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PESTICON 2022 REVIEW

Pesticon 2022, held over three days at the start of June, has 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. The conference 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 with the impressive turnout and 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, 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.

Patrick Legey, vice-chairman of the NSW/ACT branch of AEPMA and technical director at Austrapest, encapsulated the feedback on this session. “I’ve been coming to these conferences for years, and this presentation was simply the best presentation I have seen. For the industry leaders to stand up in front of their peers and share their personal experiences, it was a very brave thing to do. But to get these issues into the open is invaluable. I hope this gives courage to others to reach out.”

 

Pesticon Presentation Syngenta
Presentations were well attended

 

In addition to the main presentation sessions, there are always a number of satellite meetings. The leadership dinner on the first night included the awarding of the Bayer Excellence Awards. Phil Sayer won the award for 2022 and the night also provided the opportunity to present the 2021 award to Stephen Doggett.

The first morning for the conference saw the Professional Women in Australian Pest Management (PWAPM) networking breakfast. With over 50 attendees, the profile of women in the industry continues to rise. Awards were presented to Eliza Urey from Drop Dead Pest Control for PWAPM Female Administrator of the Year (sponsored by PCT) and Abigail Thomas from Pianto’s Pest Control as PWAPM Female Trainee of the Year (sponsored by Bayer).

 

Pesticon tradeshow
Pesticon Tradeshow

 

As always, the tradeshow was also a highlight with over 30 exhibitors, with the key industry suppliers being boosted by a few new faces. Hosted in a marquee, and with the large number of attendees, break times saw the space become a hive of activity as pest managers sought to find out more about products and services that could help their businesses.

 

Pesticon Gala Dinner
Pesticon Gala Dinner

 

The conference closed with the gala dinner (sponsored by BASF) with a full house of 380 attendees (despite the temptation to watch the state of origin match). The dinner saw the awarding of key industry awards – Pest Manager of the Year and the PWAPM Excellence Awards (sponsored by BASF).

The winners were:

  • 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.

Attendees will be looking forward to next year’s conference (date to be confirmed).

Look out for more photos of Pesticon 2022 in the Spring issue of Professional Pest Manager magazine.