Tuesday 17 to Friday 20 July 2018 Palm Cove/Cairns

It's a WRAP! If you did not attend, you missed a sensational 2018 Keno Right Direction Conference which included a sensational range of expert educational sessions, networking events and subject specific workshops. All who attended agreed that the speakers provided them with some insightful tips and tools to apply to their community club and business operations. Of note, we also made our mark in history and put The Surf Club, Palm Cove on the world stage! 6000 tooth brushes + a lot of people = a Guinness World Record. And in the true spirit of Clubland, all the toothbrushes are now going to those that need a hand up in the local community, via 5 Cairns based charities that the event supported on the day! Congratulations Clubland and all those involved. Another great example of Queensland Community Clubs helping Queensland Communities. 

Guinness World Record set @ the 2018 Keno Right Direction Conference 

Last week the Keno Right Direction Conference delegates (and the public) joined hands to set a new Guinness World Record at the Surf Club Palm Cove, for a continuous line of toothbrushes that stretched over a kilometre.  Watch the 3 minute video of the successful attempt.

Off the back of Geoff Wilson’s 2017 Right Direction Conference ‘keynote address’ (Geoff is an extreme adventurer who has broken six (6) world records), he got us thinking that this year at the conference we might be able to deliver a world record.  YES, (in our case) an attempt at a Guinness World Record!  So on Wednesday the 18th of July, 150 Keno Right Direction Conference delegates (+ the general public) successfully set a Guinness World Record for the Longest Line of Toothbrushes!  

The Background – well, with a little investigating the Clubs Queensland team discovered that one of the things ‘most charities assist with’, is the provision of up to 40 toothbrushes a week (amongst other things) for those that need a hand up.  

So, we took with us to Palm Cove 6000 toothbrushes to complete the record attempt, with the goal being that the toothbrushes (and some fundraising $$) would be shared amongst 5 local charities. 

The five worthy ‘local charities’ were:  Ronald McDonald House, Ruth’s Women’s Shelter, Quigley Street Night Shelter run by Anglicare, Centennial House which is a crisis centre run by the Salvos and the Holloways Beach Men’s Shed which is just starting out.

Now a record like this ‘involving toothbrushes’ had not been previously established, therefore Guinness World Records set us a minimum to be achieved.  The goal was to deliver one kilometre of toothbrushes in a surveyed line, or in our case the forming of a sentence:  “Queensland’s Community Clubs Proudly Supporting Local Communities”.

Best of all we did it, and we now hold a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD (applause)!  PS… A Big shout out to The Surf Club Palm Cove for your support of this initiative and the use of your carpark. 

Did our photo's catch you enjoying the conference activities?

Day 1 activities

Day 2 activities



Tuesday 17
Day at the Races – Magic Millions Race Day at Cannon Park Racecourse, Cairns – Details coming soon
Keno Right Directions Welcome Cocktail Party - Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort

Wednesday 18
Keno Right Direction Conference - The Surf Club Palm Cove
Carlton & United Breweries Lunch - The Surf Club Palm Cove
Club Super Dinner - The Surf Club Palm Cove

Thursday 19
Club Super Zone and Workplace Relations Breakfast Meeting – Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort
Keno Right Direction Conference Day 2:  Morning Workshops - Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort
Choice of three workshops:  1. Gaming, 2. Staff Culture & Customer Service, 3. Social Media & Marketing
Keno’s Finishing Feast – lunch by the pool  - Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort
Compliance Workshop – Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort - afternoon
Income Tax for Clubs Workshop with Stephen Marsden – Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort – afternoon
Meet the Experts and book a half hour time slot with one or more of our speakers – details to be released soon - afternoon
Friday 20
Financial Literacy Workshop (Intermediate) FNQ Zone - The Surf Club Palm Cove


Norm Spitzig, Principal & Senior Partner at Master Club Advisors

Norm is internationally recognised as an eloquent, entertaining and visionary expert on club operations and board governance. His groundbreaking book Perspectives on Club Management–now over 30 years old–continues to inspire and challenge club directors, managers, members and students around the world. Norm’s leadership and professional contributions to the worldwide club industry are numerous and significant. Elected a National Director of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) in 1989, he served as National President in 1995–the same year he became one of the six original general managers to earn the prestigious lifetime Master Club Manager (MCM) designation.  Norm’s Board of Directors’ leadership workshops and strategic planning facilitations have been very well received by many professional associations and individual clubs on six continents–most recently, for example, in Quito, Ecuador. He has the singular honor of having been twice named the United States club industry’s “Educator of the Year”.


