A new trade body will provide a 'unified' voice for Australia's meetings and events industry.
Several industry associations have agreed to establish a new
advocacy group to bring together the 'splintered voices' representing the business events
community across Australia.
The Exhibitions and Events Association of Australia (EEAA) and the Association of
Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) have voted to merge their assets to form a new 'peak body'
to support growth and industry development. Members of the Australian Convention Centre Group (ACCG) have also voted to unite the industry.
It is hoped the new peak body will be established in July, when the financial year starts in Australia, at which point the AACB and EEAA will wind up and cease to be separate entities.
AACB president, Michael Matthews, said: “This outcome is an important one for our industry and comes
at a critical time to face future challenges and strive for growth towards 2030
"A new industry advocacy body with a sustainable business
model will be able to achieve far more and have greater influence than the
status quo of smaller under-resourced groups with competing priorities.”
“We will continue to value our united, connected, and vibrant
convention bureau community. And with greater investment in research and
advocacy, we will be able to better demonstrate the economic contribution and
social impact of business events as the true trusted experts and representative
‘one voice’ of the industry.”
AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl, added: “Australia’s convention
bureaux are representative of some 1,800 businesses, large and small, across
the country, and it is in their best interest that city and regional convention
bureaux have collectively made this decision.”
He added: “A stronger, well-resourced peak, will also be able to
better support the needs of businesses and develop the professionalism of our
people to grow the quality of Australia’s business events industry.”
Pre-Covid-19, Australia’s business events sector contributed
more than AUD36b to the Australian economy.
Nicole Walker, President EEAA said: “This is a special milestone for the industry. The Board has always had its members interest at the forefront of its charter. This move will strengthen our ability to serve our members.”
A statement put out by the ACCG said: "Beyond the immediate
economic benefits, business events catalyse change and leave lasting legacies,
through knowledge exchange, communication of research and subsequent investment
in innovation. Currently,
the industry voice is splintered across multiple associations, which can at
times make it challenging to advocate the sector’s value.
for the change, members of the ACCG agree that the business events
sector would benefit enormously from a single, amalgamated peak body to support
growth and industry development."
A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.
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.