Vale ConferenceIT. In December 2010, Martin and Jackie sold the business to arinex pty ltd. All our event contracts transferred across, so did the six staff members. 2011 became a transition year for us as we worked with arinex to hand over the business.

The transition year was excellent with eight conferences and 3500 delegates. Compared to 2010 (itself a record year and also with eight conferences) delegate numbers increased by +22%, registration fees by +17% and sponsorship dollars by +28%. We went out on a high.

Jackie and I are now retired and remain as volunteers on some of the organising committees. After all, we had been running the Talent2 User Group since 1997, QUESTnet since 1999, a precursor to eResearch since 2001, AusCERT since 2002 and IPv6 since 2005. We had formed very strong personal relationships.

We’ll miss you all …

We’d like to formally thank Graham Haeusler, Managing Director, Milestone Capital Advisors for identifying the opportunity for us and negotiating the sale. He is very professional.

We’d particularly like to thank and congratulate our staff. They were told when they joined us that we would push them out of their comfort zone and teach them exciting new skills. We also encouraged them to be critical of all parts of the operation and make suggestions about how we could be one of the best conference organisers in Australia. They delivered in spades and many of them confided that they had worked longer for us than any other company. A win-win all round.

All the staff moved to the new company end 2010. Nicol Chong left before even joining arinex and is now married with a beautiful daughter. Alan Stephens briefly joined the team mid-2011 and then returned to the UK. Rebecca Cheb now works for AusCERT. Julia McSwan has joined Student Services at The University of Queensland. Danyelle Simpson joined Travel Alliance. Louise Harrison runs her own company (Motive Networks). So does Vicki Dwyer (VEvents) and Steven Turner (Anagram Events). We wish them all every success.

We’d also like to thank our clients - including the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), BIS Shrapnel, the Queensland State Government, e-learning and e-Research, IPv6, Talent2 User Group (HR) , AusCERT (IT security) and QUESTnet (networking) plus CAUDIT with CCA-EDUCAUSE (university IT directors). Together we pushed the envelope and ran our conferences and events very differently to a conventional conference organiser. This meant streaming all our sessions, providing extensive stakeholder interaction via smart phones and naturally bringing speakers in via Skype. It was intellectually challenging and a lot of fun.

Early in 2012, CAUDIT, QUESTnet and eResearch went out to tender and received 39 submissions. From a short list of five, Conference Logistics were selected as their future PCO. A CAUDIT panel of three was also established including YRD in Brisbane and Conference Design in Tasmania. This will enable other university conferences to select a PCO without going to a tender.

AusCERT also called for submissions in mid 2012 using the CAUDIT panel and specific requests to other PCOs. They selected YRD for 2013 and beyond.

Finally we’d like to thank all our suppliers; you stepped up to the mark. We were a demanding client but you readily acknowledged we were very well organised and a pleasure to work with. Thank you. We know we changed many of the hotels we worked at through you allowing us to install 100’s of megabytes of network into your premises. You could experience the future through us. Well done.

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