In the biggest shake-up of the business events association landscape in over a decade, the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), the Australian Convention Centres Group (ACCG), and the Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia Ltd (EEAA) have announced they have unified and will launch the Australian Business Events Association on 3 July 2023.
The work to spearhead the new association has been led by a Project Development Group, comprised of directors from the three associations. They have announced that widely respected industry stalwart, Peter King (pictured) has been appointed as independent chair of the board. King was most recently the CEO of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The business events industry of Australia has been calling over many years for unification in the sector. The most recent research conducted in 2022 revealed that 84% of survey respondents wanted a unified body representing the sector to government, and the broader business community. It was deemed that the duplication of services from numerous associations resulted in inefficient use of industry funds, with multiple advocacy voices creating confusion with stakeholders and diluting industry messaging.
King said an industry of this size, scope and importance needed one strong and robust association to get traction on the issues that matter.
“A consolidated and united association can commission much-needed research, create policy, train its people, tackle sustainability, develop career paths, link with international and domestic trade opportunities and powerfully advocate to government.
“The industry has been on the fringe of the government’s radar for too long. Covid taught us that we need to get serious about amplifying our collective voice.
“We are building a platform through which we can develop the outcomes and the impact the people and organisations who deliver approximately 480,000 business events annually need to thrive, create jobs, and contribute to the economy.
“We will be focused on our pillars of advocacy, research and policy, development of the industry, the services members need to run their teams and businesses, and the promotion of the sector as a great place to work and do business.
“Ultimately, the Australian Business Events Association is about member prosperity. When our members win, everyone benefits.” said King.
The membership categories for the Australian Business Events Association are designed to ensure engagement within the industry is accessible to all, regardless of business size.
“We have designed our membership levels for the thousands of small businesses who are the engine room of our sector, as well as the large venues, destinations and corporates which play an equally important role.
“Everyone is equal at the table. Our State and Territory Chapters, sector groups and special interest committees will play a vital role in ensuring the issues around the country and within our different sectors will all be brought to the table.
“We have a lot to do as an industry, but united we are stronger than we’ve ever been. We are buoyed by the wonderful encouragement we have received from all around the country and from both sides of both state and federal government.
“We invite everyone in the events industry to come together, to support one another and put our best foot forward, to ensure everyone benefits,” said King.
The association will be immediately looking to fill the post of CEO, said King, adding that interested parties should follow developments closely.
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