John Quinn

Founder & Presentologist
Audience Alive
John Quinn

Raised and educated in Ireland, John arrived in Dubai in 1996 determined to make a difference to presentations that fell flat.  After several years with Gearhouse & Phillip, John started Satellite Visual Communications, an award winning presentology and eventology company. 

So what's a presentologist? A Presentologist uses the latest Presentation Technology to help you communicate your message better. Most presenters and speakers miss the mark. They may be experts, but they fail to communicate their message. They misuse PowerPoint. Or deliver poorly. Or both! The result? Boardrooms become ‘bored rooms.’ Audiences tune out and turn off.

AudienceAlive combines design, and leading-edge presentation technology, to take visual communication to a whole new level.  John will bring examples and short video reinforcers from his work across many countries and a few continents as well.



Presentation Overview - Planet of the Apps

Take a trip to ‘Planet of the apps’, a quick-fire introduction to the apps that can be used to disrupt and differentiate 

Presentation Outcomes

  • Gain knowledge of cutting edge technology set to disrupt events
  • How to use these changes to your best advantage
  • How to combat and move with the times
  • Glimpse opportunities that are out there

Emily McLean

Social Media Manager
Commissions for Financial Capability - CFFC

Emily loves nothing more than trying out new ideas and ways of doing things.

As a Millennial herself, she knows exactly what drives, motivates and challenges her generation. A former journalist, Emily now specialises in turning ‘non-sexy brands’ into stars on social media having worked with the accounting firm, Deloitte, and the shipping firm Maersk and now with the Commission for Financial Capability.

She has been involved in researching the rewards and challenges the Millennial demographic bring to our workplaces and the buying market having written ‘The Millennial effect – what this means for our workplaces and our markets’ using data from her own research and the Deloitte Millennial Survey. She considers herself an aspiring surfer and has found an unexpected love for cricket over the past year or so.



Presentation Overview - Preparing for New Target Markets

Understanding Millennials and Gen Z and what you need to do in your organisation to prepare for Generation Z.  This session will give insights into both and the differences between them with comment on events and how Millennials and Gen Z are being targeted by promotion differently.

Presentation outcomes

  • Greater understanding of Millennials and Gen Z
  • How to target both audiences
  • Insights and social media trends 

Jackie Blunt

Wellbeing Coordinator
Lincoln University
Jackie Blunt

Dr Jackie Blunt is a Wellness Coach and Educator who loves working with people to increase health, happiness and a deeper sense of wellbeing. She brings experience and inspiration from her work as a Wellness Coach, and combines this with in depth knowledge of brain and body health from her work as a GP, a Brainwave trust Aotearoa presenter, and a Yuan Gong Qigong and meditation teacher.

 Jackie has been a GP for over 25 years, and worked in the wellness area for more than a decade. She has seen the results of constant unrelenting stress in a wide range of people and professional groups.  Recent findings on the effects of our modern life on the health of the brain and body support the very real need to learn strategies to relax and recharge on an everyday basis and from moment to moment.

 Jackie teaches relaxation strategies from a wide range of areas including brain science, positive psychology, exercise science, qigong, mindfulness, and meditation.  She currently works as the Wellbeing Co-ordinator at Lincoln University, as a Brainwave Trust presenter, Yuan Gong teacher, and Alive to Life Wellness Coach.

Presentation Overview - Finding the Calm in the Storm

Modern life is extraordinarily and constantly busy, and yet our brain and bodies are physiologically set to flourish in a life that is rhythmic with activity and rest. In this session we will be looking at the effects on our physical and mental wellbeing of constant and changing flows of information, technology and ceaseless activity without rest, and what we can do about it to live well in a challenging environment. This includes:

Presentation outcomes

  • What does it mean for the brain and body to live well?
  • How the brain works and how to train the brain to manage the “noise”
  • Growing mental fitness as a tool for resilience
  • How different strategies for health work in different ways
  • Choosing the one you need for your own situation


Workshop Overview - Tools to Use in the Storm

In the explore workshop we'll spend about 20 minutes with four different techniques. We'll talk briefly about them so you understand why they work and what they are good for, and then you'll have a chance to play with them and see what really suits you best.  

