Make the most of your event with a Great Conference MC

No one ever went to a conference or event and said,
“You know what? I wish I had a more boring time!”

They never followed up saying.
“I really wish that content was harder to understand.”

Finally, no one ever finished by saying.
“I’m really annoyed that I’m leaving this event energised and enlightened. Actually, I’m outraged!”

Simon Banks

Here’s the problem though: so many events, without even meaning to, can find themselves a little stuck in the quicksand of “low energy, snooze-worthy content and bored faces”. This leads to poor learning outcomes and a bad return on investment of time, money and energy.

If you want to make sure your conference, offsite or event is remembered for all the right reasons, you need a good MC.

paper plane

Take a look at Simon’s Showreel
to see him in action:

Eyeglasses

Simon’s an offsite facilitator
who knows the ropes

When you’re organising an event, running from one to do item to the next, the last thing you want is to have to manage your event MC. With the ability to quickly grasp the ins and outs of what you’re aiming to get out of your event, Simon hosts your audience with professionalism and humour.

Over the last twenty years, Simon has delivered over 1400+ workshops, events, conferences and keynotes across the globe.
And as such, he’s developed an excellent understanding of how to make an event memorable (for all the right reasons).

Plane

Testimonials

three head statues

Simon Banks hosted the noumi Executive Strategy Session Roadmap to 2025 recently. Simon was engaging, innovative and kept the two days of presentations and discussions on time and focused. Simon’s intelligent and witty summary of each session was topped only by his outstanding illustration of each session, which captured key points of each workshop and presentation in a picture. I would recommend Simon to anyone who values a friendly, flamboyant, creative and professional conference facilitator, who brings much more than organisation to your company’s professional event.

Dr Sonja Kukuljan PhD,
Group General Manager Nutrition, Freedom Foods Group Nutritionals

Head statue of a girl with paper cranes on her head

As MC for EDA’s flagship event, the National Economic Development Conference (NEDC21), Simon Banks steered us through this virtual 3-day event with expertise and creativity. Simon kept delegates engaged in the virtual world, reminding attendees to tap into their creative thinking and facilitating great discussion and thought. Simon’s attention to detail and professionalism is evident in the way he prepared for the conference, ensuring he had strong program content knowledge so he could engage with expert speakers and delegates successfully. We look forward to working with Simon again, hopefully to experience all he can offer in a face-to-face environment!

Jacqueline Brinkman,
Chief Executive Officer,
Economic Development Australia

woman head statue with paper cranes

What a cracking event yesterday. Everything was superb. Everyone’s still talking about it. The vibe in the office is charged, as it was at the event also. Absolutely nailed the brief and got everyone excited about our new brand. Thanks for keeping so cool under pressure and a huge thanks to your team for being so wonderful and helping us during the madness that was the room set up. YOU’RE AMAZING!!!

Leanne Mederios,
Senior Internal Communications and Events Specialist,
REST Industry Super

Simon understands the rhythm and flow of a live event. He know the importance of creating those special moments where people can interact, smile and laugh which leads to much higher engagement across the day.

Watch some audience interaction from a recent workshop for 200 people in dubai

The right mix for a good MC

It’s natural to worry about the event you’re running and want to make sure you get a conference facilitator who knows what they’re doing. But what’s the secret ingredient behind Simon’s track record of happy event hosts?

Whilst it may have something to do with his lifelong obsession with creativity, acting and his inability to sit still for longer than two minutes, it’s also his 20+ years of experience. This is the winning combo that makes Simon your ideal Master of Ceremonies.

It all ties in with Simon’s ‘big why’: to use his artist’s curiosity combined with his 20-year corporate career to build a more creative world and enable people and business to thrive in the modern age.

His creative/corporate left-of-centre mix, along with his friendly style mean that the audience relate to him immediately; the usual warm-up period is pretty much non-existent (you know what we’re talking about: conference hostage with crossed arms, hasn’t smiled since 1992, hoping to take a little nap in the back row after lunch).

