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!
Chief Executive Officer, Economic Development Australia
Thank you Simon for your outstanding work! You bring life and energy to the room and engage the audience from start to finish. You go above and beyond when investing in the set-up, resources and creative planning for the session. Your inclusive and collaborative approach makes you an absolute delight to work with and we can’t wait to have you back to influence and impact the next cohort of the Australian Rural Leadership Program!
Manager Learning, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation
Ticket to Ryde was our first all staff conference to be delivered over 4 full days – and we knew we had to create a memorable and high energy event with impact! Simon was a true professional. From our first conceptual brainstorming session, Simon worked closely with us until we moulded the perfect blend of information, fun and connection into our program. We went into the event knowing Simon would deliver an engaging, thought provoking keynote and he went above and beyond in facilitating our workshops with high energy and purpose. With 4 keynotes and 16 workshops facilitated over 4 days, thank you Simon for inspiring our staff to be curious, creative and imaginative – bringing our ideas to life!
Organisational Development and Capability Lead, City of Ryde
Thank you so much for taking delegates through the 2-day conference last week. It was awesome to be part of and we thoroughly enjoyed how engaging your content was.
Senior Economic Development Officer, Development Services, Mackay Regional Council
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 focussed. 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 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
I wanted to write to you personally to say thank you on behalf of myself and our CEO Louise Harland-Cox, but most importantly a thank you on behalf of every single one of our members.
With you, we were able to create an event that truly commemorated the creativity that drives our industry, unpacked the curiosity that underlies every great idea and celebrated the power of storytelling in every way. Every single attendee that I spoke to was inspired by the power of the insights that you shared, and your transparency in doing so.
Thanks so much for your energy, enthusiasm, transparency and most importantly – time.
President, Public Relations Institiute of Australia
The keynote was awesome. Your presentation style rocks. You have made the most of doing talks remotely, your drawing and visuals are such a clever adaptation to this new environment. I really enjoyed spending time with you.
Head of Continuous Improvement and Innovation – International Visitors at nib Health Funds
CSIA had the pleasure of engaging Simon for our Visual Communication PD day. Simon is enthusiastic and super talented, a great combination!! Everyone took something positive away with new ways to enhance our facilitation and communication skills through visual representation. We continue to expand on what has been learnt back in the workplace. Thanks so much Simon!
Operations Manager, Community Services Industry Alliance
From the outset of our engagement with Simon, it was very clear how he could help our team to better solve business problems by avoiding tunnel vision thinking and improving the ROI of our most valuable resources, our people. His design thinking approach has helped accelerate our team development journey and has already started to produce good outcomes by making sure that the team focus on ready-to-use outcomes which are equitable, enjoyable and most importantly useful.
Creating empathy maps and visual journey stories was especially helpful for productive brainstorming and combined with the energy Simon brought with him, the team-maintained consistency in productivity throughout the workshop. The Empathy Mapping exercise was a really important part of the workshop, as it really helped to highlight what mattered most to individuals and encourage us all to iteratively look at ways to improve internal processes which impacted everyone.
A key result has been that stronger communication and collaboration have developed in a stronger team that leads with empathy. As a team, we also appreciate the fact that the best way to support our products and services better is to continually improve our internal functionality. My biggest takeaway from Simon’s workshop is realising that learning to empathise with respective team members is just as important as empathising with our customers.
Guaranteed, I would love to work with Simon again in the future, as post workshop we have continued to discover new ideas to collaborate on, which have been proven to save time, and energy, are easy to understand and safe to apply.
As we have found, working with Simon will get you the results that will improve the health of any team or business immediately and hopefully make us a more productive and profitable business. Thanks, Simon!
Director, Professional Services, Asia Pacific & Japan, Boomi
Exciting, insightful and different! 3 words that can describe Simon’s keynote. His way of thinking around innovation as ‘change that matters’ is contagious and opened our everyday world into something we always wished to experience.
