Andrew O’Loughlin

Event Advisor
Andrew O'Loughlin
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Andrew O’Loughlin is a Melbourne based Event Advisor, Author, Trainer and Mentor, and co-host of ‘The Event Show’ podcast.  Having been in events for over 25 years, Andrew spent the last decade leading an international event agency and is now helping people create more successful events, and be more successful as event people. 

With vast experiences across major events, festivals, corporate, brand, sport, and government-related campaigns; Andrew is now leading and facilitating learning experiences with event leaders like you. 

Andrew’s approach uses leading ‘Experience Design’ methods, to create more influential events and influential event people.  

Andrew will deliver 3 sessions at ETF this year Recalibrating your personal development, From Surviving to Thriving. Being on the Right Side in Events, and Life By Experience Design. 

Deane Simmonds

Event Development Manager
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Deane is an accomplished executive manager across commercial, arts and events sectors. Currently, he is working at ChristchurchNZ as an Event Development Manager with a diverse portfolio and he relishes the challenge of delivering multiple project objectives for all his clients. In partnership with Strut & Fret, he will speak about how the initial 2018 Bread & Circus – World Buskers festival performed in relation to expectations, and where to next for the 2019 festival. 

Sue McGregor

Head of Sponsorship & Corporate Marketing
ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited

Sue has been a passionate brand marketer for close to 20 years. A particular interest and focus on how brands can create behavioral and perception change has driven her career. 

Her career started in the UK working for a number of Global Brands including BP & telco entrant Orange. At Orange she led the Global sponsorship strategy to position the brand prior to sale and leading to industry awards from the European Sponsorship Association. Moving to New Zealand in 2005 Sue Joined Vodafone and developed their Music, sport & entertainment sponsorship content strategy before moving on to ANZ in 2008.  

Peter Cox

Chief of Operations
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My current role is Chief of Operations for APEC21 and I am tasked with providing leadership, assurance and connectivity across events planning and delivery to ensure the operational success of New Zealand’s APEC hosting year.  This includes the planning and implementation of all APEC events and associated logistics in line with the established hosting objectives, the expectations of the Government and within the allocated funding. My responsibility includes working in close partnership with New Zealand Police, host cities, other key stakeholders and alongside APEC21 Programme leaders responsible for APEC policy and maximising the opportunities from the hosting year.  

Prior to this role I worked at Sport New Zealand in Wellington for 12 years. For much of that time I was Manager Major Events providing end-to-end strategic and operational support to over a hundred mega/major sporting events in New Zealand. I also had roles as Manager High Performance Facilities overseeing development of a network of world-class daily training environments, Acting Manager Stakeholder Engagement and as Head of the Culture Team at Sport New Zealand.

I have always been motivated by the desire to create value for society and to help people explore and grow to their full potential. Major events have been a wonderful way to do this through the variety of benefits they offer and the stretch they demand from those working on them and participating in them.

Rosaria Ferguson

Event Producer
Boma New Zealand
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Rosaria see’s events as opportunities for experiential transformation or space to see or try a new perspective. Crafting events utilises her practical knowledge, creativity, problem solving and organisation skills as she turns ideas into actions, testing new concepts and supporting youth projects.
Events are the pinnacle of all the things I love - people, food, music, connection, exploration and vibrancy.

Rosaria has worked in many different environments, on a wide range of projects and events in all areas from Sustainability Management to Stage Management in both community and private sectors; Free, Public events to Charity Dinners. 

Tom Mayo

Company Director & Co-founder
Mayo & Calder
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Mayo and Calder is the exclusive event delivery company for both the Defender and Challenger of the 36thAmericas Cup. Managing both events (The Match and Challenger series) for up to sixteen weeks, the AC is the largest sports event to hit NZ since the RWC 2011.

Mayo and Calder are a private company who have delivered Major Events across Asia Pacific, most recently the 2018 Volvo Ocean Race in Auckland, Melbourne and Hong Kong. The 2018 Hong Kong Volvo Ocean Race was the largest sports event funded by the HK government and Mayo and Calder took the opportunity (and full risk) to deliver and produce the event. The Company has delivered, end to end, six major international sports events, generating millions in sponsorship, managed government funds and delivered in some of the most remote and time pressured environments. 

