Collarts students working audio production roles in Las Vegas and Gold Coast!

Outside of teaching Audio Production at Collarts, David “Streef” Streefkerk is one of the industry’s most in-demand live engineers and post-production specialists. In 2017, Collarts and Streef offered some of our most talented and dedicated students the opportunity to assist him on one of his extracurricular projects — managing the audio production of the Retail Global Conferences in Gold Coast and Las Vegas.

Congratulations to Audio Production students Jess Davey and Jackson Hawkins, who were awarded the all-expenses-paid opportunity to travel and work with Streef on this massive undertaking!

Jackson Hawkins will be heading to the Las Vegas conference in September, while Jess Davey recently returned from working with Streef on the Gold Coast conference in May.

The Retail Global Conference is one of the world’s premier e-Commerce events, with speakers this year including representatives from Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, Kogan, Ebay and more getting together to discuss the future of the e-commerce industry. For Streef, Jess and Jackson, it means making sure that hundreds of talks, panels and presentations across multiple stages all sound great and run smoothly!

Here’s a quick video from the conference to give you an idea of what happens there:

Our student Jess Davey came back from the conference and gave us a full day-by-day rundown of what happened — here are some of the highlights from Jess’ experience own words!

Tuesday – Induction

The whole first day was one big, exciting induction with the key staff in which the groundwork was laid for an intense 3 days. I was amazed at the size of the venue, the Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre, the facilities and different rooms seemed never ending!

Wednesday – Day 1 of the conference

This first day of the conference was a big one – a very early start and a very late finish.

I found that even though there were a thorough event schedule and run sheet, there was plenty of unpredictable moments across the day that required me to adapt and improvise. I found myself doing everything from voiceovers on the fly, to client management and creating professional powerpoint presentations. It was a tremendous experience, with so many lessons given to me throughout the day by the seasoned professionals I was working with.

Thursday – Day 2 of the conference

This proved to be the most demanding day of the conference for me.

It required lightning fast bumps on and off of the stages due to the vast amount of presenters, which was almost overwhelming at times, but I found it was manageable in the end with clear communication and attention to detail.

This day also saw the largest number of attendees at the conference and as a result, the full extent of the venue’s seemingly endless maze of rooms was in use. Getting my head around the layout of the facilities wasn’t just confusing, it was also just exhausting covering that many kilometres!

It was really rewarding to see that all of our hard work meant that the event continued to run smoothly, even though my physical and mental fitness was pushed to the limit.

Friday – The final day of the conference

On my fourth day, I really began to get a feel for the demands that working events like this place on an audio engineer – but also how to manage and navigate that.

I found myself not just rushing to keep up but also thinking about how I could improve and optimise the tasks in my role. This was by far the most fun of the days — the whole team was on a real high from the success of the last few days and a sense of accomplishment and relief gradually built over the day.

Big thanks to Streef, the staff at Collarts who worked hard on making this opportunity a reality, plus Phil and his team at Retail Global for having faith in me to take this on — it was such a rewarding experience.

Jess Davey and Jackson Hawkins are both currently studying the Bachelor of Arts (Audio Production) at Collarts.