People and Culture, Australian Ethical
Thanks so much Simon! I had a blast. So many great comments on Facebook. Such a hard gig (and awesome effort) getting everyone going online, it was great. Thanks so much for your time, our members truly appreciate it.
JCI Australia National President
It has been great to work Simon on our Gift in Wills booklet, I approached Simon to ask if we could do something different, something that is not currently in the market place with regards to Gift in Will, Simon then lead us each step through a design led approach empowering the team helping us to think in an innovative way, Simon has been blessed with an amazing gift of visual storytelling and Wesley Mission is grateful that this skill will benefit our clients and the wider community in the coming years.
Planned Giving Manager, Wesley Mission
This is AMAZING! Thank you so, so much. I can’t wait for the whole team to see this. I love what has been created, the main image and all the individual images you have brought to life. This is what I had pictured for many years when we initially had conversations and I am so happy to see the end result! Thanks to you for all your efforts, truly appreciated. Thanks.
Senior Learning and Organisational Development Business Partner St George Community Housing
Thank you so much Simon and great to work with you again. Your content was right on point with the brief/conversation we had. The Ambassadors loved the energy, hands on approach and activities to get them thinking about the way they present. It was so great to see how motivated and engaged you got them. We really appreciate it.
Student Recruitment and Engagement Officer, Newcastle University
Hi Simon, today we presented our strategic agenda in its new and engaging visual format. What a difference this visual format & change in communication style has made! Staff have openly congratulated us on the effective change in messaging. They’ve loved the representation of our work as the journey it is, the clarity of messaging, the modernisation and contemporary nature of the agenda presentation. They are willing and proud in placing this change in their classrooms – one of my staff said, this will be front and centre as it’s looks so much more engaging than the usual departmental/school strategic plans! Congratulations Simon for all of your outstanding work. Your ability to visually and effectively articulate our agenda into an engaging and contemporary piece of art has enhanced my ability to reinvigorate my school strategic agenda at a crucial point in time in our journey to success. Thank you!
I would like to thank you for your role as facilitator and MC at the Department of Transport and Main Roads DG Customer Led Innovation Challenge. Your role was integral to making the day a success and was greatly appreciated by myself and all the participants.
Director General, QLD Department of Main Roads
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!!!
Senior Internal Communications & Events Specialist, REST Industry Super
Simon brought our organisation new skills and a new mindset. Simon’s approach to engagement and problem solving promoted and placed our staff front and centre in bringing solutions to our organisations challenges. Simon is as expert facilitator, a great artist, and an exemplar of positive creativity. I look forward to the opportunity of working with you again in the future.
Manager of Digital and Technology at the Public Trustee of QLD
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.
AILA NSW State Manager
We called on Simon to help us with an internal event we held recently. From the outset he was brilliant, from thoroughly understanding our needs through to fulfilling his role as MC. Simon was able to engage the audience, inject energy and keep everyone entertained. The feedback from attendees was exceptional and left the crowd wanting more.
Agile Coach – Digital, Commonwealth Bank
Simon supported me in a bid for new work. His creative skills and imagination helped us communicate our proposition in a highly effective way and I believe this helped differentiate us from our competition. He was very professional, organised and flexible which helped us meet a very tight deadline. I look forward to working with him again soon.
Executive Director, Ernst and Young
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 is 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.
Practice Manager, Hayes Knight (SA)
Simon facilitated our inaugural innovation event on September 2016 in Melbourne, where over a dozen teams participated. He brought great energy to the session, engaged the teams very well, coached us along the way, and made the event fun. Simon is a great presenter and facilitator and I would recommend him for other organisations looking to run innovation sessions, hackathons, or similar events.
Simon recently facilitated at our Senior Leaders Workshop – he was fantastic at keeping the group motivated and is very adaptable. He reads people extremely well so can quickly adjust the flow on the day to deliver the right outcomes – and ensures energy levels never wane. His visual creations of the day/session add another valuable dimension to any event.
Head of Internal Communication, METCASH
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!
