The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has put out a strong call to the industry to make ecological sustainability a major priority, as well as career development and talent acquisition.
These key messages were the focus for the EEAA 2019 Leaders Forum and Conference, which coincided with Global Exhibitions Day on 5 June 2019.
EEAA chief executive Joyce DiMascio said the themes were embedded in the program from start to finish.
“In order for our industry to continue to grow and contribute to the economy, it’s vital that we attract a broad range of talent with the right set of skills,” she said.
“Sustainable business practices are at the core of what many emerging leaders look for from their employers – and the business events sector must commit to taking real steps to reducing our impact on the environment by cutting our waste output and looking at procurement with conscious regard for sustainability.”
Sustainability in focus
During the events, chair of the EEAA Environmental Sustainability Working Group Leighton Wood reported back to the industry on EEAA’s work over the past 12 months and foreshadowed the next stages of EEAA’s leadership work.
Consulting firm Edge Environment will develop a strategic roadmap for the next 12-24 months with a goal to significantly reduce the footprint of the event industry.
Within this plan, Edge Environment will also highlight best practice guidelines and KPIs.
‘Food waste warrior’ and founder of Yume Food Katy Barfield spoke during the conference dinner and shared her journey to create Australia’s first surplus food online marketplace.
“The EEAA will work with Yume Food to educate the industry on how to include surplus food in their procurement policies,” said DiMascio. “We were pleased to lead by example and source some of the food served at our conference from the Yume platform.”
New partnership with Tourism Australia
EEAA also announced a new partnership with Tourism Australia that will address ecological sustainability, career development and talent acquisition. The partnership sees Tourism Australia continue its support for the EEAA Young Stars Program and become a partner of the Champions of Sustainability program for the year ahead.
“Our partnership with EEAA is a key part of Tourism Australia’s business events strategy, and recognises the importance of the exhibitions sector to both the business events sector and Australia’s visitor economy,” said Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan.
Careers for Life campaign
During the conference and exhibition, EEAA also launched phase two of the Careers for Life campaign.
The campaign spotlights 10 people with vastly different careers, including a digital engineer, motion graphic designer, animation producer, financial director and operations managers from EEAA member organisations, showcasing the diversity and longevity of the industry.
“It takes all types of people, with all kinds of skills to create an event,” said DiMascio.
“There are many different roles from front-of-house to behind the scenes and each requires a different set of skills along with passion and commitment. The exhibitions and business events industry offers a Career for Life.”