AEPMA’s Pesticon 2022 proved a success, with attendees enjoying the opportunity to attend the first in-person industry conference in nearly three years. 

Held over three days at the start of June, Pesticon received positive feedback from attendees and exhibitors alike. As the first full industry conference since 2019, the desire for some face-to-face interaction was reflected in the attendance figures and the enthusiasm of those present. It was the largest AEPMA conference for several years with over 500 attendees.

The opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues for the first time in a couple of years was apparent in the upbeat atmosphere at the pre-conference gathering (sponsored by Corteva) and the happy hour drinks after the first day (sponsored by Syngenta).

But of course from an educational point of view, the program of presentations, panel sessions and workshops were the backbone of the conference. Covering a wide range of subjects, with many connected to the conference theme of Pest Management in the Digital Age, the sessions were well received by attendees.

But perhaps the talk that had the biggest impact was the session on mental health. “I’ve been coming to these conferences for years, and this presentation was simply the best presentation I have seen,” commented Patrick Legey, vice-chairman of the NSW/ACT branch of AEPMA and technical director at Austrapest.

The leadership dinner on the first night included the awarding of the Bayer Excellence Awards while the conference closed with the gala dinner (sponsored by BASF) and the awarding of Pest Manager of the Year and the PWAPM Excellence Awards (also sponsored by BASF).

Winners of Pest Manager of the Year 2022:

  • South Pacific Pest Manager of the Year – Fastkil (Fiji)
  • Micro Business of the Year – Checkmate Pest Control (Brisbane)
  • Business fewer than 10 employees – Envirapest (Perth)
  • Business more than 10 employees – Rentokil-Initial

Rentokil-Initial also won the overall award.

An emotional Asita Devi Deo from Fastkil Pest Control in Fiji won the PWAPM Excellence Award, showing the passion that many of the award winners have for the industry and their appreciation of being recognised by their peers.

Next year’s conference will be at The Star, Gold Coast on August 16-18, 2023.