VTA State Conference set for late March

After 12 months of disruption to the Victorian Transport Association’s typically busy events, professional development, and networking calendar, I am thrilled to be able to confirm our annual State Conference will be going ahead – in person – in March.

Unlike most peak transport industry groups, the VTA was fortunately able to host last year’s State Conference, with the COVID-19 pandemic gathering speed just days after our event in the first week of March 2020.

Since then, all our interactions with members, supporters and other transport industry stakeholders have been online or remote, which can never really replace the impact and significance of getting together face-to-face for important discussions and interactions.

For this reason alone, I know many people from the industry are looking forward to reconnecting with customers and contacts, which is what conferences like ours are so important for facilitating.

Our theme for the Conference this year is ‘What’s in Front for the Transport Industry’, and after a year like no other when lives have been ground to a halt and businesses upended, the Conference will be an invaluable forum for learning and hearing from industry experts on recovering from the pandemic and getting your operation on the best possible footing for the year ahead.

Over two days from March 21-23 at Silverwater Resort, Phillip Island, the Conference will gather experts from state and federal governments and oppositions, industry regulators, operators, suppliers, academics, and other experts for important discussions on the issues confronting freight and logistics.

Topics to be covered will include industrial relations, heavy vehicle transport law, human resources, safety, technology, infrastructure, education, and training, with a distinct focus on the key changes and reforms confronting the freight logistics industry.

Heavy vehicle licensing reform, the cost of doing business, employment, law enforcement, and innovations to help operators run more efficient and productive businesses are just a handful of the key issues our speakers and presenters will cover off over a mixture of keynote presentations and panel sessions during the conference.

VTA state conferences are well-known for being content rich, and this year promises to be no exception with around 35 speakers being confirmed to address delegates on numerous topics of great relevance to both freight and logistics operators and suppliers – we look forward to presenting the final program as speakers and content are finalised over the days and weeks ahead.

A trade exhibit featuring booths from transport industry goods and service providers will also form part of the conference, enabling delegates to catch up on the latest technology and innovations from the leading suppliers of our industry.

If you supply the freight and logistics sector with goods and services be sure to contact the VTA for further information about your business participating in the exhibit.

Another important part of the Conference are opportunities to make new contacts and reconnect with colleagues, customers, and others you likely haven’t seen for many months.

The networking and hospitality program over the two days provides ample opportunity to meet with fellow delegates over lunch, during dinner, and other informal sessions.

The transport industry has responded exceptionally well to the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have been instrumental in keeping Australians fed, fuelled, clothed and healthy during a period of significant disruption, and as an industry that is also pivotal to our national economic recovery, attending the State Conference will help operators and their people learn about the latest technologies and trends in transport.

The State Conference is being held once again at the picturesque Silverwater Resort, located just a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s CBD at Phillip Island (San Remo).

A range of price points are available for those able to attend all or parts of the conference, with special discounted pricing for VTA members. For further pricing information and to register your attendance, visit www.vta.com.au.

Lockdowns and restrictions on our movements and interactions with family, friends and colleagues has been one of the more difficult aspects of COVID-19 and it’s encouraging to be able to enjoy freedoms once again that we didn’t have for much of 2020.

One of those is the ability to meet with each other in person, and I hope you can join us for what promises to be another memorable VTA State Conference.

Peter Anderson