A new format for the ‘Innovation Capital’ Pause Fest

Pivoting out of necessity

Pause Fest is one of the most exciting, well-connected brands in Australia’s growing tech community. The Pause Fest 2020 conference was among the last big corporate events pre-COVID. With no choice but to move the 2021 event online, Pause Fest was challenged to find ways to generate interest and maintain a market leading position. Icon Agency was engaged as PR partner to handle this pivot.

Avoid ‘Zoom fatigue’ and drumming up interest

Pause Fest’s annual conference is a must-attend event for tech creators, innovators and entrepreneurs. Referred to as the ‘Innovation Capital’, ‘Oktoberfest for Business’ and ‘Woodstock for Digital Natives’, the last physical version of Pause Fest featured over 300 speakers, almost 10,000 in-person attendees and an additional 9,700 online streamers. But the ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant Pause Fest 2021 had to be reimagined. Organisers had no choice but to pivot from a physical to a virtual event. This created a huge challenge for Pause Fest. How do you drum up coverage and generate interest in an online event when you’re talking to an audience suffering from ‘Zoom fatigue’ after 12 months of online alternatives?

Leveraging talent and targeted PR

Icon Agency led a targeted PR campaign highlighting Pause Fest 2021’s exceptional lineup, featuring many of the world’s top tech voices, including leading executives from NASA, TikTok, Google Empathy Lab and Atlassian. Icon’s media activity leveraged this talent, drumming up interest by offering top media outlets early speaker access and previews of their speaking slots. This pre-event coverage helped Pause Fest maintain its status as a connector of networks and the centre of innovation, business and creativity.


Events coverage reimagined Icon Agency’s campaign was a success and we were able to drum up considerable interest in Pause Fest over a nine-month period, despite the event being online-only.

Key highlights include:

  • 106 piece of coverage profiling Pause Fest and the 2021 event

    24 pieces in Tier One outlets

    Coverage and exposure achieved for more than 20 speakers An estimated reach of 169m.