Events industry association Meetings and Events Australia has announced that Susan Kirby, CEO of Ireland’s National St Patrick’s Festival, will be an international keynote presenter at Evolve 2019.

Evolve 2019 is the event industry’s largest conference Down Under and will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, 31 March to 2 April.

“We are delighted to have Susan as one of the keynote speakers. The story of St Patrick’s Festival is a great example of how an event can position a destination globally and highlights the importance of events in creating legacies, promoting businesses and enhancing a community,” says MEA’s CEO Robyn Johnson.

Kirby has worked in the arts for more than 20 years, most recently leading major cultural initiatives across Ireland’s festival sector. She joined the award-winning St Patrick’s Festival in 2007 as Marketing & Communications Director, going on to become CEO in 2009. The economic impact of St Patrick’s Festival is now estimated at €73m to the wider economy.

During her time as Festival CEO, Kirby has also delivered other major events and festivals including:

  • Skyfest fireworks and live broadcast spectacular in multiple locations around Ireland
  • Dublin Contemporary 2011, Ireland’s largest multi-venue contemporary art exhibition
  • Bram Stoker Festival
  • UNESCO Dublin City of Literature designation signature event, DublinSwell
  • GAA 125th Anniversary celebrations including the opening ceremony stadium and fireworks spectacle.

“I am delighted to be invited to speak at Evolve 2019 – it is really exciting to share the festival story, meet industry peers and to hear the issues of the day being considered by some of the top people in the events industry,” she adds.