OCT 13-28 2021

Spark Festival 2021 EOI for Event Hosts

This year's Spark Festival will run in locations across Australia. Any organisation from the tech and innovation ecosystem is invited to be part of the program: hubs, accelerators, incubators, professional services and anyone else supporting business innovation in Australia.

The EOI for events is now closed. Watch this space as we prepare to launch the program on Monday September 20.

Spark Festival is an opportunity for anyone and everyone in the innovation economy to share their knowledge and expertise, to grow and strengthen their networks, to showcase their work, celebrate their successes and invite newcomers.

EOI Toolkit

What is Spark Festival?

Spark Festival is Australia’s largest event connecting businesses, innovators and startups, to grow the digital economy. What makes Spark Festival unique is that it is created directly by the business and innovation community, for the business and innovation community. Every year, hundreds of people and organisations from across the ecosystem produce and host the events that become the Spark Festival program.

What are this year’s key dates? When is the festival?

  • August 30: All event program details submitted
  • September 20: Spark Festival 2021 program launches
  • October 13-28: Spark Festival 2021

Who can run an event on the Spark Festival program?

Anyone!

If you’re keen to help create an amazing festival that represents the whole startup and innovation economy, then we’d love you to submit an event proposal.

In previous years we’ve had events from coworking spaces, accelerators and incubators, from startups, from all sorts of enterprises that support and educate the startup ecosystem. It really is a very open platform that welcomes anyone looking to share knowledge and build a stronger smarter and more connected ecosystem for all of us.

Do I need to join The Spark Collective in order to be included on the program?

This year Spark has introduced a paid membership model to help make our activities more sustainable. You can read more about The Spark Collective here. Please note that it's not compulsory to join The Collective to be on the Spark program, however, extra promotion through all our Spark channels will be reserved for members of The Collective.

What kinds of event are suitable for the Spark Festival program?

Spark Festival is a celebration of all things innovation and entrepreneurship: It’s a very big umbrella!

The kinds of events that end up on the program are only limited by your imagination: We include panels, parties, showcases, keynotes, networking events, speed dating sessions, pitch nights, workshops, conferences, hackathons, launches, the whole gamut!

Is Spark Festival in-person or online this year?

For this year's program we're going "largely in-person".

What does "largely in-person" mean?
We encourage you to host an in-person event, while staying in your own COVID risk management comfort zone :)
If you prefer to do something that is completely online, that's ok, we can still include it on the program.
And if you'd like to livestream your in-person event, that's win-win!

Why should I get involved?

Growth

Grow your community by attracting a new audience to your event who might not otherwise find out about your organisation and work.

Awareness

Put your corner of the ecosystem on the map and show the world what you’ve been achieving.

Connection

Connect in with all the other people and organisations who are committed to growing a vibrant environment for startups and entrepreneurship in NSW.

#giveback

At Spark Festival we believe in building a homegrown startup ecosystem right here in Australia, shaped by the particular opportunities and challenges of this environment. While our outlook might be global, we don’t set about to recreate “things that happen overseas”.

But having said all that, we have always been inspired by the words of Brad Feld, one of the absolute legends behind the incredible startup community in Boulder, Colorado:

“Building a startup community is not a zero-sum game in which there are winners and losers: if everyone engages they, and the entire community can all be winners.”

Does it cost anything to run an event?

Including an event on the Spark Festival is free: we want to make this opportunity available to the widest possible audience.

However, this is year we have introduced our membership scheme - The Spark Collective - and extra promotion will be given to events hosted by collective members.

To repeat for emphasis though: we will include your event on our program regardless of whether you join the collective :)

Can I charge for my Spark Festival event?

We welcome both free and paid events on the Spark Festival program.

If you charge a small fee this can help ensure that those who register do in fact attend. Otherwise the risk is, especially in the context of a multi-day, multi-event festival, that attendees register for many events and then actually show up to very few of them.

We understand that for some organisations, charging for attendance is simply not an option, so free events are perfectly acceptable as well.

What ticketing platform does Spark Festival use?

For this year’s festival we will be recommending that people use Humanitix, the first not-for-profit ticketing platform which directs 100% of profits from booking fees to education projects that help disadvantaged children. Additionally, Humanitix is a local startup, and offering much of the functionality of Eventbrite, for lower fees: we think that’s a pretty compelling case!

Having said that, we understand that particularly if you are an organisation that runs a lot of events throughout the year, changing your ticketing platform for this Spark Festival event may be a stumbling block. So, while we strongly encourage checking out Humanitix’s offering, we will still also be able to seamlessly embed Eventbrite ticketing pages at the Spark Festival site.

Lastly, on a case by case basis, we can also include events that use neither Humanitix or Eventbrite. It’s just that in this case your registration form will not be directly embedded at the Spark Festival site, we will simply send people to your separate registration page and away from the Spark Festival site. We prefer not to do this but are able to make exceptions at our discretion.

Do I need to have a venue?

Most Spark Festival event organisers are able to arrange their own venue. However if you’ve got a great idea for an event, but no venue, please do submit it anyways: We will do our best to connect an awesome event with a venue in our network.

Where can my event be held?

Anywhere in Australia!

What’s the selection process?

Submissions will be assessed by the Spark Festival Programming Committee. Preference will be given to events whose organisers demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment by filling out the Expression of Interest thoughtfully and in detail :)

Please don’t forget that Spark Festival is all about the give back: We’re doing this to share our knowledge, create connections and build a stronger ecosystem. With this in mind, events that are simply a pitch of your product or service will not be considered for the program.