Australia's business events associations to unify ‘splintered’ advocacy efforts

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Sydney Australia Photo Credit: Unsplash

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 targets together.

"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.

"Advocating 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."


Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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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.
James Lancaster
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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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