Australia: ‘Deeper learning' to drive recovery of in-person meetings

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Brisbane is leading the recovery Brisbane is leading the recovery Photo Credit: Bhavesh Patel on Unsplash

The value of face-to-face meetings will underpin the recovery of Australia’s international conference sector, according to one of the country’s business events leaders.

Robin Mack, executive general manager Commercial and Business Events Australia, said networking would be ‘an increasingly important part of events’ after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re talking about the specific value of meeting face to face that you can’t replicate online, those serendipitous conversations, that just don’t happen in a virtual setting.

“So, networking will be increasingly important, but also, I think, we have to look at this distinction between shallow learning and the deeper learning you get in-person.”

Mack said international associations had already started meeting in Australia since border restrictions were lifted in February and the pipeline of new business was looking strong.

Robin Mack, executive general manager commercial and business events Australia at Tourism Australia Robin Mack Photo Credit: Tourism Australia

He said Tourism Australia’s Business Event Bid Fund secured 39 meetings during the pandemic, which are scheduled to take place over the next four years, adding AUD250m to the economy. Some venues - like the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre - were already trading at pre-pandemic levels.

At the same time investment in Australia’s business events infrastructure barely skipped a beat during the pandemic with 100 new or refurbished hotels adding 12,000 new beds to the stock.

Mack was speaking to AMI at the IMEX trade show in Frankfurt, during which Business Events Australia rolled out the second phase of its new international brand campaign.

Building on the first phase of the There’s Nothing Like Australia campaign, which launched in March 2022, the latest phase forms part of a broader recovery strategy to drive demand for Australia as a business events destination amongst incentive and association customers in international markets.

Mack said the promotional material would be used in a highly targeted marketing campaign in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, South‐Southeast Asia and New Zealand.

“With Australia’s reopening to the world, what better way to showcase the country’s business events offering than through these new film assets on the world stage at IMEX Frankfurt," he said.

"The newest phase of the campaign is a standout for the sector and will undoubtedly position Australia as a global leader in business events."



James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster


AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.


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