Pause Fest 2021 to democratise access to innovation, launching with 10,000 ticket giveaway worth $750K

Pause Fest 2021 launches with 10,000 ticket giveaway worth $750K

The world’s leading festival for business and creativity, Pause Fest, has confirmed the event will run in 2021 – and will be its biggest to date. 

The 11th Pause Fest – named Changes – will migrate from its Melbourne home to the online world for the first time, running 1-12 March 2021. 

“Pause Fest has always been at the forefront of what is new and exciting,” said George Hedon, its founder and CEO. “Moving the event online doesn’t mean it’s Pause Fest on Zoom – no way.

Next year’s festival is going to be unlike any other virtual event experience. We remain committed to delivering a festival that is as bespoke and awe-inspiring as the years before.”

Pause Fest’s transition to the online arena means the festival is expected to pull its largest crowd to date. 20,000 tickets are being made available as the festival is able to open itself up to a truly global audience for the first time.

What will the event offer?

In a major development, Pause Fest is also donating up to 10,000 festival tickets to the not-for-profit (NFP) sector.

“Pause Fest has always strived to bring innovation into the everyday and for everyone. Technology opens up so many new opportunities to enhance accessibility.

Moving the festival online totally transforms how many people we can reach out to. Next year, we can truly welcome anyone and everyone to Pause Fest. 

“This isn’t just a nice, warm, fuzzy idea. We mean it! For the 2021 event, we’re giving away up to 10,000 tickets to our partners in the not-for-profit sector, worth $750,000.

These will go out to a range of backgrounds that have been disadvantaged, deterred or discriminated from fully participating in the world of tech and innovation. We’re all about democratising access to innovation.

To apply, please visit our website and fill in the expression of interest.”

The theme of Pause Fest 2021 is Changes – with a focus on how the best leaders are built in the hardest of times and our agility to respond and adapt to rapid changes.

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage and interact with over 100 speakers from Australia and around the world, bringing together innovative minds from the global business, tech and creative community. 

Confirmed names to date include:

  • Danielle Krettek, Principal and Founder, Google Empathy Lab (USA)
  • Dirk Ahlborn, Founder and CEO, HyperloopTT (USA)
  • Christopher Gerty, Exploration Spacesuit (xEMU) Informatics Lead, NASA (USA)
  • Lee Hatton, Executive Vice President, Afterpay (AUS)
  • Myleeta Aga Williams, Director – Content, Netflix (Singapore)

Alongside a stellar speaker line, the authentic programming is being built with user experience in mind, offering ticket holders the best value, engagement and inspiration – and without any FOMO.

“Pause Fest has always been a highlight on the Australian event calendar, but next year, we can genuinely say we’re occupying the same space as South by Southwest, or WebSummit. We have re-imagined the entire interaction and put the community at the very centre of it all.” 

Pause Fest has sold out for the past five years in a row. “The demand for Pause Fest is enormous. For 2021, the barriers that stop us from accommodating everyone are alleviated.

Likewise, for our guests, challenges like getting enough time off work or cover the costs to travel to Melbourne for three days are removed. 

So what’s different for Pause Fest 2021?

To work out what is and isn’t working in this modern era of events, the Pause Fest team has attended dozens of major global online events this year, researched and tested all available software on the market, consulted over a hundred top event organisers worldwide and ran multiple focus groups.

“In a nutshell, Pause Fest 2021 is all about less FOMO and more engagement! We’re crafting an experience that is free from all of the pain points associated with online events this year. 

“No one wants an all day, intense online event. Think of us as the MTV for innovation – tune in and tune out to what captures your heart and mind.

“Instead of our usual three day format, Pause Fest 2021 will take place over a fortnight. All of the sessions will be 50 per cent shorter than usual, as we know our online attention span is limited.

Our goal is to create a program that gives attendees more valuable content, flexible viewing options and opportunities to engage with every aspect of the entire festival.”

More announcements on the specialised programming session types and full speaker line up will be made later this year. 

Tickets are on sale from 21 October here. NFP organisations are invited to fill in an expression of interest here to apply to the 10,000 ticket giveaway.