The Saxton Ultimate Event Experience this year enjoyed its largest audience ever in three years running at AIME, the annual Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo. The Event Experience, held in the grand Plenary 3 of the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, is a whirlwind two hour ride featuring 10 high profile presenters from around the globe. This year, speakers and entertainers representing the pinnacle of achievement in the worlds of music, photojournalism, business, illusion, politics, economics, mathematics, the media and performance art each delivered a compelling business or personal message in less than 12 minutes.
Presiding over the morning was the always humorous John Lees, back from the 2011 event by popular demand, whose wit and often outrageous anecdotes had the audience, consisting mainly of event and meetings professionals, in stitches. Master drummer David Jones kicked the morning off with a jolt with his unique brand of passionate percussion, followed by a moving presentation by photojournalist Michael Coyne, a man whose work in some of the most extreme places and on some of the most globally important events is simply stunning. Described as "Australia's most influential director", Rod McGeoch was the next to take the stage with a singular and firey take on the state of contemporary business, population growth, trends and the dangers of complacency, challenging attendees to "get your attitude right, read everything, and be determined to make a difference". Illusionist Cosentino demonstrated why he was recently awarded a prestigious Merlin Award, "the Oscars of magic", joining the company of David Copperfield, Sigfried & Roy, Penn & Teller and Criss Angel, with a performance that beggared belief.
Recently arrived from Hong Kong, New York Times best-selling author and Bloomberg correspondent Robyn Meredith took us on a journey through the rise of China in a discussion of 'tectonic economics': the seismic shifts in global power currently taking place around the globe. From further afield still was Kivi Bernhard - Atlanta by way of the great plains of southern Africa - who introduced us to 'Leopardology', business lessons learned from the most successful feline predator on earth: stealth, developing a niche, using the right tools and trusting in your strengths. Mathematician and Letters and Numbers presenter Lily Serna turned the stereotype of the maths geek on its head with surprising examples of the widespread applicability, profitability and fun of the misunderstood discipline, concluding her presentation with a take-home skill that had attendees testing their powers of mental calculation... at nine in the morning. Lily was followed by Darren Percival, a man familiar to guests at the 2011 event, but who turned in a truly incredible rendition of Men at Work's 'Land Down Under' that no-one saw coming, using only his signature looping pedals, cavernous voice and, remarkably, the voices of a thrilled audience in two parts. The widely loved and respected Ita Buttrose spoke on a subject near and dear to her heart - doing business better - in an inspirational address that discussed the importance of women on boards, the challenges still facing women in business, and the need to embrace change in making the most of opportunity. And in a finale that no-one could have expected, CrazeeHorse - acrobalance duo Donovan Jones and Rebecca Peache - wowed the audience with a stunning display of grace, balance, beauty and strength that had to be seen to be believed.
The Saxton Ultimate Event Experience will return to AIME on Tuesday, 26 February, 2013.
We thank our fabulous sponsors...