Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of Business Events Sydney, was re-elected as president of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), as the association set its goals and reviewed its strategic plan for 2015-18 at its annual general meeting recently.
“The AACB has had an extremely productive year. Our activities have resulted in some great wins and progress on a number of fronts,” said Lewis-Smith. “Importantly, the AACB has been a unified and powerful voice for its 16 members on the key issues for the business events industry.”
Key initiatives delivered in 2014/15 include:
• Delivery of the research project with Deloitte Access Economics, Australia’s Business Events Sector: The Economic and Strategic Value Proposition
• Implementation of AACB’s advocacy platform, Business Events: Delivering Economic Prosperity for Australia
• Collaboration with the Office of the Federal Minister for Trade and Investment, Tourism Australia, Austrade and industry to achieve the new framework, Attracting Business Events to Australia: The Role of Government Agencies
• Formal responses to two Productivity Commission inquiries: Australia’s International Tourism Industry; and Barriers to Services Exports, and
• Formal submission to the 2015 Review of the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) Scheme.
The next 12 months will see a focus on delivering the AACB’s updated Strategic Action Plan, which includes raising the profile of the business events industry.
“The business events industry offers high and strong yielding results for the Australian economy,” added Ms Lewis-Smith. “The AACB will continue to lead and offer a strong voice to help raise the profile of business events, influence government and remain relevant to its members and key stakeholders.”
AACB has also welcomed the appointment of Tony South as the new chair of Tourism Australia’s Board. It follows the announcement by Andrew Robb as minister for trade and investment on 16 September 2015.
With the ambitious Tourism 2020 goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to between AUD$115bn (US$82.3bn) and $140bn by 2020, business events will play a significant part in realising this target.
South was MD of the Sydney Convention & Visitors Bureau (now Business Events Sydney) in the mid-90s and Lewis-Smith said: “Tony’s vast tourism and business events industry experience will add value to the strategic direction at Tourism Australia.
“AACB is committed to achieving the Tourism 2020 goals in partnership with Tourism Australia and its Business Events Australia team.”
The AACB recently awarded the Newcastle Convention Bureau’s Altogether Perfect campaign the winner of the association’s Innovation Award for 2014/15.
The award recognises new innovations that represent a significant transformation to bureau operations, technology and/or to the product pipeline. Bureaux competing for the award had given a TEDx style presentation.
Business events and conventions developer at Newcastle Convention Bureau, Georgia Lazzari said the collaboration of the Altogether Perfect campaign had been “a game-changer” for the Hunter Valley region.
The ‘campaign was launched in 2014 by regional partners in the broader Hunter Region to attract and secure business events tourism.