An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

RDA Barossa—Transforming Business

13 September 2017

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Barossa has hosted another successful Transforming Business conference. On 11 August 2017, interested local businesses checked into the Barossa Arts & Convention Centre to seek further insights into the future of technology in driving business productivity gains.

Technology innovation was the common theme of this year's conference, which featured speeches and workshops by high-ranking executives from Google, Microsoft, Datacom, Starcom, Wechat and more. Issues ranged from new media channels—there were 60 media channels in 1996 compared with 80,000 today—to clarity on managing social media to the brave new world of blockchain technologies. Blockchain technology is used in the storage of files across a network of computers without a central authority. It is primarily used in the transfer of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Blockchain acts as a record keeper, tracking changes in file storage, verifying them, and keeping them honest.

“The emphasis was not so much on the technology but on how we best use it,” said Anne Moroney, CEO of RDA Barossa. “By bringing these nationally celebrated speakers to the region, and asking them to address our particular context, we are assured of an event that is relevant to the businesses in the room and well worth the time to attend.” Networking after the event was abuzz with the excitement of new ideas and energy generated by the speakers.

Trevor Taylor, whose role oversees RDA's business growth activities, coordinated the event and noted he was “very grateful for the calibre of speaker attending”. The conference speakers were also impressed by the quality of the venue and the strong attendance and interest of local businesses.

Conference speaker Mark Clemow, General Manager of Starcom, noted “The businesses of the Barossa are fortunate to have such a competent and professional organisation looking after their regional interests. The way RDA Barossa packaged and ran the conference, including the quality and complementary nature of the speakers, is commendable and I felt far exceeded what I've experienced from expensive capital city events.”

A major event in RDA Barossa's calendar, Transforming Business has once again proven the value of networking, innovation and communication within the business community. “The event is a lot of work for the whole RDA team but if businesses benefit, then it is worth it for us,” says Anne Moroney. “In addition to improvements and changes implemented as a result of learnings from the presentations, last year we tracked about 11 business collaborations or deals that were initiated through networking or speaker contacts on the day. We look forward to exceeding that number this year.”

“Trevor and the team did a great job to put the event together on limited resources—in fact, an amazing job,” says Anne. “The positive feedback has been phenomenal!”

Transforming Business was made possible by generous sponsorships from Beam Internet, Abbotsford Country House and event partner the Department of State Development, and a number of silver and bronze sponsors.

Career coach Shari Chambers talking to staff from Stella Digital Strategies

Caption: Career coach Shari Chambers talking to staff from Stella Digital Strategies.

RDA Barossa CEO Anne Moroney with Board Chair Ivan Venning and Charlotte Williams

Caption: RDA Barossa CEO Anne Moroney with Board Chair Ivan Venning and Charlotte Williams.