TIEC | 20 – 21 July 2017, Crystal Palace Luna Park Sydney | 25 – 26 July 2017 MCEC, Melbourne



The inaugural Travel Industry Conference, “Agents of Change,” will inform and inspire delegates to shift the way they think about their business in order to recognise their own value, and increase their customer base. A stellar line up of speakers from inside and outside the industry will discuss big picture trends, key skills development, latest industry tools and best practice case studies.
Delegates will gain a clear vision and renewed passion to become change agents for the travel industry.

2017 sessions include:

  • Good morning Mr Mandela
  • Meet the Australian holiday goer – who are they & what do they want?
  • Loyalty Programs – what’s the point?
  • How one organisation saved millions by empowering their employees to deliver exceptional customer service
  • How to use Instagram like a pro
  • Making change work for us
  • Path to profit
  • How to achieve ongoing positive change in your life – the power of perspective
  • Trust – mindset – courage

Keep up to date with conference + exhibition announcements by subscribing to The Travel Industry Exhibition & Conference e-news here.




MC: Sam McCool


Sydney Speaker: Richard Ernster, MD and Cofounder of Helping Hand Group and Goodwill Getaways

Travel within the fundraising industry was truly stagnant, and needed a review.
How could our company, the Helping Hand Group lead from the front, whilst providing certainty of supply to charities, and amazing quality holidays and experiences to donors?

Starting in 2009, an entire rethink took place, culminating in 24 villas in 5 countries, just 5 years later.
How did leadership at Helping Hand Group inspire such change?

Melbourne Speaker: George Halkias, Community Leader

George Halkias will share with us his inspirational personal and professional journey which is a fascinating example of how leadership can inspire change.

His work in co-founding and developing the Community Street Soccer Program and as coach of Australian Homeless World Cup team on eight occasions highlights what can be achieved through perseverance, determination, vision and a commitment to empowering others.
George’s initiatives have helped change the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our community and he has inspired many of his program’s participants to overcome adversities and represent their country with distinction.

George will outline how his success in successfully bidding for and staging the 2008 Homeless World Cup in Melbourne left a last community legacy both locally and nationally for many years ahead.


Sydney Speaker:  Melissa Browne,  CEO, The Money Barre and Accounting & Taxation Advantage 

What got us here won’t get us there. Many of us are already feeling the effect of disruption in our industry and we don’t have to look very far to see it all around us – from Uber to Airbnb to Netflix, we’re facing a time of transformation like no other. Or are we?

Change is nothing new but the thinking that is required in order to stay relevant, to stay in business and to succeed does need to be updated.

Today, more than ever, as leaders we need to adapt and encourage creative & critical thinking in in our leadership styles so that our businesses don’t simply survive but thrive in a new era of business. We can pout and stamp our feet because we don’t want things to change or we can figure out how we can stand out and succeed in this new age of business.


Melbourne Speaker: Fred van Eijk, Managing Director – Travel Counsellors Australia


Morning tea


Sydney Speaker: Peter Cullen, Director, Mindforce Australia

High performance is the first casualty of stress. People typically do not know when they are consumed by stress and rarely recognise the symptoms. With little or no resilience, we will find it difficult to bounce back to our normal mental, physical and emotional state.

Resilience is our ability to bend and not break.
To recognise our current state and be able to bounce back. Resilient people tend to be more confident, courageous and happier with a greater ability to achieve or exceed agreed performance levels.

Building resilience takes time and commitment from all levels within a business. Peter will share his personal insights on the effects of stress, resilience and what you can do personally to understand and strengthen your own ability to bounce back and be the person you need to be to perform at the level that is right for you.

Melbourne Speaker: Clare Coffield, Business Owner – Clarity in your life

Resilience demonstrated: 2 divorces, end of career job, depression, management mistakes, a brave move to Australia 5 years ago in my 60’s. Then a brain bleed stroke 18 months ago with complete right side paralysis, could so easily have been the last straw.

