Pause Week of events

Pause Fest is more than just a conference; it's an entire experience. And with that in mind, we have organised a week of events that will run parallelly to the festival's main program. Expect networking, meetups, parties and more – all in the effort to give you an experience you will not forget.

MONDAY, 3 February

Pause Fest 2020 Ambassador Program – Touring Speaker (Private)   

Pause Fest goes on tour in Ballarat. This unique collaboration is part of the intent behind the Ballarat is Open project with three main events – a school session, interviews with our speakers and an evening session.

School Session: This interactive and engaging session provides Year 10 to 12 students across Ballarat's secondary schools a peek into the creative world of advertising. How are memorable brands created? How has technology transformed the industry? What are the potential career paths? All these questions and more will be explored in detail.

Venue: Ballarat Tech School Presentation Room – Level 1, 136 Albert St, Ballarat Central
2:00pm – 3:30pm

Evening Session: How does one rebrand a city? What does this process entail? What are the challenges we need to look out for when reinventing a city's image? As the City of Ballarat goes through its rebranding exercise, this session provides a timely insight into the concept of city rebranding from a socio-economic perspective.

Venue: Art Gallery of Ballarat, 40 Lydiard St North, Ballarat Central
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Organisers: Pause Fest & City of Ballarat



Making the most out of networking

It can be overwhelming to walk into a room of dozens (sometimes over a 100) amazing, inspiring people. How do you strike up a conversation? WeWork Labs will bring you a workshop session on networking. Facilitated by Melbourne Labs manager and innovation facilitator Ren Butler, you will learn over ten useful tools and tactics to make the most of any networking situation. Introverts and extroverts are both welcomed to this interactive session - but be ready to practice though!

Venue: WeWork – 120 Spencer Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

12.00pm - 1.00pm


Organisers: WeWork


TUESDAY, 4 February

Founders Night – #Pause2020 Opening Party by Shopify (Official)

Join us as we kick-off Pause Fest 2020 in style! Our official opening party at Common Man, South Wharf is an excellent opportunity to network, and connect with, peers, industry leaders, mentors and our Pause Fest 2020 speakers. Have a drink with your peers, get a T-shirt printed on the spot, win prizes at our giveaway and show us your moves on the dancefloor. We promise good music and a great time!

Venue: Common Man – 39 Dukes Walk, South Wharf
6.00pm - 9.00pm


Organisers: Pause Fest & Shopify


The Hacker Exchange: WTF is a VTuber?

In 2020 we find ourselves grappling with unprecedented levels of fake news, propaganda and disinformation in our feeds. And now a new breed of influencer is here. From digital humans on Instagram to VTubers across YouTube, the era of the Virtual Influencer is now upon us. Designer and creative technologist, Devin Mancuso, is a Design Strategist at Google helping to shape the future for billions of users across the globe. He's also a deep-research expert on virtual creators and the phenomenon of Virtual Beings as social influencers and is visiting Melbourne from Silicon Valley to share his insights.

Venue: RMIT Activator - 102 Victoria Street, Carlton, VIC 3053

6.00pm - 9.00pm


Organiser: Hacker Exchange


WEDNESDAY, 5 February

VIP Welcome Dinner by Sargon (Private)

A dinner specially organised to welcome, and thank, our Pause Fest 2020 sponsors and international speakers. Sponsored by Sargon, this exclusive dinner at one of Melbourne’s most iconic venues features canapés on arrival followed by a shared banquet and specially curated beverages to match.

Venue: Higher Grounds, 650 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
7.00pm - 10.00pm

Organiser: Pause Fest & Sargon



DesignOps Melbourne Meetup

The DesignOps community helps you connect with others, share your experiences and level up your craft. In this unique collaboration with Pause Fest 2020, we'll hear from local creative agencies and how they adapt to the rapidly changing world of design tools and process.
Venue: MYOB – 167 Cremorne Street, Cremorne
6.00pm - 8.00pm


Organiser: DesignOps Melbourne



PAUSE AND PLAY with The Marketing Academy

If change is the spice of life, pause is digestion and play, dessert. So take a break and come pause and play with some of the most influential marketers in Australia. Drinks, nibbles, big ideas and lots of networking included.

