Michael J who? Michael J Fox fails to generate ticket sales at Melbourne business conference leading to company collapse

The company bringing Michael J Fox to Australia has gone into administration, forcing the cancellation of the Visionary Series event “Michael J Fox: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future”. The collapse also leaves the Australian Chambers Business Congress without its key speaker for its annual conference.

The movie and television star’s trip to Australia was cancelled after the Visionary Series appointed voluntary administrators earlier this month.

Fox was scheduled to speak at the event on August 12 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“It is with deep regret that the Visionary Series wishes to advise that the Visionary Series presents ‘Michael J Fox: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future’, will no longer be proceeding next month as previously planned,” the company’s website now advises.

Refunds are available for all tickets booked online or by phone by credit card.

The collapse also affects the two-day Australian Chambers Business Congress event called “Today, Tomorrow & Beyond”, at which Fox was the headline speaker.
The Australian Chambers Business Congress is backed by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and all the state and territory chambers of commerce and industry.

According to the Business Congress website: “Organisers of the Australian Chambers Business Congress wish to advise that due to the cancellation of the Visionary Series event at which Michael J. Fox was also due to speak, Michael will no longer visit Australia nor present at the upcoming Congress event.”

A spokesperson for the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told SmartCompany that Fox would not be replaced with another speaker and the “Today, Tomorrow & Beyond” conference would continue as originally planned.

“We won’t be replacing Michael as he was an addition made under two months ago to our already attractive line-up,” the spokesperson says.

“Ticket sales have grown steadily since the launch of the event, with no spike experienced when we added Michael.

“With more than 60% of our delegates being a general manager or higher, we are well on track to reach our target of 1,000 high-level decision makers.”

Deloitte Partners Neil Cussen and David Lombe have been appointed as joint voluntary administrators of Visionary Series.

The company was incorporated on March 7, 2012 and is a producer of theatrical and other events, including the Fox speaking gig.

Cussen said the director of Visionary Series does not consider he has sufficient funds to meet future financial commitments, so he has appointed the voluntary administrators.

“My investigations into the affairs of the company are at a very early stage and creditors are being contacted to advise them of the situation.”

Cussen pointed to company cashflow issues at Visionary Series, including poorer than expected sponsorship revenue and ticket sales for the Fox event.



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