Local Leighton Wells, is bringing Steve Wozniak to Geelong to headline this year’s Pivot Summit. How exciting is this! Please share! Leighton is the mastermind and Founder of the inspirational Pivot Summit, to be held at the Federal Mills, North Geelong on Friday 8th of December. He tells us ‘The Pivot Summit is a world class event with impact. It’s a one-day summit of game-changing insights into emerging technology, start-ups and social enterprise, bringing Australian and international thought leaders together to share insights on the future of digital and its impact on how we work, live and think. Pivot Summit wants to inspire, motivate and educate its audience of digital and creative people and equip them with ideas and insights to innovate within their own organisations and generate social and economic benefits. http://pivotsummit.com.au
‘I attended an ICT technology workshop in Geelong where there were lots of people talking about running an event like the Pivot Summit. It dawned on me as I was sitting there looking at those around me, I had an extensive network to leverage off and could make something happen.
‘I know Monty Hamilton who was then the CEO of Telstra Digital. They were running an event I wanted to model. It was In-house only at the time and I got invited, there were people from the USA and other parts of the world presenting. I went up to Monty and told him of my vision to hold a similar event in Geelong. He astounded me by saying that if I held the event the day after theirs, we could have a couple of the speakers and they’d foot the bill. This was just the tip of the iceberg. It gave me something, an edge, having these international speakers confirmed. If I had gone to community organisations and sponsors without them there would have been no way I’d get funding.
‘The event is 3 times the size as when it started out in 2015. Now when I pick up the phone and ask someone to speak at our event, the event has street-cred. To get Steve Wozniak took a lot of negotiation. From my perspective, a credit to Pivot Summit and its location is ultimately they still have to want to do the event, there’s a certain amount of appeal and there will be no brand damage. Geelong is an amazing location.
‘Mr Wozniak and I spoke a few weeks ago about this year’s Pivot Summit and Geelong’s transformation, it was all a bit surreal. It is very exciting, equally daunting and sometimes painful. A lot of people are very excited and love attending. Lots think it’s “sexy” organising something like this but behind the scenes it can be pretty ugly at times. An enormous amount of hard work by a team of people behind the scenes creates substance. The marketing of the event is then authentic – it holds water – people can see the work and care that’s gone into it.
‘I grew up in Geelong and worked in Melbourne for 10 years. Having a family brought me back to live in this beautiful part of the world.’
Story: Jacqui Bennett, Photo: Pivot Summit