Venue: The Topiary - Bells Hotel, 157 Moray Street, South Melbourne
4.30pm – 8pm


Organiser: The Marketing Academy Alumni & oOh! Media



THURSDAY, 6 February

General Assembly Meetup: Tech Trends Report 2020

New technology is always changing the way we interact with the world and each other, and consequently, it impacts how we do business. Additionally, how do you know which trends are worth following, and which aren't? Join us for an evening with thought leaders spanning design, creativity, marketing, software engineering, data and business for an evening of lightning talks and discussion on the top emerging and ongoing tech trends for 2020.
Venue: General Assembly Melbourne – 12A, 45 William Street Melbourne
6.00pm - 8.00pm


Organiser: General Assembly



VIP Business Breakfast by Melbourne Connect (Oficial) - SOLD OUT

Start your morning right at this exclusive sit-down breakfast plus panel, presented by Melbourne Connect. Over a continental breakfast, hear from experts as they discuss the impact of urban regeneration and the creation of innovation precincts. How might the culture of collaboration expedite and amplify innovation through these precincts? How can we test new approaches to how we discover, problem-solve, work, learn and engage in the future? We invite you to join us in conversation with our special guests, great food and lively atmosphere.


  • Alexandra Lawlor - Executive Director of Estate Planning and Development, University of Melbourne

  • Steven Cornwell – Global Director, Brand Experience, ERA-co 

  • Prof. Uwe Aickelin - Head of School of Computing and Information Systems, University of Melbourne

Venue: Showtime Event Centre - 61 S Wharf Promenade, South Wharf VIC 3006

7:30am arrival for 8am start, 9am ends

Organiser: Pause Fest & Melbourne Connect




As humans, we have an inherent craving to create, grow and express ourselves, even if some of us lock that part of ourselves away when we "grow up". So many of our creative ideas stay hidden away, but some are brave and bold enough to take a leap of faith and become the creators of their own ideas. UNLOCKED LIVE will profile the people behind Australia's most exciting creators – Frank Murro of Movida and Katie Graham or Love Tree – unlock their learnings, failures and successes along their path to turning an idea into a reality. And expect a live performance by Perth-based singer/songwriter Ella Therese. It’s a night you don’t want to miss!

Venue: LOVE TREE – 200/202 Chapel Street, Prahran, VIC 3181

6.30pm - 9pm Limited spots available




FRIDAY, 7 February

#Pause2020 New Odyssey Closing Party (Official)   

Another Pause Fest edition comes to an end and what better way to celebrate than with a kickass party! It's an excellent opportunity for you to catch up with the speakers and industry peers as you recap your Pause journey. Expect nothing short of a great time with a live band, DJs, an open bar and surprises.
Venue: Mission To Seafarers - 717 Flinders St, Docklands
6.00pm - 11.00pm


Organiser: Pause Fest



Festival No.23

Happening on the weekend after Pause Fest ends, Festival No.23 is an immersive music, arts and camping festival. It is a perfect weekend to reflect on your Pause Fest journey as you party in the beautiful Macedon Ranges accompanied by electronic beats and connect with like-minded people. Camping is free with hotel stay and glamping options available.

Venue: Lancemore Macedon Ranges   
7 - 9 February, Friday to Sunday


Organiser: Festival 23



SATURDAY, 8 February

VIP Yarra Valley Day Tour by Intrepid Travel (Private)   

Did someone say wine tasting? This exclusive day trip is organised for Pause Fest's sponsors and international speakers. Sponsored by Intrepid Travel, the day trip to Yarra Valley includes gourmet breakfast packs and tastings at Four Pillars Gin and Innocent Bystanders. Invite-only.
Venue: Various
Pick up 9:00am - Coach departs strictly at 9:15am from Pan Pacific Melbourne - 2 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf

Organisers: Pause Fest & Intrepid Travel