Excel Unplugged

Unlock Excel Conference – Australia

The Unlock Excel Conference - Gašper Kamenšek

The Unlock Excel Conference  took place in April in three cities across Australia. I joined Excel MVP’s Liam Bastick (SumProduct LLC), Jon Peltier (Peltier Tech), Ken Puls (Excel Guru), Mynda Treacy (My Online Training Hub) and Tim Heng (SumProduct LLC), and we all had a pleasure of being in a company of Annie Colonna (PM on the Excel team at Microsoft). This was the team that traveled across Australia and presented sessions in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. It’s also funny that this was my firs time presenting as a freelancer as I quit my old job the same week I got on the plane for Australia. So the first presentations I (Gašper Kamenšek) did presenting as Excel Olympics (my new consulting and training company) was only half way around the world 🙂 Literally!

Unlock Excel Conference Team

The Unlock Excel Team

The Unlock Excel conference

I would first like to thank CPA Australia and Liam from SumProduct for organizing this grand-scale event. The Unlock Excel Conference really went smoothly and the level of organisation was reflected in the sessions which were high level and gave true value to all attendees. I was surprised (still?!?) by the percentage of people that had never heard of Power Query, Power Pivot or Power BI even though they had the latest versions of Excel.

That being said, it’s no wonder that the final discussions of the day (the Ask the MVP’s sessions) were mainly filled with the word Power. The adoption rate was enormous and the benefits of the technologies clear to all. Power BI has once more proved that it’s closely intertwined with Excel and that Excel people are naturally drawn to it, and particularly in Brisbane, it was the main talking point of the Ask The MVP’s session on day two.

Unlock Excel Conference - Australia

My Sessions

My Sessions for the Unlock Excel Conference included Excel vs. Excel 365 (i did a post on this not so long ago, you can read it here), Power Pivot (which I love even though it completely revolted against me in Brisbane 🙂 and I wrote about extensively about here and here ), Formatting and Styles in Excel, and KPI’s which turned into a Conditional Formatting session mostly about The Greatest Cell Format of all time :). I really enjoyed speaking almost 17,000 kilometers from home and it turns out, no mater where on this blue planet we are, people just love Excel.

Picture Time

Now not many people know this about me, but besides Excel, Power BI and my family, I have two hobbies that I love. First one is definitely music and guitars. Old Fender Stratocasters and old tube amps by Fender in particular. But a close second is Photography. So I’d like to share a little photo journal of my Australian trip.


First we took a drive down the Great Ocean Road

Saw a few deserted beaches that would actually qualify for a “paradise beach” in Slovenia…

And finally got to the Twelve Apostles…

…which quickly became one of my favorite places on Earth! Pictures really can’t do it justice…


Both Sydney pictures are from a single afternoon walk I took with Jon and Mynda. I realize that there’s a lot more to see in Sydney and I do wish we had more time. Certainly that is the plan for next year 🙂


Again, just a morning stroll after Jon and I flew in early. Brisbane did feel very “homey” and not at all like 2.3 Million souls live there. I would love to return there one day to do some more exploring. And for those of you that are thinking of going, I would highly recommend the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary! It’s just a hour and fifteen minutes boat ride from the center and is a brilliant experience.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.