Australian Business Events Association to launch in July

Three business events industry associations have unified to form one voice, with respected industry leader Peter King appointed as independent chair of the board.

The long-awaited decision to form a unified business events association has finally come, with the Australian Business Events Association officially launching 3 July, with Peter King announced as independent chair.

The new industry association sees the unification of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), the Australian Convention Centres Group (ACCG), and the Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia Ltd (EEAA). The work to spearhead the new association led by a Project Development Group, comprised of directors from the three associations.

The creation of the new association comes following many years of Australia’s business events industry calling to unify the sector.

The most recent research conducted in 2022 revealed that 84 per cent 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, who was most recently the chief executive officer of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), 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,” King said.

“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.”

He added that the association is building a platform through which it 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.”

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.

“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.”

The association will be immediately looking to fill the post of chief executive officer with interested parties encouraged to follow developments closely.

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