UTS Library

Worksafe 2002 And Beyond

Client: 

WorkSafe WA

PR Company: 

Mills Wilson

Award Category: 

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2002 I 10

Year: 

2002

Executive Summary: 

Industry specific occupational safety and health issues have been addressed in a number of different forums but there had never been a dedicated occupational safety and health conference covering all industries.

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />WorkSafeWA (the client) was searching for a forum to replace WorkSafe Week, to freshen the impact of its safety and health messages.  The inaugural Work Safe 2002 and Beyond conference was that forum.

The conference provided the latest information about emerging and current issues and encouraged employers and employees to work together to effectively manage workplace safety.

There was no template for this event.   Mills Wilson started work on a blank sheet, working with WorkSafeWA to establish the programming, marketing, staging and additional sponsorship.

Additional challenges included accessibility and ensuring a program that attracted interest from across industry.

The strategy was to program ambitiously, research well, pay meticulous attention to detail, work closely with the client, speakers and sponsors, plan thoroughly and manage at the strategic and micro levels.  We also worked closely with all suppliers, managed the finances carefully and documented the process very well, including all evaluations.

The results exceeded the clients best expectations in every aspect of the programming, industry engagement and management.

Situation Analysis: 

Industry specific occupational safety and health issues have been addressed in a number of different forums often as a small part of a larger program for a specific industry - but there had never been a dedicated occupational safety and health conference in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Western Australia covering all industries.

WorkSafeWA had been holding WorkSafe Week as an annual event since 1996 and it needed a new forum to maintain the impact of occupational safety and health messages.  

Western Australias first occupational safety and health conference covering all industries was to be that forum, hosted by the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection WorkSafe Division, WorkSafe Western Australia Commission, WorkCoverWA and the Department of Mineral and Petroleum Resources.  

The conference aimed to provide the latest information about emerging and current occupational safety and health issues and encourage employers and employees to work together to effectively manage workplace safety.

If done well, Work Safe 2002 and Beyond was a unique opportunity to efficiently attract the attention of a wide range of industries.

It was a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate to Government that industry could unite in debating and addressing key occupational health and safety issues and, in turn, a tremendous opportunity for the key Government agencies to demonstrate to industry their willingness to lead and facilitate information exchange and debate.

There was no template for this event.   Mills Wilson started work in April 2001 on a blank sheet, working with WorkSafeWA to establish the programming, marketing, staging and to raise additional sponsorship.

Additional challenges included accessibility for regional Western Australia and ensuring a program that attracted interest from across the full range of industry.

The results were beyond the clients already high expectations - in terms of registrations; the quality of programming; the satisfaction of participants in the conference and all aspects of the management of the event.

Research: 

Research included:

  • A stakeholder reference group consulted throughout the project to ensure the conference remained relevant and attractive to industry
  • Internet searches for other conferences with occupational health and safety aspects which may be considered competition
  • Net searches for key issues, speakers and papers
  • Magazines and other media for relevant issues and background
  • Advertising widely for expressions of interest in making a presentation to the conference.

Target Policies: 

  • WorkSafe Division, Department of Consumer and Employment Protection the client
  • WorkSafe Western Australia Commission, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />WorkCoverWA and the Department of Mineral and Petroleum Resources the presenting partners
  • Industry bodies
  • Unions
  • Government
  • Industry
  • Local government
  • The Premier and Minister
  • Educational institutions (schools, TAFE and universities)
  • Safety and health representatives
  • Media

Communication Strategy: 

The strategy was to:

  • Ensure meticulous attention to detail across every aspect of the conference
  • Work from a very solid understanding of the clients motivation and requirements
  • Establish and maintain an excellent working relationship with the client, speakers and sponsors
  • Undertake practical research
  • Plan extremely thoroughly and manage at the strategic and micro level.  We actually established two key managers within the office to ensure every last detail was covered, without ever losing sight of our strategic goals
  • Establish close working relationships with suppliers including staging and technical, designers, printers, photographer etc
  • Establish and maintain meticulous financial management
  • Maintain very comprehensive documentation
  • Evaluate thoroughly to learn as much as possible from this inaugural event.

Implementation: 

Mills Wilson undertook all aspects of staging and management including:

  • Preparing a detailed project schedule with clear time lines; budget and publicity and promotions strategy
  • Establishing a name and theme for the conference
  • Working with the client
  • Liaising with conference speakers and sponsors
  • Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with suppliers including staging and technical, designers, printers and others

MEDIA CAMPAIGN AND LIAISON

There were four media pushes:

  • Announcement of the conference
  • Registrations that they were open, followed by an early-bird registrations are closing release
  • Pre-conference speaker tease releases to attract registrations
  • Conference a series of releases focused on specific speakers prior to and during the conference
  • Activities undertaken included:
  • Offering story angles and interview opportunities to individual journalists and producers
  • Liaison regarding Premiers and Ministers announcements
  • Preparation and distribution of more than 20 media releases
  • Preparation of website copy
  • Media liaison
  • Media kit preparation
  • Transportation of speakers to interviews
  • Set up and management of media requirements during the conference
  • Invitations to key journalists

ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION

Initial Call for Submission advertisements were placed in The West Australian and The Australian on Saturday 21 July 2001 and in the July 2001 edition of Safetyline WorkSafes own magazine.

2,500 brochures were inserted in the February 2002 edition of the CCI WAs publication Business Pulse.

The WorkSafe website was extremely useful as a promotional tool with information being updated on a regular basis. 

DIRECT MAIL

A highly successful and comprehensive direct mail campaign was conducted in November 2001.  A letter from Acting Director General of the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection, Brian Bradley, and an information brochure were sent to more than 1400 people.

