The new head of Business Events Australia (BEA), Robin Mack (pictured), has said the focus is on newer domestic programmes due to the pandemic. Mack has been in the role for less than two months, taking over from previous head, Penny Lion, following the company’s recent pandemic-related reorganisation.
This new role combines his past responsibilities as Tourism Australia’s executive general manager of commercial with the new responsibilities of his expanded role overseeing business events for the national tourism agency.
BEA has said it will continue to focus on the newer domestic programmes brought about by the pandemic, in addition to the traditional international trade work.
Mack said one of the most successful initiatives has been the Business Events Bid Fund Program which is designed to help secure high-value international business events.
According to Tourism Australia, as of 5 August 2021, there had been 202 applications for event bids. Of these, 45 events worth AUD$367m (USD$262.9m) have been secured. Twenty nine have been announced and seven events have already been held.
Earlier this year, Tourism Australia announced a further commitment to the Business Events Bid Fund Program with an extra $2.15m to cover new pledges for bids secured over the 12 months through FY21/22.
Another scheme is the Business Events Boost Program. It aims to support marketing and distribution initiatives that have the potential to influence decision-makers of existing domestic business events or to convert new business. Tourism Australia announced an additional $1m in funding to continue to provide Australia’s business events industry with the support that will help win domestic business events across FY21/22.
Mack concluded: “I’m feeling incredibly lucky and very excited. There are no downsides to taking on the role. In many ways I have lived this role vicariously as I’ve worked so closely with Penny and the business events team.”