Caution: Relaxation ahead! 

Workshop Outcomes

  • Brain breaks- what your brain needs to regulate itself in different situations, how to do it, and let's give it a try
  • Moving meditation- simple, gentle rhythmic movement to calm and settle brain and body
  • Mindfulness- using Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction techniques
  • Tactical self regulation-breath work, how to relax anywhere, anytime, whatever is going on

Loren Heaphy

General Manager Destinations Attractions
Loren Heaphy1

Loren Heaphy recently started as GM Destination and Attraction for ChristchurchNZ where she is tasked with leading the Major Events, Convention Bureau, i-SITE and Destination Management & Development teams.

Loren started her career as part of the tiny team that took the World of WearableArt™ Awards Show from Nelson to Wellington, before moving into International Marketing roles in tourism and major events.

Most recently she was at ATEED as the Special Projects Event Development Manager, where she led project teams delivering leverage and legacy for World Masters Games 2017, the DHL New Zealand Lions Series and the NRL Auckland Nines.




Presentations Overview - Optimising Disruption as a Positive Force for Change

ChristchurchNZ is the recently formed economic development and city profile agency for Christchurch. Tasked with “Igniting Bold Ambition” for the city by igniting excitement, connecting changemakers and growing confidence. Learn how disruption and disruptors have led to the development of a new identity and major events strategy for the city. 

Presentation Outcomes

  • Learn how disruption has shaped the future of Christchurch 
  • How this disruption has led to a new organisation and clear objectives for future success
  • Learn about the Major Events themed targets for Christchurch
  • How we describe Christchurch in the future

Terri van Schooten

Managing Director
Terri van Schooten

Terri has been involved in the event scene in New Zealand for nearly 20 years. In 1999 she founded Verve, an events and live communication agency. In the early years, Verve played a significant part in building Wellington’s “Events Capital” scene.  Verve created and set the template for the Lord of the Rings premieres, the Wellington Rugby Sevens and the Pinot Noir festival to name a few high-profile events of the time which Verve was involved with. 

Verve continues to be at the forefront of event creation with recent projects including BarberCraft and Shiny Side Upalongside business events focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship which is Terri’s passion.  Verve also works in the area of live communications delivering messages and brand activations through the powerful medium of events.

Terri is passionate about contributing to the growth and development of the events’ industry.  She has employed many newbies, mentored interns and was on the Board of NZAEP (now NZEA) for six years, five of those as Chair.



Presentation Overview - Technology Analysis and Planning

What you need to know about event technology

Presentation Outcomes

  • Knowledge on the steps in deciding technology needs for an event
  • The types of technology that can be utilized across the event planning, marketing & delivery
  • Gain an understanding of why technology needs to talk together
  • Understand how much to budget
  • How to realise value from your tech investment


Shanti Campbell

Events Coordinator & Event Sustainability
Christchurch City Council
Shanti Campbell1

Shanti has an undergraduate and postgraduate first-class honors degree in Biomedical Sciences, after which she then graduated with a Masters with distinction in Science Communication, specialising in Popularising Science. This Masters allowed Shanti to gain the technical skills to deliver scientific content to a range of audiences and through various mediums. Throughout Shanti’s life she was also a trained dancer, performer and worked in hospitality management for many years. This vast range of experience enabled the skillset needed to be an Event Coordinator at the Christchurch City Council, along with the portfolio of working on the team’s Event Sustainability Framework.






Presentation overview - Waste not, want not: Event waste minimization solutions

This topic will consider what can be achieved via a connection between positive programmes to minimise waste and how events can be managed to reduce the creation of waste in the first place. 

Presentation outcomes

  • Increased understanding of how to deal with waste at events and some thoughts on how to prevent it in the first place
  • Understanding the value of research as a tool for event professionals to make good decisions in this area
  • How Local Authorities are investing in reducing and minimising waste through events

Joany Grima

Senior Lecturer
Joany Grima crop

“Joany Grima has designed and delivered event management courses at Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) since 2010. Parallel to working in academia, Joany works as an international events manager. She has staged events in the tertiary, arts, government, and not-for-profit sectors across five continents.”









