“These partnerships are more important now than ever as we continue to embed research findings into practice.”

AFAC16 powered by INTERSCHUTZ, the largest emergency management conference and exhibition in Australasia, that concluded yesterday has experienced record breaking attendance. The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre welcomed over 2,300 emergency management personnel for the conference, who gathered to hear the latest research findings, explore new approaches to disaster management and learn about new life-saving technologies.

A new partnership between AFAC and Deutsche Messe Australia, organisers of the internationally renowned INTERSCHUTZ exhibition held in Germany every five years, contributed to a successful AFAC16 powered by INTERSCHUTZ conference and exhibition.

Stuart Ellis AM, CEO, AFAC is pleased the conference has played an integral role in the continued development of the emergency management sector across Australasia.

“AFAC16 provided attendees a valuable opportunity to share knowledge and information, learn from one another and get to know each other. Over three days there were more than 100 engaging presentations and countless insightful and inspiring discussions,” said Mr Ellis.

The successful partnership between AFAC and Deutsche Messe Australia has resulted in the largest trade exhibition in the history of the AFAC conference with record delegate numbers walking through the doors to hear about the latest in research, technology and equipment in the emergency management sector.

Such was the success of this year’s exhibition, that 65% of exhibition space was pre-booked onsite for AFAC17 which will be held from 4 – 7 September 2017 at the new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney).

Highlight speakers included Rhoda Mae Kerr, Chief of the Austin Fire Department (USA) who presented on the importance of diversity, inclusion and leading by example. Mark Crosweller, Director-General of Emergency Management Australia outlined how the sector needs to transform to align with the changing rules of disasters and Katarina Carroll, Commissioner, Queensland Fire & Emergency Services explored the challenges, complexities and opportunities of leadership within the emergency sector.

Katarina Carroll, Commissioner, Queensland Fire & Emergency Services was proud to host the event in Brisbane, applauding the underlying theme of Mitigation, Response, Recovery – Getting the balance right.

“The Queensland Fire & Emergency Services is extraordinarily proud to host AFAC16 powered by INTERSCHUTZ. This conference focused on one of the most relevant questions in emergency management – are we getting the balance right?” said Ms Carroll.

Dr Richard Thornton, CEO, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC said the conference and research forum highlighted the importance of relationships between research and the emergency services.

“To have the connectedness that exists and continues to evolve between researchers and emergency management practitioners is fantastic. These critical relationships are increasingly important, and a key aspect of what the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC is about. These partnerships are more important now than ever as we continue to embed research findings into practice,” said Dr Thornton.

Over 400 emergency managers and researchers attended the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre’s (CRC) Research Forum on 30 August, with attendees learning new and innovative ways to keep communities safe from natural hazards.

AFAC16 powered by INTERSCHUTZ included 160 exhibitors from over 14 countries demonstrating an extensive range of equipment and services to the engaged audience of emergency management professionals and first responders.

A long-time meetings industry addict, Gorazd is the Founder and owner of marketing and event agency Toleranca Marketing. He has many years of experience in planning, preparing and carrying out large international meetings and exhibitions. As the founder of the "Power to the Meetings" methodology, he still firmly believes in the power of live events and human to human communication. He is also the author of numerous articles and editor-in-chief of the meetings industry magazine Kongres Magazine.