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SpecTex15 Highlights and Image Gallery 

The Specialised Textiles Association (STA) 2015 Trade Exhibition and Conference, known as SpecTex15 took place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) between: Saturday 27th June and Monday 29th June 2015

What was SpecTex15 about?

An Industry Trade Exhibition and Conference for everyone involved with Fabrics, Components, Equipment and Services
SpecTex15 focused on delivering educational programs and high profile speakers along with the traditional and innovative trade displays.
An extensive and exciting program took place in 2015 with an emphasis on the trade exhibition and hands on workshops and speaker sessions with topics specifically relevant to the textiles industry. 

Welcome Reception

The Welcome Reception this year was a chance for the association to celebrate our 75th anniversary milestone with members, SpecTex15 delegates and OFPANZ members.

With old photos from past association events running throughout the night on the big screen and an Andrew Sisters cover band playing the classics from 1940’s it felt like we had been sent back in time. I t was great to see old friends reconnecting and sharing old memories with each other.

Mike Konig, OFPANZ president presented STA with a beautiful wooden carving to commemorate the Associations 75th Anniversary.  This kind gesture was a symbol of the associations continuing close relationship and we were honoured that the kiwis felt that this milestone was important enough to fly over the ditch to celebrate with us. 

SpecTex15 Opening Breakfast

The Opening Keynote Breakfast was a new addition to the program of events. After the success of the breakfast in the Hunter Valley with Sam Kekovich it was decided to run this event again in Melbourne. Comedian Jeff Green did not fail to impress, having the entire audience in fits of laughter to the point where many guest came up to me after the breakfast saying they’re stomachs hurt from laughing so hard. He is certainly a very talented comedian but his overall message about ‘change’ was very powerful and had everyone in an upbeat and elated mood going into the expo that morning. 

SpecTex15 Opening Ceremony

We were delighted to have The Honourable Minister D'Ambrosio, Minister for Industry address visitors crowding around the front doors to SpecTex15 and cut the ribbon to officially on open the show. The Minister had the opportunity to walk through the trade floor and commented on the high level of exhibits with a message to all industry  – get involved, grow and learn. 

Trade Show

The Expo kicked off with a bang on Sunday morning with the floor buzzing with visitors all day. Exhibitors were delighted and may I say pleasantly surprised with the foot traffic and quality conversations they were having with potential customers.  With the noticeable lower exhibitor numbers this year due to the challenges the industry is facing at the moment, it was the general consensus among the industry that visitor numbers would be lower than previous years. We were very happy to see there were no ‘tumble weeds’ to be seen across both days of the expo. The business sessions and workshops attracted large crowds to the back of the halls. We feel this is due to the topics selected and quality presenters we had this year. Kylie Bartlett’s presentation ‘Social-ise your Enterprise’ attracted such a crowd some people had to sit in the café to hear the presentation as the theatre was full!

This was the first year we conducted hands-on workshops on the trade floor and it was fantastic to see how popular they were considering we had just held a Marine Fabricator workshop in Queensland only a Month prior. Fabricators from all over Australia that attended said the ‘take away knowledge (they gained from the workshops) was worth the travel’. You may have noticed the space age looking headsets the audience members were wearing during the demonstrations and business session. Based on the feedback we received from the last Melbourne Expo in regards to not taking visitors off the trade floor for business sessions, we engaged the latest technology in wireless headsets, to allow the audience members to hear the presenters clearly without disturbing the other patrons on the trade floor while not removing large groups of people from the halls. We feel this worked well and created a great buzz and hype of activity towards to back of the halls. If you have any feedback about any of the sessions we would love to hear it.

Warwick Merry, the expo host kept the exhibitors spirit high throughout the two days, providing tips here and there to ensure everyone’s experience was as valuable as possible. He was certainly a ball of positive of energy to have on the trade floor.

We had a few interactive pieces on the show floor this year including a Motor Boat owned by V8 race car driver Rick Kelly which the Marine Fabricator incorporated into their workshops throughout the two days. The award winning (f)route, glamping style tent by Canvas Barn Marine Trimming was also on display in the centre of the trade floor. Many people even took their meeting into the tent for some extra privacy. And of course one of the biggest highlights of the expo, the Historical Display put together by our incredible Historical Committee who spent tireless hours collecting and unearthing historical information about our industry and the association dating back to 1940 and earlier. 

STA + OFPANZ Awards Dinner

The Awards dinner this year was a first of its kind as STA and OFPANZ shared their awards festivities together. There were many highlights throughout the night including the announcement of a new life member for both OFPANZ and STA.  It was a great moment to see past President David Burton and Current President Glenn Barlow present Keith Bartlett with his Life Member Badge and title.

Congratulations to all the award winners on the night including the Woman of the Year, Renee Kelly and the Young Achiever of the year Robert Bull. The winning entries are now up on our website, if you wish to take a look click here

The audience was kept laughing throughout the formalities by an Australian comedy legend, Paul McDermott. He certainly kept the night entertaining and even posed for photos with many of the guest afterwards.

The photo booth was definitely taken advantage of by many of our guest. Feel free to take a look through the photos by clicking this link (there are some CLASSICS). It was a certainly a very special evening for our industry and we hope all that attending had memorable night. 

1940's Theme Dinner

The theme this year was the 1940’s to honour the associations founding decade and our guests did not fail to impress with their costumes. We had a range of fun characters from Rosie the Riveter, Charlie Chaplin, a nun and a priest, some impressive zoot suits and WWII military uniforms not to mentions some very glamourous men and women in 1940’s vintage entire. The retro venue tied nicely into our theme and the DJ ensured every decade was well represented. And of course no party would be complete without a little karaoke to round off the night the singer will remain nameless. 



Saturday 27th June

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Sunday 28th June

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28th - 29th June

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Sunday 28th June

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Monday 29th June

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Monday 29th June

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