Presentation overview - Waste not, want not: Event waste minimization solutions

This topic will consider what can be achieved via a connection between positive programmes to minimise waste and how events can be managed to reduce the creation of waste in the first place. 

Presentation outcomes

  • Increased understanding of how to deal with waste at events and some thoughts on how to prevent it in the first place
  • Understanding the value of research as a tool for event professionals to make good decisions in this area
  • How Local Authorities are investing in reducing and minimising waste through events

John McKenzie


John’s background includes vast experience in media, marketing communications and events over a career that spans more than thirty years. John has run a successful media, events & corporate entertainment consultancy business, enthuse media & events, for 15 years with a large range of marketing communications, media and event clients that have included large sporting events, association groups, foundations and some of the country's leading tourism attractions and corporate brands and products.

John previously worked for some of New Zealand's largest company's in communications, events, media and marketing roles. 

After working and living in a number of places around the world John has been based in Christchurch since 1996. He has a passion for motivating others, whether it’s sporting related or via his work at events, conferences and in the media. John says he gets a real buzz out of seeing others enjoy and challenge themselves. 

He is driven to make a difference and loves nothing more than working with other likeminded enthusiastic individuals.

Presentation Overview - The Urology Associates Movember Car Park Cannon Ball

The Urology Associates Movember Car Park Cannon Ball is NZ’s most exciting new inner city urban event brand. It won Outstanding Sports event of the Year in the 2018 Nexia New Zealand Canterbury Sports Awards.. 2000 people piled into a car park building in central Christchurch on a Sunday night to watch cyclists race head to head up eight levels while a DJ and band provided an urban party atmosphere.   John McKenzie the event owner and director will break down the event components, going deep into what worked and what didn’t. 

Presentation Outcomes:

  • An appreciation at the deeper event operational levels about what needs to be a focus
  • How we can become better at predicting what will disrupt and what might derail an event concept
  • The importance of strategic partnerships 
  • The significance of a clear and compelling vision

Jason Cameron

Major Events Co-ordinator
Events & Venues Rotorua
Jason Cameron1

Jason is an accomplished tourism and events professional with a proven track record in building tourism and event businesses.  He has specialised skills in event management including strategic planning, financial management, public relations, community consultation, sponsorship procurement and event execution. 

An innovative event creator and developer of award winning events, like the upcoming Mudtopia, he has worked on a diverse range of events at local, regional, national and international levels.  These include The National Bank Mile Series, Goat Adventure Run, Fire & Ice Festival, Air NZ Ride the Runway and TORO NZ Speedgolf Open.

Jason is passionate about the successful delivery of events, the total event experience, consumer satisfaction and value.





Presentation Overview - Vision Vs Reality

The Ruapehu Ring of Fire Volcanic Ultra & Relay took place for the first time in April 2018 in the Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s oldest national park and recognised a dual UNESCO World Heritage area for its cultural and natural values. The event was a collaboration of four central North Island based event organisers (The Event Collective comprising Nick Reader, Jason Cameron, Tim Day & Paul Charteris) whose vision was to establish a world class event offering in a developing tourism region. We unravel the inaugural event as described from the organisers’ perspective to explore the successes, challenges and learnings.

Presentation Outcomes

  • An appreciation at the deeper event operational levels about what needs to be a focus
  • How the Event Collective idea of pooling resources went
  • The event as an experience for participants and spectators – how that went

Linda Falwasser

Chief Advisor
Linda Falwasser1

Linda Falwasser is the Chief Advisor at ChristchurchNZ, responsible for providing specialist advice and leading a number of significant city projects.

Linda is a senior executive with experience in the private, public and Government sectors. A commercially focused leader and seasoned strategist with leadership experience achieving results with diverse and complex portfolios. Kotahitanga; leading in the ‘spirit of partnership’ and ensuring a human centric lens are at the heart of Linda’s approach. 

Enabling a culture of connectivity, creativity, invention and providing the best possible experience we can through manaakitanga, is what Linda believes are the ‘must haves’ to ensuring the success of Christchurch as it continues to transform as a world-class city.