MC, Keynote, Social Media & Marketing Workshop, Meet the Expert Sessions

Gregg Patterson, Owner, Speaker and Writer for Tribal Magic

Gregg became the General Manager of The Beach Club in 1982 and spent 34 glorious years as their GM, stepping aside for the “next generation” and his next adventure as a full time speaker and writer with his new company “Tribal Magic!!!” in 2016. Gregg has been a featured presenter at various club management seminars, assistant manager conferences and hospitality forums around the world; teaches club management courses at BMI-II and BMI-V; was an Adjunct Professor in the Collins School of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly University, Pomona for fourteen years; and is a visiting lecturer at various universities both in the states and around the world. Gregg also writes for Board Room magazine, Club Management magazine, Club Management Perspectives, Golf Retailing magazine and The St. Andrews Management Center and is the author of Reflections on the Club Experience, an anthology of essays on club cultures and operations. In acknowledgement of his efforts as an educator in both the university and the corporate worlds, he was awarded the 2002 Gary Player Private Club Educator of the Year Award by Board Room magazine, the Club Executive of the Year by the Club Management Association of America in 2015, the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian Pacific Hospitality Summit in 2015 and the 2015 Board Room magazine Award of Dedication “for his timeless, energetic and dedicated service to the private club industry.”

MC, Keynote, Staff Culture & Customer Service Workshop, Meet the Expert Sessions

John Acres, Gaming Hall of Fame Member, CEO & Founder of Acres 4.0

John is in the business of human motivation. His career began in 1972 in Las Vegas, where he helped the casino industry entice people to gamble and retain their loyalty through a combination of psychology and computer intelligence. He is the Former Founder and CEO of Electronic Data Technologies which invented electronic player tracking through which casinos could measure individual player spend and provide incentives to increase play.  He went on to found and manage Mikohn that developed progressive jackpot systems that increased play on slot machines in casinos. At his most recent company (Acres 4.0), he is leveraging mobile technologies, cloud computing and artificial intelligence to create more powerful implementations of these concepts at ever-diminishing costs for use in the casino, hotel and resort industries.


Blockbuster video died long ago. Will Queensland clubs be next?
John Acres believes that Queensland clubs, like Las Vegas casinos, are following Blockbuster video into oblivion. Tomorrow’s customers want more than jackpots. They want personal attention. And just as Netflix found new ways to please customers with new technology, so can Queensland Clubs. In this keynote, John explains how by adapting a combination of technology, psychology and a strong personal work culture, the best days of Queensland clubs are just ahead.

Keynote, Gaming Workshop, Staff Culture & Customer Service Workshop, Meet the Expert

Curt Schatz, Managing Partner, Mullins

Curt has more than 30 years of experience advising the clubs industry in relation to property and liquor and gaming law. Curt is recognised as a leader in this field and was included in the 2018 Edition of the Best Lawyers™  in Australia for Hospitality and Tourism Law, Brisbane. He advises venue owners and operators on the strategic and technical aspects of their business operations and freehold ownerships. This includes advice to property developers and owners about assets, including licensed premises. Curt is experienced in all areas of law relevant to the clubs industry, and has more than 30 years of technical expertise in relation to property, liquor and gaming. He uses this experience to work with clients to find solutions to all compliance issues, from employment law advice through to litigation. Curt is actively involved in the club industry and has a wide network of clients, referrers and industry professionals.
Clubs/Future Sustainability: Diversification of Revenue
Curt Schatz will speak about how Clubs can protect and secure their future financial viability through various options including revenue diversification, development of land excess to the main purpose of the club, interaction with other clubs and/or approaches from the private sector.
Keynote,  Meet the Expert

Pam Abrey, Head Honcho at Zebra Guru

Following a diverse international career in marketing, Pam Abrey is focused on helping the Clubs Industry increase traffic through purpose-led branding and clever affordable marketing. With 25 years of brand, marketing and internal communications strategies, she has plenty of knowledge to share. Pam has a great understanding of the Queensland audience from her time as head of retail marketing for Ergon Energy, and Club Super's Marketing and Client Relations Manager.  She'll be sharing practical tools and tips to realign your brand, and get the most out of your marketing activities, and encourage your staff to become brand ambassadors. Her greatest passion is creating a holistic marketing strategy that results in more business, more employment, and happy stakeholders. 

You would like more members and great employees to choose your club, right? Of course you do. But if the message about your club isn't inspiring, delivering on your promises, and differentiating it from others, you will be wasting your marketing budget. Member and employee loyalty is about creating a emotional connection, so in this session we'll look at practical ways to realign your brand to create a clear message about who you are, understand the importance of community involvement, and turn your people into your greatest ambassadors. 

