Melbourne Visit: conferences & catch ups galore

I flew to Melbourne on Saturday until Tuesday to see friends and attend two conferences. I had a pretty heavy list of people to see, restaurants eat at, plus I was presenting at the Australian Specialty Coffee Symposium on the Monday and attending the Global Food Forum on Tuesday. Plus, plus, I had to get my consulting website live before the Monday… Did I miss anything? I think that’s all.

On the plane, (I usually can’t stay awake) I wrote the content for my new website – so that when I handed out my new business cards at the ASCA Symposium , there was something there for people to look at! I also listened to my speech to help remember it… andddd I fell asleep. I was definitely hoping my nap was more so to do with tiredness rather than that the content of the speech wasn’t engaging!

It was unexpectedly hot in Melbourne, bloody weird weather as always. I sat sweltering in the heat at the airport waiting for my friend, Nikita to pick me up, wishing I had packed anything that resembled a summer outfit. Nikita pulled up in a schmick white BMW convertible with the roof down and we were soon cruising into the city. Funny story, – it started to rain on the way there so the roof went up and I stopped fretting about my lack of summer clothing.

Nikita and I had a girls’ night out, cocktails then food at Hawkers Hall. We bar hopped around Chapel street, checking out The Wolf and I, Morris Jones (where it stunk of vom and service was far too slow so we left without a drink), a vodka bar and finally, The Richmond Hotel. One of the bigger nights I have had in a while, we polished it off at 2am with a burger from UberEats. Happy Days!

Sunday I had brunch with Nikita and Jake before checking into my hotel and heading to Fitzroy to see Todd for lunch. I added the content to my new website in the afternoon, practiced my speech, finalised my slides and went for a wander around the park across the road while listening to myself on my headphones to try memorise the content of my talk.

I met an old friend for dinner at Supernormal and was home in bed at a reasonable hour ready to present in the morning.

To be honest I was quite the procrastinator for my speech. I was asked to speak on digital to an audience of Café owners and coffee industry professionals on how to convert digital traffic from social media to traditional media. A brilliant topic… but I only had 17 minutes, and I could probably speak for an entire day on that and still have something up my sleeve. Trying to work out what could be most valuable, relevant and easily digested information I could share with the audience, while not telling them what they already knew is where I got stuck.. I just had so much to say! I was a little nervous, but I know this topic inside out so come the day, I nailed the presentation. If I do say so myself, ha! People were engaged and asking questions and I had many people come up to chat to me afterwards about the topic.

I enjoyed the symposium, there were insightful speeches, excellent audience engagement, lots of take home value and it was well executed. I always find it invigorating to be surrounded by passionate people and these people certainly love their industry and product!

I ran out at lunch to say goodbye to one of my oldest friends, his wife and their little baby as they are moving to Vietnam. Such an exciting time for them! Next time I see them we will be sipping cocktails somewhere in Asia.

I smashed out some work in the afternoon, went back to network at the ASCA drinks and managed to be late to meet Lisa for dinner. I also managed to invite along two more friends for our Mexican feast which kind of made up for being late.

On the way home we swung by Garden State Hotel, a new bar with incredible industrial architecture that I had been told I’d love, and they were correct. With multiple levels, lots of textures, copper storage tanks, lots of greenery and intimate spaces to perch, I was in a happy place. I enjoyed a refreshing soda water in the Rose Garden after exploring throughout.

Tuesday, I spent the day at the Global Food Forum at Crown, discussing Australia’s place at the table. I attended in 2015 and it is still one of the best events in the food industry. Not just because of the content but the audience is full of people we had been meaning to catch up with. There were some hard questions asked, frank panel discussions, excellent presentations and great convo’s happening on Twitter. I must admit, I was devastated to miss the second to last panel with Guzman Y Gomez, an Avocado grower and Bernard Salt MCing – apparently, it was hilarious. I was following it on twitter. I created a live social media feed on the Wiley website, if you want to see what it was all about, click here.

Annnddd now I’m on the plane on the way home, attempting to stay awake and writing this. Melbourne is always a whirlwind when I visit. Having lived there before, I have many friends that I would love to see and there are always restaurants that I am hanging to go to. It’s always hectic and a fun time! Sleep time up next for the rest of the flight is well warranted if you ask me!

PS. Check out my new consulting site and let me know what you think!

Brisbane-based lifestyle and travel blog image featuring mountain and sea scenery

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