Pesticon 2022: An Interview with Our CEO

Several Pesticon 2022 attendees peruse the various stands

With Pesticon 2022 coming up fast, we interviewed Rapid Solutions CEO Belinda Smith about what’s in store for her, our clients and other delegates at this much-anticipated industry conference.

What are you most excited to experience at Pesticon 2022?

One of the aspects I’m looking forward to the most is the diversity of speakers and topics and that the focus is pest management in the digital age. Expanding your digital know-how is something that I know creates a lot of opportunities for businesses, from admin and management through to their reporting.

I’m confident there will be something for everyone this year because the AEPMA agenda offers so much.

For example, Pesticon will be showcasing awesome industry experts like Dr Don Hewitt, who will share his extensive, current knowledge on termites. Everyone loves him as a presenter and a passionate teacher.

AEPMA is giving an update on its codes of best practice, something I know pest business owners and technicians are always keen to continue updating their knowledge on.

I’m also looking forward to the Professional Women in Australian Pest Management networking breakfast and hosting a panel discussion on the business of pest control, which will cover a range of topics of interest to business owners.

Then of course there’s the Pesticon gala dinner, which is always a highlight recognising the stars of the industry. It’s a great way to top off the event.

There’s so much to look forward to!

What does Rapid Solutions have up its sleeve for Pesticon 2022 delegates?

Pesticon’s focus on pest management in the digital age will see us showcase our two core digital products: Rapid Training and Rapid Inspect.

For Rapid Training, which has seen enrolments increase by at least 50% in the past year, we’ll showcase in real time via iPads and laptops how we deliver training for hundreds of students a year.

We’ll also have most of our trainers and Rapid Training manager on hand at Pesticon. While showing prospective students and employers our easy to use online portal and webinars they’ll answer any questions about our range of courses.

Conference delegates will learn how they can study in their own time and at their own pace with our flexible learning solutions, as well as how optimising their on-the-job learning experience contributes to course completion. This blended learning approach – online theory and assessments plus onsite learning with their employers – is key to our offering and what differentiates us.

We’ll also showcase Rapid Inspect, our free real-time reporting tool designed to make on-the-job reporting accurate and efficient. Rapid Solutions industry expert and technical officer of 16 years, Robert Prosser, is our subject matter expert there.

He’ll have iPads at our stand ready to show delegates one-on-one how to use the app. Building inspectors and pesties will quickly see how it supports accurate, professional, compliant reporting in the field.

We’ve coordinated a special guest too, CEO of Lifeline Hunter, Robert Sams, who’ll convene a panel on mental health. This topic, especially on the back of the pandemic, is a very real concern to business owners.

I personally am very passionate about supporting positive mental health in our industry and beyond. I’ll sit on this panel along with AEPMA president Vasili Tsoutouras and Samuel Wood from Bell Laboratories.

man at Pesticon 2022 googles difference between a pest inspector, pest technician and pest manager

What are your favourite things about Pesticon?

I love seeing the industry come together with suppliers and other stakeholders for learning from experts and each other. Staying current in your knowledge and on top of industry changes is key to running a successful business. Ongoing development is so important.

Pesticon will give people plenty of learning opportunities to grasp and incorporate into their operations… Tips for delivering exceptional customer service, growing your revenue and lowering your risk of complaints and claims… It will all be there to take advantage of.

We love catching up with our clients whenever we can, so we’re excited about that too. Many of them have been with us and/or trained with us for years, if not decades. It’s been too long since we’ve caught up face to face.

That’s why we’ve sponsored the Pesticon Network Lounge this year. It’s next to the heavily frequented coffee cart. We invite delegates to connect with us over a cuppa and take advantage of our trainers and insurance experts there.

We’d like delegates to know we have some cool techy gifts to give away and we’re running an exciting competition that’s simple to enter. So, look for us near the coffee cart in the hall right next door to our Network Lounge space and showcase booth. We’d really like to see everyone there and learn how to support their business to reach its potential.

What else should readers know about Rapid Solutions in 2022?

We’ve just welcomed Paul Enright from CPR Pest Management as an additional trainer, which is another fantastic development for our business. He’ll bring great value to our training offering.

Aside from that, a positive to highlight off the back of the pandemic where there’s been so much change, is that we have the same dedicated, expert team looking after our professional indemnity insurance and general liability insurance. Plus we’re still working closely with our brokerage Rapid Brokers for business vehicle insurance and other business-related insurances.

Outside the change to working from home for a few months, which has reverted back now, Rapid Solutions remains stable and strong and committed to serving its clients. We’re really optimistic about the return of full normality and Pesticon signalling yet another positive move in this direction.