Social Media & Marketing Workshop, Meet the Expert

John Loane, Head of Marketing – Gaming, Tabcorp Gaming Solutions

John has over 10 years of marketing and loyalty experience in the hospitality, casino and gaming industries with seven years at Crown Melbourne working across a number of portfolios and has a Bachelor of Business with a co-major in Advertising and Marketing. John leads the TGS marketing and loyalty team, working with venues to maximise their profitability, grow local market share and drive customer engagement through the provision of marketing and loyalty strategy and campaigns, graphic design and CRM.
Gaming Workshop

Paul Schmidt, Chief Product Officer, BI and Analystics, MSL Solutions Ltd

Paul is an experienced business intelligence professional with over 15 years’ experience in the delivery of Business Intelligence (BI), Data Warehouse (DW) and Analytical Solutions across Australia and New Zealand, who joined MSL Solutions in March 2016.  He has held senior roles in delivering BI and Analytics to Australian and International companies including BHP Billiton, Tabcorp, Philip Morris International, Telstra, Stockland, EMI Music, Nissan and Optus.  Paul's current role is responsible for providing an integrated data and analytics platform including predictive analytics for over six hundred clients.

Gaming Workshop

Mel Kettle, Communication and Social Media Strategist, Mel Kettle Consulting

Mel Kettle is a communication and social media strategist, author of The Social Association and sought-after speaker. She has over 25 years’ experience, as well as a Master of Business in Marketing and a Master of Public Health. Mel specialises in working with member-based organisations to help them address some of their biggest challenges – engaging with and demonstrating value to members. She provides tailored and practical communication solutions through speaking, mentoring, training and facilitation. An accomplished speaker, Mel has presented at many conferences, workshops and events on the topics of communication and social media. Her presentations are packed full of relevant examples and practical advice that participants can start actioning immediately. She also trains, mentors and up-skills CEOs, staff and volunteers to improve their communication and social media skills. Mel’s first book, The Social Association: 5 key skills not-for-profits need to increase member engagement, generate ROI and create thriving online communities, was published in February 2018.

From Casual to Connected: Using Social Media to Attract, Engage and Retain Customers
Social media can help your business STAND OUT. People do business with people they know, like and trust, and social media can help you turn casual customers into a connected community. Research shows a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profitability by up to 75%, yet most customers are not brand loyal. In this presentation, Mel shares real-life examples and practical ideas to help you have conversations, build relationships and create a loyal community of customers.

Keynote, Social Media & Marketing Workshop, Staff Culture and Customer Service Workshop, Meet the Expert Sessions

Julie Stone, CAPTaV8 Champion, Capta Group

Julie Stone has over 20 years’ experience in and around Cairns, working in the Training, Tourism and Licenced Club Industry.  She has recently been brought on board with CaPTA as their CaPTAv8 Champion and is responsible for driving their CaPTAv8 with Attitude program into the future, ensuring it remains exciting, focussed, relevant and current.

CAPTaV8 with Attitude
If you are in doubt that a strong and well managed staff culture is key to great customer service and business success, then you need to hear from Julie Stone, CaPTAv8 Champion for the CaPTA Group of Companies.  Julie will explain their company’s innovative program to engage and motivate staff to bring WOW factor to EVERY customer experience.  Julie will go through the basics of implementing and managing what is an evolving staff culture and highlight the principles of consistency with language, education and training for employees and how to get your employees to commit. The CaPTA Group owns four of the main tourist attractions in the Cairns region along with a coach and charter company and an RTO that focuses on the hospitality and tourism industry training, offering accredited and non-accredited.”
Staff Culture & Customer Service Workshop, Meet the Expert Sessions

Brendan Keevers, General Manager, The Drug Detection Agency

Brendon Keevers is a local to the Cairns region, has a post graduate in Business and is an ex police officer. Brendon has been involved in the drug and alcohol testing industry for over 6 years and with his knowledge in policing has over 12 years’ experience in the impact of drug and alcohol use on individuals and the larger community.  Brendon is an experienced keynote speaker and passionate around the risks of drug and alcohol use and their manufacturing. Brendon is very hands on in the drug and alcohol testing industry and has tested and spoken with countless drug users and their families. He often provides free community and school talks as he strongly believes education is the key to change in this area.  The Drug Detection Agency is a company that works together with individuals, communities, organisations and businesses by raising awareness to help in achieving this. 
Assessing Risk – Drug and Alcohol use in the workplace – it is everyone’s problem
Illicit drug use within our communities is a real concern to each and everyone of us and we all have a responsibility to play our part in creating a drug free environment. Effectively addressing drug issues and the risks posed by these activities in your premise plays an important part in you meeting your responsibility. The first step is knowing what to look for. Your security and bar staff are the ears and eyes to assist with identifying whether the illicit use and or dealing of these substances is taking place within your establishment. Your staff need to possess the skills and confidence to deal with the delicate and potentially volatile situations that may arise from these activities. If you don’t know what you are doing, things can move rapidly from a simple suspicion to a serious incident.  Brendon will deliver a presentation on workplace drug testing and the positive outcomes achieved by effectively managing these risks. 