Aaron Carter

Owner & Director
Total Sport
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Aaron founded Total Sport in 2000, and could probably write a book on the steps not to take in forming start-ups! 

We’re a small team with a big passion for creating opportunities for like-minded people to experience some of the most stunning natural landscapes in New Zealand, this magnificent playground we get to call home. We are all about creating challenging and inspiring experiences in stunning natural locations. Our products are great events, our business is people.

We stand by our pillars and values every day as they shape our business, our decisions and our actions. In all we do we aim to be Inclusive, Innovative, Inspiring, Sustainable, and to operate with Integrity at all times.  In the Total Sport event portfolio nowadays are approx. 20 annual events, all in the outdoor participation-based sport and recreation space.

Paul Kean

Events Production Team Coordinator
Christchurch City Council
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Paul is Christchurch born and has lived in the city most of his life. As a Council Events Co-ordinator for 14 years he's been project lead for KidsFest and the hugely popular SummerTimes Festival programme which includes favourites such as Sparks, Kite Day, Summer Theatre and Lazy Sundays.

Prior to joining the CCC Events Production Team, Paul cut his teeth in Event Production as the Student Activities Coordinator at the University Of Canterbury for 16 years. This included producing huge Orientation Festivals, Graduation Balls, the notorious End of Lectures Tea Party and weekly lunchtime concerts along with enabling the student performing arts clubs to flourish.

Paul sits in the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame celebrating his halcyon days with Toy Love and is a founding member of The Bats who have recorded 10 albums and toured the world many times since 1982. He has also helped produce performances for New Zealand Music Month and recently played with The Bats at the Christchurch Town Hall as part of the Arts Festival programme.

Paul says his background as a musician has helped in his role at the Council. "To be known and have a bit of a profile in the industry certainly helps when you're knocking on doors or phoning performers up. It's an advantage for all for me to see events production from both sides."

Susan Sawbridge

Manager New Zealand Major Events
New Zealand Major Events
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Susan Sawbridge leads New Zealand Major Events, housed within MBIE.  The team has responsibility for the Crown’s role in the 36th America’s Cup, the Major Events Fund, and coordinates major event support and leverage across government.  Susan has a background in destination development across tourism, international education, business events and major events.  She is also a director and founding member of the International Association of Event Hosts. 

Karena Finnie

Head of Major and Business Events

Karena Finnie has recently joined ChristchurchNZ as Head of Major & Business Events after a 13 year career in the Events & Arts Team at the Christchurch City Council.

Karena has held senior management and advisory roles working across many major and community events including FIFA U20 World Cup, ICC Cricket World Cup, World Bowls Championships, KidsFest, SummerTimes and Christchurch’s ever so popular Botanic D’Lights. 

In 2011 Karena worked for Rugby NZ 2011 as Regional City Liaison Manger for Rugby World Cup.

Karena has been one of the driving forces in Christchurch behind the attraction, sponsorship and development of events in the city. Developing bid documents, producing events, managing famils, developing leverage and legacy plans along with the procurement of commercial sponsorships.

Duane Mutu

Director & Co founder
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Duane Mutu is widely regarded as one of the leading esports voices and personalities in the Australasian region. He speaks extensively around the globe on esports and gaming. Having previously worked on the publisher side of gaming for over 10 years with heavy-hitting brands like Ubisoft, EA, Warner Brothers, Disney, THQ, he more than understands how the gaming ecosystem works. He now sits on the esport side of the fence having founded leading esport company Lets Play Live (LPL) who are market leaders in the esports space. He is a media expert having regular slots on mainstream media outlets like breakfast TV and is also a TV and online gaming host.

Richard Gill

CEO Director & Founder
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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.  

“I started Blerter because I’m passionate about leading-edge technologies and their ability to drive key improvements in human safety and organizational performance.” 

Richard Gill, Founder and CEO of Blerter, will discuss the importance and challenges of managing risks of all shapes and sizes at outdoor events and what you need to be thinking about as you plan your events.

