The Owners Bar at the newly developed Royal Randwick Racecourse provided a bright, contemporary and relaxed atmosphere for the 2013 Godolphin Flying Start conference on October 31st. Attended by representatives of Racing NSW, Darley, Bjorn Baker, Arrowfield, Sky Racing, Inglis, Chris Waller, Star Thoroughbreds, Royal Randwick and Gai Waterhouse, it really brought together some of the most forward looking players in the NSW thoroughbred industry. It was fantastic to have the support of so many Godolphin Flying Start graduates who were attending on behalf of their employers.
Clodagh Kavanagh opened the conference and explained that the title “Ideas Worth Sharing” was given to the trainees to inspire them to come up with creative, innovative ideas for using technology to improve marketing and communications for trainers, studs and industry organisations. Are they currently using the most appropriate techniques for their target audience? Communication with clients and the public are often quoted as the issue when relationships break down. How can industry players make technology work better for them?
The trainees worked in pairs and presented their ideas to the audience by allowing them to experience them using sound, video, prototypes, role play and iPhone/iPad activities.
• Web Sites                                                        Natalie Heitz and Bo Wang
• Twitter                                                              Amandine Lefevre and Colin Brennan
• Facebook                                                         Erik Johnson and Camilla Whishaw
• YouTube                                                          Conor Crawford and Diana Hobbs
• Smartphone and Tablet Technology                Anthony O’Donnell and Tessa Hetherington
• Blogs                                                                Stephen Thorne and Emily Scott

Following the six presentations which included YouTube clips, website searches, videos, augmented reality technology and even a newly designed App called “Barn Buddy”, the twelve trainees formed a panel for an animated Q and A session with the audience. Henry Plumptre received the “most humorous” award with his description of his technological abilities being comparable to that of Neanderthal man in human evolution, while Vicky Leonard asked how to encourage clients to use new technology.
Wrapping up, Clodagh thanked the audience for their participation, congratulated the trainees on their performance and invited everyone to enjoy the buffet lunch which was served at the bar. It was a day full of ideas, humour, discussion and it certainly provided some inspiration for everyone who attended, not least the trainees themselves.