Termite Professional Conference 2022

Termite Professional Conference 2023 – The Wrap!

According to reports from attendees, it’s fair to say the inaugural Termite Professional Conference was a success, and an event that exceeded expectations. The feedback from delegates, exhibitors and speakers alike has been overwhelmingly positive.

Held in the first week of July, the conference hosted 212 delegates and saw exactly 300 attendees overall (delegates, speakers, exhibitors and partners for the gala dinner). With such high attendee numbers for an inaugural event, it demonstrates the demand for quality, educational events, with pest managers keen to hear from the experts – world class scientists involved termite and pest control research.

The Maroochy RSL Events Centre on the Sunshine Coast proved a great hit from a venue point of view, creating a friendly atmosphere and offering good food. With a single stream of talks, the main theatre was packed for each presentation, and it ensured delegates didn’t miss out and had plenty to talk about during breaks.

Let’s take a closer look at the various sessions…

An Evening with Prof. Dini Miller

The pre-conference event took on a different format to the standard welcome drinks at most conferences. “An Evening with Prof. Dini Miller” combined a high-quality educational event with some drinks, nibbles and the chance to socialise. We were very fortunate to have Prof. Dini Miller present on German Cockroaches and Assessment Based Pest Management. Prof. Miller’s presentation was not only informative and thought provoking, but very engaging – a great way to start the conference. We would like to thank Syngenta for sponsoring this pre-conference event.

Prof Dini Miller talking at the Termite Professional Conference
Prof Dini Miller talking about German cockroaches and Assessment Based Pest Management

Day 1 – Termite Biology and Behaviour

The first day of the conference was focused on termite biology and behaviour – know your enemy! The key presentations for the day were from Ass. Prof. Thomas Chouvenc from the University of Florida who spoke about basic termite biology and Ass. Prof. Theo Evans from the University of Western Australia who discussed termite distribution and potential changes in termite distribution and behaviour in the coming years as the climate changes, as well as a short presentation on the nesting habits of Australian termite species. The afternoon session included a session on drywood termites (Chris Fitzgerald from DAF, QLD and Ass. Prof. Chouvenc), Scott Kleinschmidt having a closer look at termite foraging and timber susceptibility and Prof. Nathan Lo providing a virtual presentation on all-female termite colonies and the microbes in termite guts. The day finished with a Q&A session with the expert panel. A rewarding day for delegates with a lot of information to increase their understanding of termites.

Keynote speakers at the Termite Professional ConferenceLeft to right: Theo Evans, Thomas Chouvenc, Scott Kleinschmidt and Phil Ridley

Full theatre at the Termite Professional Conference Full theatre at the Termite Professional Conference

WIPM Breakfast

The Women in Pest Management team hosted the conference breakfast, prior to the start of the second day of the conference. The breakfast (which was open to both men and women) was a great start to the day, with nearly 150 attendees. Those present couldn’t help but be moved by the talk from speaker Amanda Stevens; engaging, amusing and emotional. The take-out message – “When shit happens, turn it into fertilizer!” – provided a great approach to deal with adverse events.

Termite Professional Conference WIPM breakfast Delegates getting ready for Amanda Stevens at the WIPM breakfast

Amanda Stevens

Day 2 – Termite Management

Day 2 of the conference focused on termite management. The day started with a virtual presentation from Anna Berry (B&G) on termiticide application followed by Ass. Prof. Chouvenc’s well-received presentation exploring how termite treatments (baits and soil treatments) actually work. With further presentations on best practice termite treatments (Dr Phil Ridley), a history of pre-construction (Peter Brigden, Termseal), termite inspections (Jay Turner, Laguna Pest Control) and moisture meters (Keith Farrow, Work Ready Training), the program covered many of the key elements of termite management. The last session of the day focusing on the liability issues around termite inspections and treatments proved very popular. With the theatre still full, it demonstrated that the program retained the interest of delegates to the end. Belinda Smith (Rapid Solutions) and James Wallace (Wymark) presented and fielded a range of questions. The day finished with a prize draw before departing to prepare for the gala dinner.

Gala Dinner

The conference atmosphere continued at the gala dinner – a friendly, relaxed and inclusive environment. The evening included the Pest Technician of the Year award and WIPM Recognition Awards, with award winners warmly received by their peers. Diners were kept entertained with a roving magician and Ellen Briggs, the engaging and funny MC and comedian. Maroochy RSL continued its great support with excellent food and plenty of drink for all.

Termite Professional Conference dinner table

Termite Professional Conference Dinner

Ellen Briggs at the Termite Professional Conference
Ellen Briggs – MC and Comedian – had the audience in stitches
WIPM Award Winners 2023
The WIPM Award Winners 2023
Pest Technician of the Year Award Winner 2023 - Josh Thompson
Josh Thompson – Pest Technician of the Year 2023 (left) with Phil Ridley (director, Professional Pest Manager magazine)

Trade Exhibit

Of course, conferences need the support of sponsors and exhibitors, and we are very grateful for the support of our main sponsors, Greenzone and Syngenta, as well as our exhibitors, Agserv, Formitize, Rapid Solutions, Sherwood Chemical, Silvan, Termseal and Wymark.

Termite Professional Conference Trade Exhibit

Syngenta logo
Greenzone logo

“We really appreciated the support from delegates, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors alike, without which, events like this simply can’t happen,” said Dr Phil Ridley, director at Professional Pest Manager.

“Professional Pest Manager will continue to provide high quality educational events for pest managers, after all, as our tagline says, we are Your Pest Control Knowledge Centre.”