DestinationQ 2018 Events Conference

Wednesday 8 August 2018 Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre

Register here for this free event

The future direction of Queensland’s event industry will be the focus of DestinationQ Events Conference – a free, one-day conference aimed to help grow the state’s $780 million events calendar.

The DestinationQ Events Conference will provide attendees a chance to network, enhance their professional development and build their capacity to deliver exceptional events. Attendees will be able to take their unique learnings from the day and apply these to their organisations.

Following on from the success of the 2017 DestinationQ Events Conference in Toowoomba, the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland will host this one-day conference on 8 August 2018 at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre.

This year’s conference will center around the theme of remaining relevant in the ever-changing event landscape.

This is a unique opportunity for the tourism and events industries to discuss learnings on delivering successful and sustainable events. The day will include Q&A sessions, panel discussions and networking breaks allowing guests to engage with speakers and discuss learnings on delivering successful and sustainable events in Queensland.

This event will be relevant to a diverse range of professionals including:

  • event organisers
  • tourism operators
  • government representatives – all levels
  • Regional Tourism Organisations
  • Local Tourism Organisations
  • event venues
  • event support services

During the day you will hear from a variety of speakers on a range of topics including:

  • Setting the scene – current state of play
  • The importance of succession planning
  • Sponsorship from an end user perspective
  • Bringing the Queensland Events Guide to Life
  • The importance of technology in events
  • GC2018 – delivering a sustainable event
  • Community engagement (business and community)

A detailed program will be available here and on the DestinationQ App soon. Please note, program is subject to change.


8:30am - 9:00am Registration/Networking

9:00am - 4:30pm Conference

4:30pm - 5:30pm Networking Reception


James Dein, CEO, Sound Australia

In a career spanning four decades, James Dein’s multi-media business has explored broadcast media, radio, television, digital, festivals, site activations, and branding strategies.

After a decade of senior management roles with Rural Press and DMG and the organisation of more than 120 events from small to large, he cemented his role in the festival space.

As CEO of the Gympie Muster, James produced the 2012/13 Festivals, then moved into a partnership development role with CMC Rocks in the Hunter Valley in 2014. James assisted with relocating the CMC Rocks Festival to Willowbank, Queensland in 2015 and has worked on the event since.

More recently, James’ company Sound Australia (QLD) produced Winton’s Way Out West Fest.

James Paterson, Principal, MI Associates

James has more than 22 years major events strategy consulting experience with an emphasis on the critical issues of event feasibility, pre-bid due diligence, economic impact analysis, host city brand maximisation, event contracts, post-event evaluation and maximising ROI.

Previously James was Director of Nielsen’s Government, Tourism and Events division which focused on measuring the economic, global media and community impact of major events around the globe.

James was also Head of Strategy, Insights and Legal at Destination NSW, instrumental in establishing the first NSW Master Events Calendar, helping to create legacy events like Vivid and securing a multitude of major events for NSW.

James also has extensive experience in the sponsorship and sports industries.

Jo Jordan, Director, j2 Creative Industries

Jo has been leading events and festivals in Queensland since the 90s.

For 15 years her award-winning events consultancy assisted not-for-profits to raise more than $10 million. Delivering events on water, underground, in construction environments and in remote locations, she specialised in complex events that others put in the ‘too hard’ basket.

More recently, Jo has held the roles of Head of Events & Marketing at South Bank Parklands, Festival Director – Regional Flavours and Director of the Horizon Festival of arts and culture.

Jo is now focusing her passion and experience to work with regional events and communities to help them better understand their event obligations and to develop and grow their events to reach their potential.

Teona Cousin, Manager Economic Development and Tourism, Mackay Regional Council

Teona Cousin is an experienced economic development practitioner with roles in community development, federal and local government.

Following graduation from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Economics, Teona completed the Economic Specialist Graduate Program with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations in Canberra. Teona has spent most of her career working in the Hunter Region with roles at Lake Macquarie City Council, Catholic Care and Singleton Council.

Teona is currently Manager Economic Development and Tourism at Mackay Regional Council, ensuring the responsive and effective delivery of Council responsibilities in the areas of economic development, tourism, industry engagement, investment facilitation and events attraction.

Leonie Mellor, Master of Ceremonies 

Leonie Mellor is a highly regarded journalist with nearly 25 years’ experience in print/online, television and radio. She is a senior reporter for ABC Queensland covering local news, major international events and politics at every level.

Her experiences have taken her across the country and overseas, for some of the most dramatic and newsworthy events of the past two decades.

She covered the Boxing Day tsunami from Aceh, the Snowtown serial killings, numerous court appearances of the ‘Bali 9’ and Peter Falconio's disappearance at Barrow Creek. She’s also reported on numerous State and Federal elections.

Leonie is a founding member of Women in Media Queensland. She is passionate about her craft and Queensland and loves telling Queensland stories.

Venue information

Address: Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre, 56 Goondoon Street Gladstone QLD 4680

Parking: The multi-level car park is open to the public. Entry and Exit is via Oaka Lane the street behind the GECC. Please note the old access is no longer open and access is by the sign marked ‘Parking’.


For information on the Gladstone region and accommodation options, visit