Presentation Overview - Disruption in an Iconic Event

Responding to the need for change – reshaping and enhancing the World Buskers Festival, one of New Zealand’s iconic festivals with a 25-year history. We take a look back over the need for change and creating a sustainable, innovative and compelling experience. 

Presentation Outcomes

  • Understanding the need for change 
  • Being bold with decision making 
  • Navigating the way forward with a clear vision 

Richard Gill

CEO, Director & Founder
Richard Gill

Richard has created disruptive technology products for industries as diverse as broadcasting, finance, education, emergency management, energy and construction, which lends him a deep understanding of the complexities facing organisations of all sizes. Good governance, strong leadership and effective technology commercialization are his special focus.

Richard has a number of notable technology startups under his belt, including Current Technologies, Monstar Labs, Digital Water & Cyberglue Software. He is currently a Director of the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR), Sumfood Ltd, and is an advisor on ICT, strategy and innovation to a number of organizations. 

When he’s not working on realising his vision for Blerter, Richard is impatiently waiting for the arrival of his Tesla Model 3.



Presentation overview - Pitching the Vision

Reimagining the way we use advanced technologies, social networks, and intelligence platforms to foster hyper-responsive workforces that reduce risk, skyrocket operational efficiency and facilitate awesome, heightened event experiences.

Presentation Outcomes

  • Understanding emerging technology and its relationship to the event space
  • The value of hyper-responsive workforces: realizing the benefits
  • Evaluating how we can leverage technology to raise the bar in event experiences

Susan Sawbridge

Manager (Acting)
New Zealand Major Events
Susan Sawbridge1

Susan Sawbridge leads New Zealand Major Events, which partners, identifies and invests in major events that generate and maximise economic, social and cultural benefits for New Zealand. Susan has a background in destination development and promotion across tourism, international education, business events and major events.  She is also a director and founding member of the International Association of Event Hosts. 

Glen Currie

Race Director
Coast to Coast
glen currie3

Glen grew up on a farm in Methven. His passion for the outdoors began at an early age with him and his younger brother Braden Currie escaping into the foothills to ski, snowboard, tramp, hunt, motorbike, mountain bike and run whenever possible. Post schooling Glen completed a Bachelor of Education, specialising in Physical Education. Whilst studying he spent a number of summers in the Colorado chasing the snow. On graduating from University, Glen ran a residential outdoor pursuits program before spending a couple of years cycling around Europe and travelling in Africa. 

On returning home to be based teaching in Methven, Glen discovered endurance sport and went about competing in as many iconic events throughout New Zealand as possible. In doing so he managed to win such races as the Goldrush, Peak to Peak, and twice finished third place in the Longest Day Coast to Coast. He has since competed in a number of events in China and throughout the world.

Glen is still based in Methven now with his young family of three boys and continues to be passionate about his backyard, and the training and racing opportunities it offers. He enjoys the fact that Canterbury back country is somewhat underrated in terms of New Zealand outdoor experience locations and that it allows for a fairly ‘ungroomed’ wilderness. 

He believes that he has a wealth of experience in terms of what makes a ‘quality event’ and is excited about the challenge of creating such experiences for others. 

Presentation Overview - Redesigning Iconic Events

We will look at two iconic events to consider disruption and opportunities.  Each session will be an explanation of how ‘events’ changing trends etc. have led to changes in the event design.  The Coast to Coast journey to a customer focused approach utilising new tech.

Presentation Outcomes

  • How changes were made to the event to increase its value as a business
  • how multiple customers (support crew etc.) became more engaged and gained a better experience
  • How and why there was an engineering of the design of the event? 


Rae Baker

Festival Director
Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival
Rae Baker1

Having relocated to New Zealand from Scotland, Rae Baker brings 20 years’ experience within the music and events industries with her.

Before leaving Edinburgh in 2016 Rae was Head of Entertainment at Edinburgh University, where she looked after an entertainment programme for 30,000 members, managed a highly efficient events team and worked with two of the major Edinburgh Festival Fringe venues - Pleasance Theatre Trust and Gilded Balloon. Rae was concurrently in the 3 person management team of a boutique music festival in the Scottish Highlands called Insider Festival, mentored the Festival Director of Electric Fields Festival, and had a strong commitment to the development of arts & culture in Edinburgh. 

