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'Transform' Conference Line-up First Look

11 October 2018 at 7:30 am
A number of world-class experts have been locked in for the Connecting Up Conference at Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre next May.

Contributor | 11 October 2018 at 7:30 am


'Transform' Conference Line-up First Look
11 October 2018 at 7:30 am

A number of world-class experts have been locked in for the Connecting Up Conference at Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre next May.

With preparations well underway for the Connecting Up Conference at Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre next May, we wanted to share some exciting information about our plans for the big event. 

As with all of Connecting Up conferences, our key focus remains on helping not for profits to access and make best use of the best quality technology and tools available to improve the performance and capability of the Australian not-for-profit sector. 

To do that, we’re locking in experts in artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data, automation, security, IT infrastructure, IT strategy, best-practice fundraising, and more, to help NFPs secure their long-term success and maintain the critical services they provide to their communities. 

High profile speakers include CMO liaison lead at IBM Watson, Jodie Sangster, who will share how artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used by NFPs to improve efficiencies and solve some of the world’s most intractable problems. Sangster, a former CEO at the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising, will explain how NFPs have a window of opportunity to seize the day – and even outperform the private sector – by becoming effective adopters of these technologies.

Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre

Reflecting the broader needs of the sector and in response to feedback from previous conference delegates, we’ll be including digital marketing and social media, to ensure Aussie NFPs are getting the best guidance on the full range of skills required to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

One of the world’s top marketing scientists, Melbourne Business School Adjunct Professor Mark Ritson, will deliver a keynote on Thursday 9 May in which he turns his globally renowned marketing lens on the NFP sector. 

Ritson, who has worked with some of the world’s leading brands and is an internationally lauded marketing columnist and educator, will deliver a challenging keynote in which he explains what NFPs need to do to have the impact and visibility they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive sector. 

Following five star reviews in 2018, social media expert Kate vanderVoort will return for a Social Media Marketing Masterclass on Wednesday 8 May. 

Her masterclass at our Digital Flightpaths Conference in Brisbane was one of the most highly-rated conference activities, and 2019 delegates can expect more of her leading edge, easy to implement social media marketing tools and advice in Melbourne.

One of our most compelling keynotes will be given by Dr Ruth Knight of the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies, who will make the case for a new, sector-wide approach to funding for NFPs that includes our full costs and not just overheads. Knight will present the arguments for challenging the overhead myth, which is based upon the idea that financial ratios are an accurate measurement of social innovation and impact.

She will be calling on all Australian NFPs to “ditch the begging bowl” as she argues for an approach to funding that ensures a competitive, well-funded NFP sector into the future.

We’ll also be significantly improving our delegate and exhibitor experience in 2019 following feedback from our conference surveys last year. This will see us introduce conference and exhibitor apps to provide a hi-tech, customisable experience for all participants.

Connecting Up Save the date for Connecting Up's 'Transform' conference 2019 in Melbourne home page screen shot

Our expo will be our biggest yet, with 35 exhibitor stands in a single concourse area of MCEC, offering delegates and exhibitors the best possible environment to access – and provide – the technology and tools your NFP needs to improve its effectiveness. 

In terms of format, the 2019 conference program will once again follow the tried and tested formula that has worked so well in previous years, with masterclasses on Wednesday 8 May, Leadership Breakfast on Thursday 9 May followed by main conference plenaries, the Australian Not-for-Profit Technology Awards on Thursday evening; finishing up with a final day of main conference plenaries and stream presentations on Friday 10 May.

We’ve also negotiated preferential rates for accommodation and parking with Crowne Plaza Melbourne and Best Western Melbourne City to make things as convenient as possible for delegates. 

We hope you’re as excited as we are about Transform 2019. Look out for the website launch, which is planned for later this month, along with an early bird special offer. 

If you’re interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the Connecting Up Transform Conference – then email us at for a sponsorship prospectus. 

About Connecting Up

Connecting Up is a not-for-profit organisation. Our purpose is to help fellow not for profits leverage the digital world to positively impact their communities. The digital world is expanding beyond IT software-hardware and digital marketing to new innovative service delivery and measuring social impact.  

Connecting Up believe that not for profits with the right tools and skills can and do achieve great things for their communities. We have a long history of affordable software, hardware, educational events and group consulting.  We partner with over 40 organisations to deliver high quality products and services specifically meeting the unique needs of the not for profit sector.

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