Ongoing recovery from stroke: learning to walk again. Self awareness: look at the problem realistically and take aligned actions. Stepping up and taking responsibility for our own well being.

Examples of simple and easy to follow strategies:

Powerful influence of self talk and how we allow others to describe us
Visualisation before taking action
Humour and not taking ourselves too seriously
Gathering our support tribe
Making healthy choices
Feisty determination, love from close family with medical and therapeutic influences.

It’s never too late to start again with better choices. Above all – our health must come first.


Speaker: Jane Challinor, Director – Real Business Group

Creating a clear path to profitability is not about your idea – your success is a result of a clear and sustainable path to profit. What most business owners don’t understand is that each stage of a business requires us to learn a new set of skills and tools both personally and professionally, and there comes a point where we cannot base future growth using our current skills, knowledge and tools.

The good news is, once we understand these stages we’re in a good position to prepare for a wildly successful and profitable business. Running a successful business requires a completely different skillset and mindset than what most business owners are used to and most of us are not trained for. Most business owners have simply never been shown the smarter, faster and better ways of running a business.


Lunch - network + visit the exhibition


Speaker: Michael Chase-Smith, Executive Director – Orbit World Travel

As travel agents seek ways to increase their customer base and improve their service offering, there is much hype around new technologies that will be the drivers of change, and possibly even shape the future of the industry! But what does this really mean?

This session will cover some of the emerging technology trends expected to have influence within the travel industry and look at how, if embraced and implemented, they can improve efficiency, build deeper, effective customer connections and even inspire new customers to take action!


Speaker: Enguerrand Vidor, CEO & Founder – Leezair – SYD ONLY

Speaker: Justin Montgomery, General Manager Australia – Amadeus IT Pacific

Speaker: Justin Wastnage, CEO and Founder – Cinesouk

Speaker: Michael Chase-Smith, Executive Director – Orbit World Travel

Speaker: Michaela Aguilar, General Manager – Catchi Digital 

Speaker: Wayne Tufek, Director – Cyber Risk – MELB ONLY

There is no escaping the fast paced world of technology and digital solutions in today’s business environment. Technology from Virtual Reality to Voice Based Interfaces  and everything in between is definitely having an impact on the Travel Agency Business – but is it detrimental or beneficial? 

This panel of travel industry and technology experts will discuss the big technology game-changers, how they are being used and what the possibilities are for the travel agents willing to adapt to change.


Afternoon Tea

4:15pm Sydney

Sydney Speaker: Michael Crossland

A powerful, interactive & extremely moving presentation where you will master the gift of giving & begin to understand the real meaning of success. Michael Crossland is one of Australia’s most sought after inspirational speakers.

Michael has a highly entertaining & thought provoking insight into overcoming extreme adversity’s to live your life above the line. Assured to put a tear in your eye & a smile in your heart. You will be taken on a journey that will have you reflecting on your past, examining your present & remolding your future

4:15pm Melbourne

Melbourne Speaker: Dr Jessica Gallagher – Paralympian

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ski down a mountain at 100km/hr? How you might do this when you’re vision impaired and being instructed by someone else acting as your eye sight? Would you have the courage to trust someone when they literally take your life into their hands?

Dr Jessica Gallagher was diagnosed with a rare, degenerative eye disease causing her to become classed as legally blind.
At the time, the talented 17 year old was forced to give up her sporting dream only to discover the world of Paralympics.

What is unique but probably not surprising, is the relevance her message has for the world of today as we all face greater volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

Dr Jess Gallagher is no doubt one of those rare, inspiring individuals who with humility and humour affects all audiences with her message of trust, mindset and courage.


Conference close


Exhibitions & Trade Fairs (the Organisers) reserves the right to alter key note speakers, session presenters or the conference program timetable and delivery without notice due to unforeseen reasons. Neither Exhibitions & Trade Fairs nor the Conference Program Manager accept any liability for any loss or inconvenience caused to any attending delegate under such changes.


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