Since relocating to New Zealand, Rae continues to promote the creation of arts & culture as the Director of the Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival and as a Trustee for the Auckland Fringe. Prior to working with festival, she worked as part of the events team at the Tauranga City Council and in various Event Strategy consultancy roles.


Presentation Overview - Rebranding and Redesigning Events - Tricky but Rewarding

2018 was a big year for the Queenstown Winter Festival – it got a new Director, a new focus and a new title sponsor. It also turned 44 years old. Rae will talk about her experiences with implementing positive change into the event whilst up against a lifetime of legacy.  

Presentation Outcomes

  • How disruption and change can also present great opportunities
  • What’s involved in breathing new life into the strategic design of your event
  • Dealing with Juggling brand perception and emotional investment  


Sarah Lewis

Business Development Consultant
Sursum Experiential Consulting
Sarah Lewis1

Sarah's career started in 1998 with the DB Bitter Warriors (as they were then known) with a focus on public relations and communications. A few months working under the Sponsorship and Events team soon changed the direction of her career into a much more commercial direction and 20 years on Sarah has worked for many names in the Sponsorship industry on both sides of the fence with a CV including familiar brands such as TVNZ, APN and Telecom. This included working on the launch of M2, Canvas Magazine, The Herald on Sunday and Telecoms 3G launch. 

 In 2009 Sarah moved to London where she headed up the relationship and project management for the HSBC Airbridge partnership on behalf of the BAA Airport Group. This experience saw a transition into leading the product development and eventually leading Heathrow Airport's Private Aviation and Diplomatic Services department. This tenure included heading up the city's VIP arrival and departure programme for the 2012 London Olympics and the Queens Jubilee celebrations. 

On return to NZ in late 2013 Sarah took up the post of GM Commercial for New Zealand Rugby League leading the 2014 Four Nations Tournament delivery in NZ.

Cushla Aston

Aston Road Music Management

Cushla Aston is the founder of Aston Rd, a boutique management company who manages soulful singer-songwriter Louis Baker and project managing Julia Deans next album release.

Cushla joined the New Zealand music industry in 2011 after returning from a decade of living in the UK.  In that time she has worked with notable New Zealand independent platinum selling such as Fat Freddy’s Drop, Kora and Trinity Roots.

In 2012 Cushla won ‘Upcoming Manager of the Year’ and was a finalist for ‘Manager of the Year’ in 2014. Cushla is an active participant in the New Zealand Music Industry sitting on the executive committee for the MMF and is a Senior Lecturer at Massey University for the Bachelor of Commercial Music.  She has also spoken on panels at AWME and Going Global.

Collectively Aston Rd’s clients have been winners and finalists for the APRA Silver Scroll awards, NZ Music Critics Choice awards and Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.   They have toured in the UK, Europe, Polynesia, South Africa and Australia, and have achieved independent debut album releases charting within the top ten New Zealand album charts.

Victoria MacLennan

Managing Director
Victoria MacLennan 1jpg

Victoria is passionate about many things - growing great companies, raising digital literacy, growing New Zealands economy and equality for women. Her day jobs include Managing Director of data and information specialists OptimalBI, plus investing in and advising a range a great kiwi startups as they grow.

Victoria's community contributions include co-Chair of NZRise a community of NZ owned digital and technology companies, Chair of the Digital Skills Forum a cross government and industry initiative focusing on the future of work, and Chair of Code Club Aotearoa a fabulous charity established to give every kiwi kid the opportunity to learn to code. 

A member of the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Ministerial Advisory Group Victoria is focused on ICT becoming the 2nd largest contributor to GDP by 2025. 
Often found laughing, Victoria loves what she does "We live in a great country so helping every New Zealander reach their potential in life is something we can all aspire to achieve".


Presentation Overview - Technology Analysis and Planning

What you need to know about event technology

Presentation Outcomes

  • Knowledge on the steps in deciding technology needs for an event
  • The types of technology that can be utilized across the event planning, marketing & delivery
  • Gain an understanding of why technology needs to talk together
  • Understand how much to budget
  • How to realise value from your tech investment