‘Australians don’t get new things unless they succeed overseas first’

A conference taking place in Sydney tomorrow has failed to attract big numbers because Australians do not get new things until they are successful overseas, its organiser claims.  

Ross Dawson, who is running tomorrow’s Future of Influence Summit, said only 70 people have booked for the event in Sydney. The conference is also being run simultaneously in San Francisco, where 80 people are attending.

The event previously ran as the Future of Media Summit, where it attracted around 140 delegates in Sydney and 50 in San Francisco.

Dawson – who is at the US end of the event – said: “This is a massive success in San Francisco – we are almost sold out and may well be by the time of the event, and there is a massive buzz in Silicon Valley . The quality of the paying attendees is exceptional, including the CEOs of some of the most prominent startups in the Valley.That’s very good for what is probably the part of the world with the greatest over-supply of events.”

He added: “On the other hand the Sydney attendance is disappointing. In conversations, most people do not seem to recognize how important influence is in shaping both the marketing and content worlds today and in coming years.

“I think this is yet another story of things needing to be successful overseas before they are accepted in Australia. Next year people will get it and come along in Australia, but only because they will have seen that this is seen to be critically important in the US and beyond. Australians have the opportunity to engage with the world’s leading thinking on what is emerging as a key topic, but because it is new to them they don’t see it as important. That is not how to keep competitive.

“This is yet another story of things needing to be successful overseas before they are accepted in Australia.”

Another factor may be that the event is occuring at the same time as a three day media and broadcasting congress organised by Terrapin events.


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