Simon has an awesome ability to get an audience engaged, energised and interacting incredibly rapidly. You may not remember all the tiny details of the conference, but your audience will ALWAYS remember the energy that filled every corner of the room.

heart inside a message bubble
paper plane

What does Simon deliver as a corporate mc and conference facilitator?

Audience interaction and your people highly engaged

We’ve all sat through a bunch of cheesy icebreakers (You can only turn to the person next to you and tell them something they don’t know about you so many times). However, movement and interaction are essential! Embracing the phrase, “You move, you improve”, and implementing the neuroscience of how our brain works, Simon makes sure everyone is in the best possible shape. Best of all, he does it with a smile, so the audience are in the room in every way, ready to be part of the day.

A good sense of humour and a calm head

Why a calm head? Events never go 100% to plan! Being calm and flexible throughout an event not going to plan in our post-lockdown world is an asset. Why a sense of humour? We spend enough time being way too serious and an offsite or conference doesn’t have to be the place to do that (well only if they run out of food, then a 1% seriousness quota is allowed).

Helps you design the conference you need

When you need fresh eyes on the agenda to help you plan the event, Simon’s your wingman. Having delivered 1400+ events, Simon’s picked up a great bunch of ideas and will work with YOUR content and conference agenda to ensure the day flows beautifully. Included is his insider knowledge about things to do and things NOT to do. This also covers helping to design and structure the agenda, giving coaching on presentations and even ensuring the breaks are long enough to allow for the secret sauce: essential human interaction between your people.

As an experienced event MC, conference and workshop facilitator Simon’s got a handle on how a day flows best and can help you plan it out for maximum impact, whether it’s one day or several.

A great on-stage energy

Once they’ve seen Simon in action, people always ask, “How do you do that?” Simon doesn’t really know how it happens, but he certainly fronts up a with a smile and a good vibe – and he promises it’s legal!

Provide insight and guidance on key topics

As an international keynote speaker, author and podcaster on creativity, innovation and design, Simon is constantly exploring new ideas and can lead discussion on a number of topics if required.

about how he can
enhance your event

Man with a bird head pointing to the left
paper plane

Breakout sessions and workshops

If your event needs some extra pizzazz, Simon can facilitate breakout sessions and workshops to help your audience build their creative confidence, reimagine what’s possible and become the innovation-ready powerhouse you just know is hiding in there somewhere.

Q and A Sessions

Need someone with their eye on the raised hands while your audience gets their questions answered? Simon makes sure that no-one’s left unanswered while you – or your speaker – gets on with the business of making things clear. And if there’s always that one person who gets all the airtime? Well, Simon’s had plenty of experience and can deal with that scenario too.

Ensure your audience are connecting with each other throughout

That’s the joy of a conference; making those informal connections that drive the formal connections when you’re back in the workplace. With a heap of fun exercises your audience will happily take part in – without realising they’re ‘connecting’ – Simon makes it look easy.

Bring key parts of the conference to life with his illustration skills

As a recovering professional artist (it’s a long story) Simon’s very handy with Sharpies and drawing on his iPad. He uses these skills when MC-ing in many ways: from teaching the audience to sketch note (yes, it’s true and everyone loves it!), bringing key messages to life, to fostering ideation and strategic thinking by creating a big picture with which everyone can connect. (Want to learn from Simon? You can now take his workshop!)

doesn’t take himself too seriously

Whilst Simon will take your conference seriously, he doesn’t take himself too seriously, which means the focus is squarely on your audience. It also makes him very easy to work with (which he wears as a badge of honour). He knows that you have enough on your plate already, and he doesn’t want to be another source of stress! It also means he’s happy to do a mad dash to the 7/11 to get Mentos if they run out and won’t even break an emotional sweat.

