Keynote Speakers 2017

Julius Solaris

Event Manager Blog
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Julius Solaris is the editor of Event Manager Blog. Started in 2007, Event Manager Blog is the number one blog worldwide for event professionals, covering topics such as event planning, social media for events, event technology, event trends, event inspiration but also destination management marketing and meeting planning.

Before becoming a 100% dedicated editor and speaker, he has been working as Social Media Consultant for FTSE250 companies in the UK. His last campaign with RS Components won Econsultancy’s The Digitals for Best Multichannel Marketing Campaign.   

He has been named one of 25 most influential individuals in the Meeting Industry in 2015 by Successful Meetings Magazine followed up by being named the most influential individual in the event industry in 2016.

Julius is the author of The Future of Event Marketing, The Art of Venue Negotiation, Annual Event Trends Report, Social Media for Events, The Event App Bible, The Good Event Registration Guide, Engaging Events, The Venue of the Future. These books presented the results of unprecedented research efforts about social media, event mobile apps and event registration and ticketing providers. Over 150,000 readers have downloaded his books. 

In 2008 he started the Event Planning and Management LinkedIn Group. A few years later, with over 350,000 members and a team of 12 moderators, it became the de-facto largest gathering of event professionals online.

Julius loves creating engaging presentations. His annual presentation “10 Event Trends” has been a Slideshare popular presentation of the month for 4 years in a row collecting over 500,000 contacts. Here is Julius’ Slideshare Channel. Julius is a speaker on event technology trends and social media for events. 


Overview of Sessions

Keynote:         Event Trends That Are Changing Our Industry

This session will cover the latest event trends globally from an audience & organiser perspective, how these will change our event landscape, the impact these trends have on event design delivery and marketing.  A focus on what event organisers need to do to adapt to challenges and opportunities from a) changing consumer trends and b) changing event delivery technologies.   There will be case studies of events and trend impacts.

Presentation Outcomes

  • Gain understanding of the latest trends
  • Understand the impact of trends on the events you deliver, sevice or fund
  • Consider the positioning of your event products and services in changing consumer markets


Breakout:         Tech Tips to Save $’s

This session will be interactive and provide an overview of the latest technology developments and applications that can be used in events to save on budget or create greater value for the S’s. Technology applications will include event design, project planning, ticketing, audience engagement, sponsorship and other aspects. Participants will have the opportunity to look at the applications for their own events, products and services.

Presentation Outcomes

  • Understand opportunities for effective application of technologies across management, marketing and funding of events
  • Consider how to apply technology ideas to own events
  • Take home some quick wins that can be built on

Peter Kageyama

Author, Consultant, Grassroots Engagement Strategist, TedX presenter
For the Love of Cities
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Peter is the author of For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair between People and Their Places and the follow up, Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places. For the Love of Cities has been recognised as a Top 10 book in urban planning, design and development.  Peter is the co-founder of the Creative Cities Summit, an interdisciplinary conference that brings citizens and practitioners together around the big idea of ‘the city.’

A popular TED Talk presenter, he is an internationally sought-after community development consultant and grassroots engagement strategist who speaks all over the world about bottom-up community development and the amazing people who are making change happen.

In addition to speaking about cities and communities, Peter has been consulting with a wide range of civic organizations, from economic development groups to arts and cultural groups to young professional organisations on how to create more vibrant communities.  This includes large scale projects such as the Creative Cities Summit to much smaller engagements such as the Armory Arts Village or the AMBIT project with Northern Ireland.

Fun facts about Peter

Originally from Akron, Ohio, he went to The Ohio State University and got a BA in Political Science, though he spent more time in the Dance Department.

Played bass guitar in a decent alt rock band with his future business partner Ken Walker.

Attended law school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and practiced law for two years.  Didn’t take and now refers to himself as “a recovering attorney.”


Session & Workshop Overview

Keynote:         For The Love of Cities and Events

Peter’s presentation considers how events major, grassroots and impromptu can contribute to our love of cities, with great examples from the many places (big and small) Peter has visited. He will show how making only small changes in focus by engaging with events already present will increase our connection to where we live and ultimately the authenticity of event experiences for locals and tourists alike. Click here to watch one of Peter's TEDx talks

Presentation Outcomes

  • Gain knowledge and view examples of how to shape and create events that increase people’s connection with the places and spaces they live in and visit
  • Gain clarity about the role of major events in creating authentic experiences for visitors and locals and how other events can piggy back on this


Workshop:      Creating Authenticity Through Community Partnerships

Peter’s workshop will describe and demonstrate how best to engage our special amazing people (anchor personas) and partnership with co-creators in our events to create emotionally engaging places.

Peter’s examples mix up the creative arts in all its forms with sport (major and minor) and community celebrations to create amazing places.

Presentation Outcomes

  • Understand ways to utilise the power of community ‘ground-up’ and ‘grass-roots’ approaches in event creation to connect with and show the work of local people who are doing amazing things
  • Experiment with designing and  applying the tools of community engagement


Paul Gunn

Head of Activation & PR
Colenso BBDO
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How do you reach and engage customers in an increasingly complex communications landscape? This is a question that Paul Gunn and the team at Colenso Experiential, the experiential and PR arm of Colenso BBDO, have been wrestling with since they started up in 2013.

Before starting at Colenso, Paul worked as communications and PR specialist working in the events and sponsorship space for over 15+ years. An understanding of the events, sponsorship and PR landscape means that he can provide truly integrated thinking that delivers across multiple channels. He also has learned a few simple things that haven’t changed over the years - even through the rise of the internet, social media, and ‘big data’ and machine learning.






Keynote:          The Challenge of Reaching Target Audiences

This session will provide insights into latest marketing trends and approaches including the combination of traditional marketing and social media.  It will also look at how to combat some of the challenges of marketing events in the current environment and some of the strategies to maximize PR (free marketing) alongside paid advertising.


  • Understand the marketing and PR landscape and changes in NZ currently
  • Learn how to use PR as a free marketing tool more effectively
  • Consider the best vehicles for marketing in an increasingly cluttered market
  • Understand how to best combine social media and traditional media in your marketing mix