Rapid Solutions EduCon 2019 saw a great turnout and marked the first year of the Professional Women in Pest Management Excellence Award. 

The future of the industry was a focus for the 500 people who attended Rapid Solutions EduCon at RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast from August 8 to 11. The four-day conference is the highlight of the Australian pest control event calendar for 2019.

“This year, Rapid Solutions developed a program in partnership with sponsors, speakers and exhibitors to cover areas that would help pest managers and building inspectors prepare for the future,” said Belinda Smith, Rapid Solutions CEO.

Keynote speaker, futurist Craig Rispin, set the tone for the forward- looking theme. His talk was followed by two full days of presentations – 32 presentations across three concurrent sessions – that provided technical advice and information to help pest managers grow their businesses. With a number of exhibitor stands, attendees also had the opportunity to spend quality time with suppliers, learning about their products and services.

Belinda Smith, CEO of Rapid Solutions,
with keynote speaker Craig Rispin (centre) and Basil Taylor, Rapid Solutions

“Importantly, we understand that events like this are as much about opportunities for delegates and suppliers to meet and create opportunities for business. We received plenty of very positive feedback from delegates and exhibitors,” said Ms Smith.

“Many of the exhibitors and speakers used the opportunity to promote and speak about product innovations for the industry, but this year we also included a range of business service experts and services focused on adding value to businesses.”

EduCon 2019 was well attended, with busy exhibitor stands

Of course, a key component of any conference is networking and socialising. EduCon was no different, which saw the conference kicking o with a poolside welcome reception hosted by Syngenta. The Friday night gala dinner hosted by BASF was, as always, the highlight of the social activities. The centrepiece of the gala reception was the presentation of the AEPMA Pest Manager of the Year awards.

The gala dinner was the highlight of the conference

This year’s winners were:

  • Company with more than 10 employees: Dawson’s Pest Control, Melbourne, VIC
  • Company with fewer than 10 employees: Envirapest, Perth, WA
  • Micro business (fewer than three employees): Riverside Pest Management, Deniliquin, NSW
  • South Pacific: Amalgamated Pest Control, Fiji
  • Overall winner: Dawson’s Pest Control.

BASF also sponsored the inaugural Professional Women in Pest Management (PWAPM) Excellence Award, which was won by Kylee Enwright from CPR Pest Management Services in the Hunter Valley, NSW.

Nicky Turner from Laguna Pest Control in Noosa, founder of PWAPM, was proud of the increasing profile and recognition of women in the pest control industry. “The number of women attending this year’s conference seemed noticeably higher – around 50 attendees, which was a mix of delegates and pest managers who brought their partners. We received a number of comments from women about the increased representation and frequently saw groups of women socialising and discussing pest management issues. It’s all very encouraging,” said Ms Turner.

Kylee Enwright, winner of Professional
Women in Pest Management Excellence
Award with husband Paul Enwright

Ms Smith added, “Events like these need a village of sorts to come together, and we are incredibly grateful to all the sponsors, who exhibited and provided support, as well as the delegates. Many travelled long distances to attend and we are most grateful to everyone who made EduCON 2019 a success.

“We particularly want to congratulate the finalists and award winners in the 2019 AEPMA Pest Manager Awards and the inaugural PWAPM award,” Ms Turner added.

Next year’s industry pest control conference will be hosted by AEPMA. Details will be released in the coming months.

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