High advertising costs were avoided by a commitment to using established links including the website, Safetyline magazine and direct mail. 

DESIGN AND PRINTING 

We managed the design and printing of:

  • Logo
  • Information brochure with registration form
  • Tickets
  • Name-tags
  • Program
  • Notepad
  • Conference papers

The stylish design appealed to the wide range of target groups from industry bodies through to government agencies and corporate <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Australia.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATIONS

Mills Wilson handled the registration process including:

  • Design, production and dissemination of registration forms
  • Managing enquiries regarding the conference
  • Receipt, acknowledgment and processing of registrations
  • Design, production and dissemination of conference tickets

THE CONFERENCE

Mills Wilsons other responsibilities included:

  • Investigating, recommending and booking the venue
  • Liaison with the venue regarding room requirements, accommodation requirements, staging and room design, food and beverage requirements, promotional and directorial signage and associated functions etc
  • Liaison with speakers and sponsors
  • Liaison with all conference suppliers including staging and technical, designers, printers etc
  • Negotiating special rates for and arranging delegate accommodation and travel for interstate and international speakers
  • Preparation of technical and programming running sheets
  • Ensuring appropriate recognition for conference partners and sponsors in the program, satchels, conference dressing (banners, boards); trade exhibitions etc.

STAGING AND TECHNICAL

The use of a set and lighting in the main room gave the conference an extremely professional feel.  Signage was effectively used to create the conference theme throughout the venue and an animation of the conference logo was used very effectively at the beginning of each session.

In theming the conference, our aim was to stay away from the traditional heavy industry positioning often seen in occupational safety and health campaigns.  Instead we wanted to promote a professional and positive image for workplace safety and health that would be attractive across all industries.

The selection of the set for the conference was designed to achieve cost and time efficiencies for a related dinner being organised by WorkSafe to coincide with the conference.

The conference ran extremely well with no technical hitches. 

MEDIA STREAMING

To increase the accessibility of the conference to regional areas all plenary sessions were media streamed. 

People were able to log onto the WorkSafe website and view the morning sessions on both days.  In addition to the live streaming, the two morning sessions and the hypothetical session have been archived and are still available to view on the host site.

LIAISON WITH SPEAKERS

We maintained ongoing liaison with speakers including obtaining biographical information and photographs; confirming audio visual requirements; ensuring papers and presentations were delivered in a timely manner; ensuring speakers were comfortable with all conference arrangements, including presentation times, location, accommodation and travel.

TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION

  • Travel and accommodation were organised for interstate and international speakers.   Rigorous documentation and databases were kept and every speaker was sent confirmation of flights, flight times and all accommodation arrangements.  Speakers were also met at the airport and transported to the hotel.
  • Special accommodation rates were negotiated at a number of hotels to be made available to conference delegates.  These were advertised on the information brochure.

ASSOCIATED EVENT

A welcome cocktail party hosted by the presenting partners and staged by us enabled them to meet and acknowledge the support of both the speakers and sponsors. 

SPONSORSHIP

In securing sponsorship Mills Wilson:

  • developed a proposal
  • coordinated a direct mail-out to sponsorship targets
  • made follow-up calls to sponsorship targets
  • confirmed interested sponsors
  • invoiced sponsors
  • ensured entitlements were met

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND RECORD KEEPING

The processes that were put in place made the financial management of Work Safe 2002 and Beyond very smooth.

There is a good audit trail with documentation to support all expenditure. Competitive quotes were obtained for all goods and services.

The budget outcome for the event was very successful.  Not only was the expenditure tightly managed within the budgets set at the start of the project.

RESULTS

  • There was a higher than expected level of interest in presenting to the conference with 55 impressive speakers responding to the advertisement and other invitations
  • Speakers attracted to the conference included The Hon Sir Daryl Dawson (Chair of the Longford Royal Commission) and Timothy Walker (Director General of the Health and Safety Executive in the UK)
  • More than anticipated sponsorship was secured from Tiwest Joint Venture, Coles Supermarkets, Skilled Engineering, CurtinUniversity and IFAP.
  • The conference attracted almost 400 delegates from the full range of industry sectors exceeding all expectations.
    • People in rural and remote areas were able to access key sessions through media streaming.
    • The conference was a high priority for Government with both the Premier and Minister attending and making a major announcement at the conference
    • The conference achieved outstanding media coverage including:
    • The West Australian newspaper
    • The Sunday Times
    • Radio stations 6WF; 92.9; 94.5; 96.1; RTR FM; 6PR; ABC Country Hour; 6NR
    • The Countryman
    • Kalgoorlie Miner
    • WorkCover News
    • Business News
    • CCI Business Pulse
    • Newsletters and websites across industry

Importantly, industry newsletters and websites picked up the media releases and copy provided in very strong numbers.  A selection of clippings accompanies this submission.

Results: 

Formal evaluation forms were sent to every participant in the WorkSafe 2002 and Beyond conference.

We also relied upon the following to confirm that we had achieved our objectives:

  • Strong interest in presenting to the conference
  • High calibre of presenters interested
  • Registrations numbers
  • Letters, emails and other anecdotal feedback
  • Media coverage
  • Premiers and Ministers attendance at the conference
  • Major announcement on occupational safety and health made at the conference

We refer you to the results detailed above which confirm that we reached each of our objectives.  Sample evaluation comments are attached.

Evaluation: 

The evaluation forms were sent to 385 delegates, the responses carefully analysed and a full evaluation report prepared.

The evaluation showed the event was a real success:

  • 93% of respondents overall impression of the conference were good or excellent
  • 99% of respondents said their expectations of the conference were met
  • 99% of respondents rated the overall performance of the conference organisers as helpful or very helpful.