Seeing most of our blog readers work in adult education, I bet you could answer this question: what is secret to conference success and excellent participant feedback?

On 30 and 31 August 2012, Ari and I travelled to the annual Australian Council for Private Education and Training National Conference held at the delightful Westin Sydney to discover the answer to this very question. While we were there, we are figured we should set up a stall to educate our fellow conference attendees about the joy an onCourse installation could bring to their lives.

We had a good yarn to a handful of our current customers who were kind enough to come and say hello and also introduced ourselves to many potential new customers. We were giving away the free Community Version of onCourse on USBs, but I think the guy a few stalls over with free chocolate had a better visitor rate. And the boring ol’ insurance stand with the barrista and proper coffee was tres popular with the punters! Lesson learnt. I’m sure we have and handful of customers who could teach me how to make a decent espresso…..

Ari and Natalie educating the world about onCourse. And not providing free chocolate or coffee

It was gratifying to see an awareness in the training management cohort that there is more to student management systems than AVETMISS reporting. We were one of about a dozen providers at the conference flogging our product, but without a doubt, we were the most advanced system on the market for enrolment sales, advertising and marketing with our integrated-yet-customisable onCourse web solution. Of course, we also learnt a lot by speaking to training organisations who had chosen alternate products and what needs they had that onCourse was able to meet and where the gaps lay.

ACPET draws training managers and educators from the Australia and South East Asia region. Providers cross the gamut of local VET delivery, international VET delivery, CRICOS and ELICOS delivery and Higher Education delivery. Topics of interest presented during the conference included building your brand and business via social media, the current political landscape and what it means for business and presentations from various academics and government officials on the changing compliance and regulatory requirements across the represented sectors.

ish’s key product to market, onCourse, squarely address the requirements of the Australian VET sector. It was a valuable experience for Ari and I to speak with experts in other education sectors, including the overseas market, and learn more about the challenges they face and the solutions they require.

But the question on everyone’s lips, which was answered to all attendees satisfaction was of course, what is for lunch? And thus we learnt that the secret to conference success and excellent participant feedback is great food. And to the ACPET conference organisers and the chefs at the Westin, we would like to give you a 10 out of 10 for outstanding tucker.

So, dear forum participants, which conferences do you attend and who offers the best food? And which conferences do you recommend the onCourse road show visits next?