When you have a great idea and get stuck into bringing it together, a lot of evolving and development, mixing and changing happens – and usually for the better.
CONTACT, for example, started out as a ‘f#&k you’ to the man who killed off the very popular ARMY Magazine – but today is bigger, better, more popular – and longer lived – in its own right. Mind you, it did take several years to get there, I think.
Another example I am currently involved in (but more of a sideline/helper role than hands on) is Australian Warrior Expo – an idea to bring a little bit of Las Vegas to BrisVegas! – channeling the essence if not quite the scale of America’s world-famous Shot Show.
When we set out on this journey, we spruiked how AWE2018 would not be a conference – no death by PowerPoint – no boring ‘lectures’.
That’s still true, of course. But what has evolved – because the passion and the demand was there – is the addition of ‘speaker opportunities’, among other things.
We also said the trade booths would be all about bringing buyers and sellers of the military, emergency-services and security-industry together to buy, sell and talk about gear.
While that too is still true – and probably in larger scale than we hoped or anticipate – a recent expansion of floor-space has opened other opportunities too (some of which were discussed in my last editorial).
Marketing and Event Manager for Australian Warrior Expo Ash North says the passion and enthusiasm she encounters almost daily when talking to or meeting with potential exhibitors has really encouraged and spawned an evolution in the AWE2018 concept.
“I had a meeting today with one of our speakers and his energy and passion really cemented for me that we are on the right track,” Ash said.
“This guy, who works heavily with agencies on breaking down the stigma with PTSD etc, didn’t actually know or understand much about AWE when I first spoke to him – but he very quickly got passionate about the good he could see coming from this.”
She said AWE2018 really has evolved from where we were six months ago.
“What started as an incredible opportunity to bring the best tactical brands in the market under one roof for three days has now become so much more.
“Yes we have incredible gear from top brands, but we also have services, equipment, ATVs, gyms, fitness, charity partners – and now a range of presentations on subjects that genuinely matter to these peoples’ lives.
“And, it has evolved from an event ‘for operators’ to now also include anyone looking to join the military or police or emergency services, plus those who currently serve – plus it is an event for those who are looking towards the end of their service careers and are thinking ‘what next’.”
Exhibitor spaces at AWE2018 are filling fast, and public-entry ticket sales are also now open. And make no mistake, the top-flight ‘Black’ tickets (the only way to get into both the VIP night and AWE Party – plus slew of other perks) are strictly limited in number.