For details on the 2014 Saxton Ultimate Event Experience, click here.
The fourth annual Saxton Ultimate Event Experience at AIME 2013, held on the morning of 26 February, was a resounding success and a true feat of event planning in which 10 high profile presenters took to the stage for two and a half hours in front of a near capacity audience of over 1400 professionals from the event and meetings industry. Held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre's Plenary 1 and hosted quite hilariously by iconic Australian musical trio Tripod, the event represented the very best in speakers, entertainers and audiovisual support, weaving together themes of passion, challenge, entrepreneurship, change and courage.
Virtuosic multi-instrumentalist and jazz great James Morrison began the morning at 7.45am with a stirring performance of 'Il Silenzio' joined by two young trumpeters, and an inspiring account of the importance of always performing at your best, regardless of where you find yourself. The elegant and entrepreneurial Megan Quinn spoke of the philosophies behind which Net-A-Porter, the luxury online retailer she co-founded in the late '90s, became an international phenomenon. Seven-time ASP World Surfing Champion Layne Beachley addressed the subject of pursuing your passion, whatever it may be, by way of a fortuitous story involving Matt Damon and a lost passport.
MCs Tripod, as inimitable and off-the-wall as ever, introduced the diverse range of presenters through songs of their own, and Nic Frances - hotelier, stockbroker, Anglican priest and charity worker turned world-renowned social entrepreneur - urged attendees to every day strive to make a difference in their professional and personal lives. Changing gears entirely, preeminent psychological illusionist and star of Australia's Got Talent Anthony Laye had the audience squirming in a breathtaking display of Russian Roulette involving industrial nail guns aimed at the palm of his hand, his forearm and stomach by an equally stunned member of the audience.
Rob Hamill, an Olympic and marathon rowing champion, spoke movingly of the death and torture of his brother Kerry at the hands of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, and of the beauty and dignity that exists in choosing how one responds to any situation, no matter how tragic. Ian Stephens, through an incredible display of speedball mastery, demonstrated the importance of focus, of bouncing back, and of how small changes can lead to big results. Australia's business icon and host of The Celebrity Apprentice Mark Bouris detailed his blueprint for business success - courage, empathy and understanding - and stressed that resisting fear, accepting challenges and maintaining hope - "the currency of leaders" - is integral to success of any kind.
Event Director Nanette Moulton briefly thanked the audience, the expert audiovisual team led by Mike Hall of Rigoni Hall and the many sponsors that make an event of this magnitude possible before Darren Percival, star of The Voice and a true soul and rhythm and blues sensation was joined by his big band and special guests Mahalia Barnes, Jade McCrae and James Morrison in four Ray Charles classics including 'Shake a Tail Feather', which remarkably had hundreds of attendees on their feet and dancing... at 10 in the morning.
We extend a big thank you to our state of the art support and production team led by Mike Hall from Rigoni Hall, who provided the inspiration to create, produce and deliver this event: Rigoni Hall, Norwest, Mediatec, Resolution X, Staging Rentals and Construction Services, ShowFX and Absolute Creative.
And to our incredible sponsors: AIME, Melbourne Convention Bureau, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Franklin Printing, Snowgum, Hilton South Wharf, Corporate Traveller, Emma & Tom's, GetWinesDirect.com and Brunel Worldwide Chauffeur Drive.
Please support in any way you can the wonderful organisations who make the Saxton Ultimate Event Experience possible, year after year!