Managing Director at PSC Reliance Franchise Partners
Just wanted to say a huge thank you for work at the conference last week, the day was excellent and the feedback we are receiving about you and the overall day is the best ever! I think you were a great addition both years, you kept the exercises different each time which certainly helped and I think staff were all really happy, particularly the way you managed the event.
Manager Marketing and Media, Marketing and Sales QLD TAFE
Simon Banks presented a keynote speech and workshop at our company conference a few weeks ago and we are still buzzing with inspiration and innovative ideas since. His brief was to work his keynote and workshop material around our conference theme of innovation and technology, and boy did he do his research. We were very impressed with his knowledge of our industry and how he could weave his expertise into our conference theme. Simon has a genuine ability to engage any audience and empower that audience to think outside the negative “No” thinking behaviour and flip that to a positive “Yes” I can behaviour. I would highly recommend Simon for any company event in any industry. Simon can mould his magic and inspire any organisation that is looking for innovative thinkers in their organisation.
Bid Advisor and Project Manager, Barker Ryan Stewart
As our event MC / facilitator, Simon’s creative approach kept our audience engaged, entertained and wishing he wasn’t Sydney based. Feedback from event attendees included “Simon’s activities were very easy, non-threatening and fun”, “my mind and body were kept active”, “his creative activities were refreshing” and “Simon’s visual representation of our event really captured the themes of the day”. Aside from being very generous with both his time and contribution to prior to the event, Simon flexibly supported the event coordination on the day with humour and finesse. Looking forward to working with Simon again in the future.
I brought Simon in to a client site to run a 3 hour workshop for 25 Business Improvement folk on visual facilitation (How-to-do). He was awesome. Super easy to work with, and excellent facilitation of the workshop itself. Weeks later the new skills are still being used and the team is communicating much more effectively with their stakeholders. Highly recommend!
Senior Consultant, Personal Banking, Business Improvement NAB
Simon was first recommended to me by a mutual friend and I subsequently invited him to facilitate one of our MBA in Entrepreneurship (MBAe) masterclasses at the UTS Business School on the topic of Visual Communications, which he delivered with great energy and skill. Simon challenged attendees to think differently and develop more confidence around their visual expression. It was noticeable how in the following weeks students were more likely to uses simple graphics and sketches in their communication. I look forward to working with him again on future classes.
Director MBA Entrepreneurship, University of Technology Sydney
I just wanted to say thank you for all of the work you did – before and during the CEO Forum. Simon, you made the day loads of fun for everyone. I am looking forward to finding more wonderful ways we can use your talents going forwards.
Internal Communications Specialist, Lumo Energy
Everyone absolutely LOVED the experience. They were still talking about and referencing their experience on Friday! After 9 years – I’ve finally topped the best event!! Everyone was so engaged, Friday night was beyond hilarious. The laughing from everyone, cheering – was just incredible! Thank you again for making it such a tremendous success.
HR Manager Australia & New Zealand, Sennheiser
Wow! What an impact our 2 days with Simon has had on our team. The team are constantly thinking outside the square for business improvement ideas and ‘acting’ more creatively. This is an absolute strength to this team and Sanitarium, and we are already seeing the business results.
National Sales Manager, Sanitarium
Simon and his team designed and delivered workshops and visual facilitation activities for the entire leadership team (200 or so) to explore the vision for the new city of Canterbury Bankstown. The outcome was a visual representation of our new organisation, what we do and how we deliver services to our community which will be essential to driving our organisation forward. Simon displayed excellent customer service and worked across many areas of our organisation with our staff to ensure the vision captured a broad range of views and perspectives.
Senior Project Officer Organisational Development at Bankstown City Council
Wow Simon! what a great fun night we had at our Sales Awards dinner last Friday at Byron Bay. Thank you so much for being such an amazing emcee. You were exceptionally talented, professional, high energy, creative and humorous! Most importantly everyone had heaps of fun and had great laughs, it was such a wonderful experience for all of us, so thanks again, look forward to work with you again in future.
