The educational and training role is a passion of mine that goes with the job – exciting whoever I present to and adding substance and experience along the way… including some powerful case studies from our very own campaigns we have/are working on too! A few achievements so far: board of directors at Rugby Vic, guest lecturer at RMIT, social media resident for Channel 7 news, Today Tonight, SEN radio special guest, SBS radio news commentary, along with speaking interstate and overseas.

Nesrene O'Connell - Head of ANZ Event Marketing and APJ Event Strategy, Cisco

Nes leads the Event Experience Marketing team to deliver Cisco’s award-winning face-to-face experiences in Australia and New Zealand, including the flagship customer engagement program, Cisco Live. In addition, she works with the region in Asia Pacific and Japan on Cisco’s customer and partner event strategy.

Nes is passionate about the impact events have on Cisco’s brand and growth objectives and the powerful platform of connecting like-minded individuals to create unforgettable experiences.

Dr. Marigo Raftopoulos - CEO & Founder, Strategic Innovation Lab

Dr Marigo Raftopoulos is a strategic business adviser specializing in innovation using games, gamification and experience design. She is the founder and CEO of Strategic Innovation Lab, and is also an adviser to the European Commission’s Advanced Digital Gaming and Gamification Program.

Marigo works with a wide range of global clients on accelerating innovation and business transformation using the tools of engagement that are fundamental to game design and gamification. Marigo holds a PhD in enterprise gamification and has widely published her research on gamification frameworks and methodologies.

Lisa Renn - Nutritionist

Lisa Renn is an accredited practicing dietitian, speaker, author, media spokesperson and business owner who is passionate about helping people discover the power of a health lifestyle to increase productivity, confidence and health outcomes.

Her areas of expertise are nutrition, motivation, human behavior and health. Lisa’s background as a dietitian and educator has enabled her to learn what motivates people, what holds them back, how to change unhelpful habits and get motivated for change. Her easy going, yet professional style, ensures the information Lisa presents makes nutrition and healthy living accessible and realistic for all her audience members.

Tanya Williams - Digital Conversations

Tanya Williams is the pink loving, 4 inch heel wearing sparkly Chief of Everything at Digital Conversations. She wears many hats; entrepreneur, blogger, best selling author and digital trainer, and she is a Tradigital Specialists with over 20 years’ marketing experience.

For some, digital is a sea of uncertainty and holds businesses back from achieving their full potential. This is where she thrives to help businesses overcome marketing overwhelm and help establish digital foundations & strategies to drive business outcomes. Her personal mantra is never let anyone dull your sparkle.