Jill Day

Deputy Mayor
Wellington City Council
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Jill Day is a proud Wellingtonian, having moved to the capital when she was 14. She graduated from Victoria University with degrees in biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics and went on to become a primary school teacher.

She soon became immersed in her local community and undertook many volunteer roles, including chairing school a board, being president of a local Playcentre, a member of residents associations and a school volunteer.

She was elected to the council in Wellington’s Northern Ward in 2016, and was appointed Deputy Mayor in September 2017. She is Wellington’s first female Māori Deputy Mayor. Her iwi is Ngāti Tūwharetoa and she maintains close links with her culture. She speaks te reo Māori and is working to become more fluent. One of Jill’s goals on Council is to be a voice for Wellingtonians in need, especially young people and families. 

She holds the Council Māori Partnerships, Governance, and Children and Young People portfolios. She was instrumental in creating Te Tauihu, the te reo Māori Policy for Council in an effort to expand the use of the language in Wellington. 

Another focus of her Council work is in helping Wellington become a more child-friendly city and she is keen to see Wellington’s spaces and playgrounds revitalised and more programmes and events for young people and children.  She is also a keen advocate for the retention, growth and upgrading of suburban centres because she feels they are vital to the health of communities.

Gabrielle Pritchard

General Manager
New Zealand Gemba
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Gabrielle has an extensive track record in sponsorship, brand strategy and loyalty, both agency and client side, in Australia, UK and New Zealand.

Her experience includes leading the sponsorship, loyalty and brand strategy at Vodafone NZ, marketing tent pole films for 20th Century Fox, launching the movies pillar of the Thanks Loyalty Program at Telstra and working on some of Australia’s biggest brands at BMF Advertising and M&C Saatchi in Sydney.


As General Manager of the NZ division of Gemba, Gabrielle enjoys helping a wide range of clients in sports, entertainment and cause organisations meet their objectives with data-driven insights and strategy, including sponsorship and partnership development.

Sarah Meikle

Wellington Cullinary Events Trust & Festival Director
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I'm lucky enough to be the CEO of the Wellington Culinary Events Trust and Festival Director of New Zealand's largest and tastiest culinary festival, Visa Wellington On a Plate (Visa WOAP). I’m also Event Director of Beervana, the Road to Beervana and Highball.

The WCET was formed in February 2014 with the principle objective "to promote Wellington city and region as the premium NZ food and beverage destination". This ensures that the trust’s focus is on a year-round proposition – building the Visa WOAP festival offering, attracting more out-of-town visitors to this now month-long event, and developing further opportunities to support Wellington’s culinary offer 365 days per year.

Helping "tell NZ’s food story" is hugely important to me and I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to speak to a number of conferences around the world sharing my thoughts and experiences on the role that food tourism plays in a country's branding and positioning. In this capacity, I am an Executive Member of Eat New Zealand, a collective of New Zealand's chefs, producers, media, tourism and event operators, who have all been inspired to create a national platform to promote and champion our best food, drink, and culinary tourism opportunities.

Prior to this I spent 6 1/2 years as GM, Marketing at Positively Wellington Tourism (now WREDA), one of the largest regional tourism organizations in NZ. I led a great team who market Wellington to the Wellington, domestic, Australian and International audiences, as well as being responsible for PWTs activities in marketing key events (including RWC 2011, WOW etc), Business Events, Digital & Social Media and the work that PWT did as part of the Destination Wellington programme.

Before working with PWT, I spent just under 10 years with Tourism NZ in operations and marketing roles in London and Wellington, as well as establishing their marketing offices in Mumbai and Dubai and undertaking market foundation work in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Chile) and South Africa.

Sarah Lewis

Managing Director
Sursum Consulting
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Sarah Lewis has over 20 years’ experience in media, sponsorship and events with experience in several countries. 

Sarah’s toolkit of experience also includes sales, events and marketing for the likes of NZRL, APN and TVNZ and product/commercial development and management of Heathrow Airport’s world leading VIP and Private Aviation services for several years. 

