SWARM 2017

WED 30 & THU 31 AUGUST, Sydney University

Australia's Conference for Community Builders & Managers


What is Swarm?

Australia’s only online community management conference connects established experts with new talent for a jam packed gathering of ideas, inspiration, insights, best practices, networking and collaboration.

Swarm grew out of the Australian Community Management Roundtables, founded in 2009 by Venessa Paech. Venessa teamed with co-founder Alison Michalk in 2011 to create Swarm – the first event of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.

Swarm brings together professionals from many sectors and walks of life, with a focus on actionable insights.

Alison is CEO of Australia’s leading specialist community management company Quiip, with a global team of 16 Community Managers. She is the former Community Manager of Australia’s largest online parenting forums (Essential Baby/Fairfax).

Venessa is Director of Content at leading B2B digital marketing group Green Hat. Her previous roles include leading global communications for community marketplace Envato, Senior Manager of Community & Content Strategy at REA Group (realestate.com.au) and Head of Community at Lonely Planet, where she managed iconic  travel community, the Thorn Tree. Venessa is a prolific writer and speaker, who has published academically around online communities, digital life and identities.

Both have extensive experience designing, building and managing successful online communities for a diverse array of public and private organisations. They are passionate about supporting the community management sector.


Years of Swarm Conf




Online Communities Represented


Coffees Consumed


Experience speaks for itself

"Expert keynotes, networking opportunities and grounded insights make Swarm the premium event for experienced community managers to stay on top of their game."

Amber Robinson

Acting Head of Digital, Microsoft

"Swarm is the must-attend event of the year for Australian community managers. The speakers always inform, challenge and inspire."

Jason hill

Community Manager, Bunnings

"Without a doubt Swarm is the best community gathering I have attended, and I have attended a lot in my 30 year career. Every detail is designed to facilitate relationship building - and it is wildly successful. I urge anyone to make the effort to go. I want very much to go again."

John Coate

Community Manager, The WELL

"You can't put a price on the value of connecting with community managers from different sectors. As a community for mental health and suicide prevention with specific needs and risks, we learn from everyone and see what fits for us. Swarm is an awesome opportunity to meet others and hear from the best."

Sophie Potter

Parents Program Manager, Reach Out

"Swarm has a signal-to-noise ratio that puts other conferences to shame. Whether you're listening to Justin Isaf wax philosophic on the infrastructure of moderation or watching Dr Michael Wu present his Good-Will-Hunting formula for Community Health, Swarm has a stunning track record of delivering the goods. Just register."

Matthew Cox

Community Manager, Envato

Leaving Swarm is like going home after school camp – you feel like you’ve been separated from your people. The atmosphere is nurturing, challenging and inspirational. If you work in the community space you’d be crazy to miss it.

Sarah Hawk

Head of Community, Feverbee


Swarm Conference  30th August – 9am to 5pm
Sydney Uni Symposium – 31st August – 9am to 12pm
Swarm Workshops – 31st August – 1pm to 4pm

To secure your space in all three sections you must purchase both a Swarm 2-day Pass and a Symposium ticket.



$399 Early Bird

  • *INNER SWARM* Limited! Save $200! Be the first to score a ticket!
  • Access to Swarm Conference only
  • Access to Workshops + Symposium not included


$699 Early Bird

  • *INNER SWARM* Limited! SAVE $400!
  • Includes Swarm Conference + Choice of 2 x Workshops (PM Session)
  • Does not include registation to the Symposium



  • Automation, AI & Community Management
  • Presentations, Panel & Discussion
  • Does not include access to Swarm Conference or Swarm Workshops

Learn, Collaborate, Build, Launch, grow & manage your community


Recharge your career with thought provoking presentations, networking with the hive mind and professional development opportunities.

Sarah Hawk

Sarah Hawk

Formerly a developer in the corporate world, Hawk (who is a Kiwi and is only called Sarah by her mother) is an online community stalwart and a user experience maven. Currently she is Head of Community at UK based community consultancy Feverbee, where she works with leading organisations and top brands to create community solutions and deliver online community training. Her previous community roles include Community Manager for UX Mastery and for SitePoint.

Bill Johnston

Bill Johnston

Bill is Chief Community Officer at Structure 3C in San Francisco, which helps organisations build, grow and strengthen their communities, creating long-term value for the business and the individual. Bill is a leading global authority in community architecture and the collaborative economy.  He developed and launched modern communities for Autodesk and Dell (connecting millions of customers and creating upwards of $100 million in financial impact). His U.S. community roundtables were the inspiration for the Australian Community Manager Roundtables, created by Swarm co-founder Venessa Paech and the genesis of Swarm.

want to speak?

want to speak?

Get in touch

Swarm gives you the chance to connect with colleagues, enhance your skills and build your practice. It is *the* professional development conference for community managers.

Lvl 6, 69 Reservoir St
Surry Hills Sydney
NSW 2010 Australia