Learn business from the best at Forward Fest
  • Monday 12 September 2022
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What do some of Australia’s sharpest business minds from the world’s biggest brands and a UFC champion have in common?

They’ll be heading to the Sunshine Coast later this month for the inaugural Forward Fest – a five-day event which aims to help local businesses pack more punch.

The council-supported event will be held at Venue 114 and the University of Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre from September 26-30.

Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Terry Landsberg said Forward Fest would provide unprecedented opportunities for local businesses.

“Forward Fest is the type of event business people on the Sunshine Coast would normally need to travel to a capital city for and pay thousands of dollars to attend,” Cr Landsberg said.

“Council is very proud to support this event, which will provide our small to medium business owners and representatives with access to 120 high calibre and high-profile business leaders and influencers from some of the world’s biggest and most respected brands, including Microsoft,

Boeing, Bosch, PwC, Deloitte, Ogilvy Australia, Telstra, CPA Australia, Grant Thornton and Youi.

“Forward Fest will support many of the high value industries within our Regional Economic Development Strategy.

“This event also leverages council’s investment in critical game-changing infrastructure like the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Cable, the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion and the Maroochydore City Centre.”

Forward Fest Director Renee Coman said the event would provide unique networking opportunities and practical learnings to help small to medium businesses become more competitive. 

“This is the first event of its kind to be held on the Sunshine Coast,” Ms Conman said.

“The aim of Forward Fest is to provide an opportunity for small to medium business owners in our region to connect with some of the best business minds and access Ted Talk-inspired presentations, panel discussions, interactive workshops, demonstrations and Q&A sessions.

“This is a unique educational opportunity which aims to transform how small businesses operate through analysing 25 different industries with focuses on three distinct themes: Innovation and Technology, Customer Experience and Marketing, and Skills of the Future.”  

Australian mixed martial artist Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski will be among the keynote speakers at Forward Fest.

The World UFC Featherweight Champion said there were strong linkages between the discipline, resilience and grit of being a professional athlete and a business owner growing and scaling.

He said he was excited to share the secrets of his success in the sporting arena and the business world.  

“My journey is about what I have earned and not what I’ve been given,” he said.

“That’s the foundation of my success, from concreter to rugby league player and now World UFC champion.

“My journey is all about passion, courage, discipline and commitment and I am looking forward to sharing this on the Sunshine Coast.”

For more information about Forward Fest and to purchase tickets, visit: www.forwardfest.co