Career highlights include delivering the VIP arrival and departure programme for the 2012 London Olympics and the Queens Diamond Jubilee, developing  Heathrows’ art and experiential portfolio as well as delivering events such as the Rugby League Four Nations tournament in 2014 and the Steven Adams Invitational and Scott Mclaughlin Grand Prix.

Working with every demographic, from Steven Adams and Brad Pitt to the royal families of the world and the local Papamoa Community, Sarah’s specialty is getting into the mindset of the target market and creating world class experiences. Sarah is currently the Managing Director of Sursum Consulting and the CEO of Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service.

Kieran Wall

Community Development Advisor
Tauranga City Council
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Kieran currently works for Tauranga City Council as the Community Development Advisor for Disability and Age Friendly Cities. He has worked in the Disability Sector in the UK and New Zealand for over 10 years. Kieran Spent 6 years working in Para sport, most recently with Paralympics New Zealand heading the Community Development Programme. During this time, he delivered the ACC Paralympics New Zealand Para Sport Open Days, a series of eight nationwide events focused of introducing New Zealanders to Para sport and giving Disabled people the opportunity to explore their potential, get active and get involved with local ongoing participation opportunities.

Among other projects Kieran has recently overseen the development of a Tauranga City Council Event Accessibility Toolkit, he will be talking about its content, the justification behind the creation of the document as well as the importance of universal design and equity when thinking about cities and events of the future.

Leanne Roche

Events Development Manager
Auckland Council
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Raised in Waitakere, Leanne loves calling Auckland home – the water, the huge array of maunga, the native bush and the cultural diversity of its people. She has spent her entire working career delivering events and for the last 12 years has focussed on community and environmental outcome projects for government agencies, councils and not-for-profits.  Joining the Auckland Council Arts, Community and Events team in 2013 she worked on a portfolio that included Schools’ Trash to Fashion Awards, Music in Parks, Movies in Parks, Urbanesia, Matariki Festival, Waitangi and more.  Since working at Council, Leanne has held a variety of roles including Event Organiser, Delivery Team Leader,  Event Production Manager and is now the Event Development Manager.  As Event Development Manager, Leanne is tasked with the strategic direction setting of regional and local events and is able to work across the wider council family to develop new event concepts.  A key part of the new role is supporting Auckland’s diverse communities through capacity building programmes and working alongside internal and external event organisers to enhance and grow their events.  

David Daniela

Manager Events Delivery
Wellington City Council
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With more than 30 years in the event industry and a career in the performing arts David has done it all - from being the first Pacifica man to perform in the NZ Symphony Orchestra, to fire dancing on the streets of Japan and producing memorable city events.

David is currently Manager Events Delivery at Wellington City Council, leading a team that has helped transform city’s spaces and audience experiences through engaging the city’s creative talents, artists and creative enterprise in exciting new events such as Recut.  The team has been instrumental in making Matariki celebrations the central point of Wellington’s events calendar, including an amazing new signature event ‘Ahi Ka’ and the Matariki Skyshow.

Liam Taylor

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Liam has a diverse background having gained a Bachelor of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from Lincoln University before embarking on a career in the outdoors as an instructor at Outward Bound New Zealand, and later co-founding Back-country NZ, a leading adventure guiding company based in the South Island, NZ.

While pursuing his passion for snow sports, Liam has worked as a Ski Patroller in New Zealand and the USA, and later a professional Heli-ski Guide for five consecutive seasons, gaining qualifications in Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, White Water Kayaking, Risk Management, Advanced Emergency Care and Avalanche forecasting.

Andrew Tuck

Managing Director
Jim Beam Homegrown
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Andrew is currently the Managing Director of Jim Beam Homegrown and has been involved with Jim Beam Homegrown since its inception in 2008.  Andrew has been involved in the event industry for the past 21 years – he has experience working across a wide variety of events, such as the X Games, corporate dinners and functions, concerts, and new year's festivals.  Andrew prides himself on the relationships he has developed with his stakeholders, many of them still working closely with him after many years.

Andrew has a mantra that the devil is in the detail, when you sort the small things the big things flow and work better.  Andrew and the team have been thrown a variety of challenges over the years, while some have been extremely challenging he believes with attention to detail and a good team you can accomplish anything.