Ensures that everyone has a great time

Who said events had to be boring? Delegates can easily forget the third bullet point on the 27th slide (no, he won’t let you become the PowerPoint nightmare), they won’t forget how they felt at your event. That’s the crucial piece of the event jigsaw that means everyone keeps talking about your event and keeps the messaging alive, long after the conference is over.

Plane

Conference locations:
Where in the world has Simon MC-ed?

Simon has given keynote speeches and facilitated conferences and events across Europe, Asia, North America and Australia for companies that want to turn creative thinking up to 11/10 and bring innovation out of their teams.

Recent highlights include:

  • Innovation Leadership Program in London for Laing O’Rourke
  • MC and Keynote Speaker for Public Relations Institute of Australia on the Gold Coast

  • Storytelling Keynote and Workshop in Dubai for Synecron

  • MC for Arjo Huntleigh in Byron Bay

  • Keynote Speaker for RE/MAX Real Estate in Hobart

  • MC for TAFE Queensland on the Sunshine Coast

  • Sydney MC for The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

Hand statue with light bulb

Testimonials

Female head statue with lightbulb

Simon was very well received and a pleasure to work with.  He was very professional, lively and flexible.  Simon took the time to research his presentation and had a great understanding of our objectives and more importantly the audience.  Simon also unexpectedly brought some humour into his MC role and we received many positive comments.

Margot Streater,
AILA NSW State Manager

Female head statue

I tasked Simon with the job of MC and session facilitator at a national conference for accountants – not the easiest of audiences! Yet Simon’s unharnessed energy ensured the room remained engaged for the entire 3 days. Simon’s fun, dynamic and forces the listener to move outside their comfort zone (in the right way). I have had the pleasure of working with Simon on numerous occasions and would personally recommend him to anyone seeking a speaker with a difference.

Wendy Doxey,
Practice Manager, Hayes Knight (SA)

Male head statue

We just concluded our annual national conference – featuring Simon Banks as our emcee, keynote speaker and workshop facilitator. Simon was a key component in making our conference special, with his insightful approach and energetic delivery. A picture tells a thousand words, and Simon’s skilful pictorial reflecting our three days together will serve as a permanent reminder of what we discussed – and how we are going to make things happen over the coming year. I highly recommend Simon for his ability and his unique approach!

David Wyner,
Managing Director,
PSC Reliance Franchise Partners

Talk to Simon about your event MC/Facilitation needs now

Great question. Often organisations will have an internal MC. If that works for you and they can keep the energy in the room, definitely think of taking that option. Where there is a greater level of conversation and collaboration required with specific business objectives, it can be a great idea to have a fresh set of eyes and ears (that’s your conference facilitator) or what we call a ‘naive expert’ who can lead and guide a conversation, keep everyone on track and keep everyone smiling as well.

Maybe not. If you just want your MC to introduce people before a presentation-led schedule, you can find someone to do that internally. If you have extra outcomes and objectives to achieve or want to create a different experience for your delegates and can spare some extra minutes here and there this is where an MC or conference facilitator can bring their energy and expertise to your program.

Yes, they can! Often a keynote speaker will kick off the event and then stay and MC the event for the rest of the day (Hint, hint: Simon does this). From experience, it works best if your chosen speaker kicks off the event then MC’s rather than MC-ing the event and speaking at the end of the day.

The number one thing to remember is that everyone underestimates how long things actually take, and even with the best laid plans your day will most likely go over time. Internal speakers can ignore you waving madly from the back of the room to wrap up, people don’t make it back from lunch on time, and someone usually gets stuck in traffic or their plane gets cancelled. And fifteen minutes is never enough for morning tea, ever!

Always plan for some ‘flexi time’ where you can move things slightly over the day to expand or shrink time slots as needed. What’s the worst thing that can happen? People have some more time to talk, or you wrap up ten minutes earlier. With his comprehensive event facilitation experience, Simon can help you manage all those flexi times as well.

Got an event looming
That you need help with?

Hands holding a bell and a butterfly