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The Year Ahead in Communications 2008

Date: Friday, 8 February 2008 to Saturday, 9 February 2008
Venue: Novotel Northbeach

About the workshop
Program & Presenations
Who is invited to attend
How it works
Cancellations and refunds

About the workshop
This annual workshop is to give all our family of sponsors and advisers the chance to get across the key issues which lie ahead.  Panels of experts raise issues, then follow through in dialogue with all.  The workshop is about real convergence.  People from media, telecommunications and IT share insights across industry boundaries and sectors, in a safe, neutral, academic environment.  It happens nowhere else.  To preserve its special character, it is confined to our sponsors and advisers.  This is the only non-public event we hold. 

Click here to download the program. 
Click here to download info about the workshop.

Some of the discussion openers have provided their presentations to share.  Click on the discussion opener's name to download.
Dominic Arena, Roger Buckeridge, Ian McGarrity, Bob Peters.

SESSION 1: Policy changes under the new government
Bruce Meagher, Director of Strategy, SBS
Dr Julianne Schultz, Editor, Griffith REVIEW
Hon Michael Lee, former Minister for Communications and the Arts
Not another press gallery analysis, but serious thinking by people with long experience about how the Rudd Government's objectives may be crystallised and implemented:
• How and when might telecoms, digital, media etc start changing?
• Different processes for policy and planning: who might be involved, and how?
• What opportunities for people building and running telecoms, ICT, media?

SESSION 2: Digital, connected users: what is happening at home and on the bus?
Ian McGarrity
, Director, IMW Media Services (convener)
Mark King, Business Development Manager, Audio Products, Harvey Norman
Keith Jones, Principal, Digital CEnergy
• Local and international progress on digitalisation and consumer take-up
• What digital equipment, devices, software are people buying?
• What to do about the energy consumption?

SESSION 3: Investment
Roger Buckeridge, Director, Allen & Buckeridge
Richard Alcock, Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, Merrill Lynch
Gerry Moriarty, Chairman, Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group
• Where is the long-term investment heading?
• What's happening globally; and where do we lag or exceed?
• Venture capital for growing players, developing new services and software

SESSION 4: Changes in consumer attitudes

David Gibbs, Executive Director, dsales (convener)
Rob Leach, Head, MCn Connect
Dominic Arena, Associate Director, Information, Comms, Entertainment Group, KPMG
Duncan Murray, CEO, Belong
• Where are consumers driving convergent and traditional media?
• What will be the impact on emerging platforms/channels (mobile, IP based networks)?
• Will advertisers need to change their attitude, or just their strategies?  What is happening already?

SESSION 5: UGC, news, entertainment and info services on the new platforms
Nic Cola, Commercial Director, News & Finance, Fairfax Digital
Abigail Thomas, Head, Strategic Development, ABC Innovation
Damian Smith, General Manager, Digital Media, Network TEN
• Which Internet and IP-based entertainment, from games to gambling, are most likely to succeed?
• What are the prospects for text-rich services such as classifieds, blogs, journalism and news
• Have social networking worlds, and user-generated content matured, or are they just harbingers?

SESSION 6: The new multi-platform media/comms structures
Bob Peters, Director, Global Media Analysis
Malcolm Long, Director, Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group and Chair, NIDA
Guy Dunstan, Senior Adviser, O’Sullivan Pullini
• The thinking behind the cross-platform consolidations
• How will the revenue streams grow, intertwine and transmogrify?
• What structures have the mergers of the last 12 months created?

SESSION 7A: Film and TV production: the recent changes
Maureen Barron, Chair, Australian Film Commission (convener)
Kim Dalton, Director, ABC TV
Sue Masters, Executive Producer
• What are the tax and structural changes, and why were they introduced?
• Will they build sustainable businesses, with more hits and profits?
• What are the best and worst scenarios for production over the next three years?

SESSION 7B: First-world broadband: how we can build it, at last
Ian Martin
, Senior Telecommunications Analyst, ABN AMRO Research
Paul Fletcher, Communications Consultant
Phil Burgess, Group Managing Director, Public Policy & Communications, Telstra
• What progress are we really making, compared with the rest of the world, and is it with FTTN, ADSL2+, WiMax or what?
• What are realistic prices and speeds for rural and remote broadband?
• What are the best financial, structural and regulatory models?

Who is invited to attend? 
The answer is anyone who works for one of our sponsors, namely: Telstra, Optus, Fairfax, Network Ten, Nine Network, Seven Network, FOXTEL, News Limited, PBL, Allens Arthur Robinson, Accenture, AUSTAR, Australian Capital Equity, Clayton Utz, KPMG and Macquarie Bank: plus ABC and SBS as honorary sponsors for workshop purposes.

How it works
Our experts in each panel raise the issues for a few minutes each, then take part in the discussion with all participants.  There will be plenty of candid discussion.  In many years of these annual workshops, there has scarcely ever been a lull in any session. 

Speakers chosen on merit
Discussion openers are chosen for their ability to help us see where all these, media and communications trends are heading. Although most run major enterprises, they have been chosen for expertise, not rank. Nobody is just a corporate representative.  And they will be sharing their personal insights, not delivering speeches.

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