Marketing and Events Coordinator, South East Asia Pacific, Arjo Huntleigh
The trainees and their mentors and they all loved the session! It was a perfect way to encourage mentor/mentee dialogue, as well as learning more about one another and the wider group. Thanks again for delivering such an awesome session, and helping to establish such an integral relationship between our trainees and their mentors.
Indigenous Employment Support Coordinator, Chevron Australia
I had the pleasure of attending Simon’s full-day Graphic Facilitation course recently in Sydney and could not recommend it highly enough. True to his word, Simon packed a punch of content into the day – there is great ROI in attending this workshop as I walked out literally ready to go and implement my new graphic facilitation skills. I loved that before we kicked off we each articulated what our individual goals were for the day. It was then through Simon’s friendly and funny expert facilitation and guided learning that by the end of the day we had each achieved our individual objectives, and so much more! Simon delivers the goods!
Senior Change Manager
Simon facilitated and graphically recorded our recent EY Oceania Infrastructure Advisory conference attended by 145 people. Simon had everyone up and interacting with others and kept the positive energy up in the room from the introduction through to introducing all the speakers right through to the end of the second day.
I ran into a gentleman attending a conference next door to ours and he asked me if we had a comedian because everyone was laughing and sounded like they were having a great time. He jokingly asked to join in because it sounded like more fun than the event he was attending.
I doubt our conference would have been as successful without Simon and everyone loved him, and we have quite a diverse team.
EA, Ernst and Young
I had the opportunity to work with Simon to bring to life our Values Week. Entitled “Seeing is Believing” Simon both educated and entertained our employees through graphic facilitation workshops. He empowered all participants to connect with their perception of the SA Water values through visual communication. Simon and his team provide a fun, intelligent, inspiring and engaging approach to learning that gets employees to reconnect with their inner creative. Simon’s authentic approach with people is evident as is his commitment to ensuring that he delivers valued outcomes for his clients. I look forward to having the chance to work with Simon in the future.
Director, People and Culture at Business SA
This is the very best program I personally have ever experienced. Thanks so much Simon, I believe you have found your calling, not just in art and facilitation but bringing a whole bunch of people together that would not normally associate. I couldn’t rave about you highly enough. Thanks again for a wonderful experience.
Qld Management Team, BlueScope Steel
The feedback has been nothing short of fantastic. Again thanks Simon for pulling off what will be a memorable night and of course now the bar for next year’s conference is set very high. Great job and really enjoyed working with you.
General Manager Small Business Programs & Services, Telstra
“Ongoing value of the training we participated in with you has been amazing! And the few of us who were a part of the original training group are keen to introduce the other members of our team to the experience we all rave about. Thanks once again for an amazing experience, the best training I have ever done.”
Team Leader, Community Partnerships, Mission Australia
Simon – you have showed professionalism, skill, creativity and great, great, great humour at both conferences you have facilitated. Watching you captivate an audience is just great.
Office Manager, Australand
I cannot speak highly enough of Simon. He was great at setting the atmosphere and enabling us to connect with our team mates. He kept everyone on their toes and had some great ideas on ice breakers and games without anyone feeling embarrassed about being involved.
Manager, Community Relations, CatholicCare
The feedback was fantastic from the conference. Thanks so much for your work with our sessions Simon. You were exceptionally professional, funny and really nailed the brief.
Australian Wholesale Marketing Manager – Flight Centre Travel Group
Your energy, style and humour was very engaging and enabled the whole team to get in touch with their amazing creativity, to have fun and to step outside their comfort zone. Thank you for making it seem effortless, I really do appreciate how much hard work goes into delivering something that works so well.
Human Resources Manager, St George Community Housing
Everyone thought you were great! Your session was fantastic, fast paced and highly interactive and took a different approach to the exploring creativity and innovation with a purpose relevant for the HR team. Most of all you were loads of fun.