Luis Nheu, Partner, Brand + Slater Architects

Luis is one of four Partners at Brand + Slater Architects, with specialist skills in Interior Design for the hospitality and gaming industry.  Leading the interior design team for the past 15 years, Luis’ project involvement spans from the initial briefing right through to completion, over-seeing every interior design detail.  Specialising in clubs and hotels, bars, restaurants and high-end residential fit outs, Luis’ exposure to hospitality design has provided him with an invaluable depth of experience which is reflected in the numerous completed and award-winning projects in Australia.  

Gaming Workshop, Meet The Expert Sessions 

Alan Sher, General Manager, MSF and Executive Manager, Client Services, IFAA Group

Alan has given advice to literally thousands of Australians – from influential government Ministers and wealthy individuals to ordinary hard working casual employees in the Clubs industry.  All of these people have the same long term goals – to be able to retire in a relatively simple and dignified manner, and to make sure that their wealth and insurance passes to the right hands on death.  Alan holds a Masters of Financial Planning, an Honours degree in Economics, and has earned a Certified Financial Planner designation.  When he’s not at work, you will find Alan spending time with his family or outside doing something to pump the blood faster.
Meet the Expert Sessions

Claire Madden, Social Researcher, Media Commentator, Business Consultant and Founder and Director of Hello Clarity

Claire Madden is at the forefront of emerging social trends and forces shaping Australia the world in a globalised connected and engaged age.  From workforce trends to social media and emerging sectors, Claire’s knowledge and research expertise places her in a highly sought after position by many organisations through Keynote presentations, Strategy workshops and Boardroom briefings.  Claire is highly regarded for her dynamic and engaging presentations where she translates robust, research-based content into strategic applications for educators, managers and business leaders stemming from academic qualifications in communications and postgraduate studies in leadership as well as her experience being on the board for a financial services company and on the Advisory Board of UTS Business School. Claire is commissioned by some of the nation’s largest companies and leading brands to interpret the changing landscape and communicate the implications for business and society. And as a media commentator, she is regularly interviewed on prominent television programs including The Drum, The Project, The Today Show, SkyNews, Sunrise and The Morning Show, as well as on the radio and in print media.  Claire will be researching our community club industry in order to deliver a fantastic keynote of real interest.


Mick McKeown, Regional Sales Director – Queensland, Carlton & United Breweries

Mick is a passionate and energetic commercial leader having experience in both marketing and sales positions within Carlton & United Breweries (CUB). Mick started his career working in two global advertising agencies, Leo Burnett & Clemenger BBDO, after managing the Carlton & United business for two years Mick started work with CUB in 2010, since this time Mick has worked across the Carlton & Great Northern portfolio of brands and was GM of CUB’s international portfolio. In March 2017 Mick relocated from Melbourne to be CUB’s Regional Sales Director for QLD. 


Sean Kennedy, Sales Manager, Pubs & Clubs, Silver Chef

Through his line of work, Sean is closely monitoring the ever-changing food & beverage trends across Queensland and the eastern states. With a background in hospitality as State Manager for Cadbury Schweppes and General Manager of FV Hotels, Sean has a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with clubs looking to improve their Food & Beverage offering and profitability.

Future Food Production and Service
Customers want fast service, modern flavours and great quality. Meanwhile, club managers need to organise production around staff shortages and rising food costs, so new methods of cooking and service are essential – standing still is not an option. Here’s how new equipment and technology can create great food, happy customers and lower costs.

Keynote, Meet the Expert 

Carlie Green-Medina, Director, Digital Annex

Carlie Green-Medina is an internationally experienced General Manager of Marketing and Digital Marketing. With over 15 years’ experience developing marketing and digital strategies across the gaming, hospitality, entertainment, education and sports industries in both Australia and the United States, Carlie has seen the progress of dozens of high growth and high exposure tactics for multiple brands. She has held senior executive positions with major brands including Caesars Entertainment, Star Entertainment Group, MGM Grand, Carnival Corporation and City Beach Australia. Carlie is a sought-after commercial strategist for corporate organisations and assists businesses with developing marketing and digital strategies. She delivers impressive branding, data-driven strategies, and outstanding outcomes for the clients and organisations she works with. Carlie is the Founder and Director of Digital Annex, a marketing and consultancy agency, specialising in the gaming and sports industries. Additionally she is the Director for Agency X, an athlete brand management and booking agency. She also hosts multiple education and training workshops, is a mentor to young professionals and board member of Women In Digital and Southern Districts Basketball Association. Carlie has earned qualifications from Griffith University, Duke University and Columbia Business School, and has extensive experience in business development, strategy and digital marketing.
Gaming Workshop, Meet the Expert Sessions