The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, the Australian Convention Centres Group, and the Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia have created the Australian Business Events Association, which will launch on July 3.
The creation of the new association is spearheaded by a Project Development Group, comprising directors from the three associations.
Industry stalwart Peter King is appointed independent chair of the board. He was most recently the CEO of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The formation of the Australian Business Events Association is an answer to the call from the country’s business events industry for a unified sector.
The most recent research conducted in 2022 revealed that 84 per cent of survey respondents wanted a unified body representing the sector to the 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: “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.”
King emphasised that the Australian Business Events Association is about “member prosperity”, and will focus on the “pillars of advocacy, research and policy” as well as the industry’s development, necessary business services, and “promotion of the sector as a great place to work and do business”.
Membership is accessible to all, regardless of business size.
The association is now looking to fill the post of CEO.