Seasons Greetings

Linda P Gaunt
Chief Executive Officer

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of MEA please accept our best wishes for the festive season. We look forward to our continued work with you in the new year.

During 2013 our members have been very supportive in renewing their memberships and we have had some good results in regard to new members. However, our association and the benefits we offer is not sustainable on memberships alone. As with all membership bodies we also offer a number of products and services to enhance your membership. This year we have reviewed our benefits and added new benefits including the introduction of Employsure our 24 hour, 365 day per year HR service, as well as concentrating on continuing to grow our registered training organisation (AEA) with the view that when the market changes there will be a need for uptake. Our move to the on-line Who’s Who is taking time to gain traction and is heavily reliant on a digital marketing and advertising campaign. Work is currently underway in this area with positive results expected in the new financial year.

A recent report by ASAE stated that a number of powerful generational, cultural and economic forces are colliding to create a perfect storm that will make the next 5-20 years some of the toughest ever faced by associations. As CEO of MEA I agree wholeheartedly with this and have commenced dialogue with the Board to ensure MEA does keep abreast of these changes and is not a victim that declines into obscurity.
I take this opportunity to thank each of our sponsors and supporters to whom we would find it very difficult without. Thank you also to our committee members, branch chairs and specialist committees as well as accreditation and judging panels for their hard work throughout the year. To the MEA Board chaired by Simon Baggs thank you for your leadership and ongoing support, it is very much appreciated at all times, and to Kevin Moore our financial controller and the rest of our small team, many thanks for your hard work.

Finally, thank you for your membership of MEA. As a member you are part of a vast industry network that will keep you informed, provide experienced advice and services and help you be in touch with rapidly changing industry trends. I look forward to working together into the future.

from the Chair of the Board

Simon Baggs
MEA Chair of the Board

MEA has provided invaluable assistance and support to members on a number of fronts over the year. Some of this work was evident to all – such as spearheading the high profile and ultimately successful ‘Scrap the Cap’ campaign to stop the previous government placing a $2000 cap on tax deductibility of self-education expenses that would have crippled the meetings industry.

Other projects might have been of a lower media profile but is of not less value such as providing mentoring programs, accreditation programs, networking, the Annual Awards, the Annual Conference in Darwin, YMEA activities and increasing member benefits, for example by providing access to Employsure.

The launch of the Australian Events Academy (AEA) was a highlight of the year, the culmination of a great deal of investment and effort to provide a Registered Training Organisation that can combat the skills shortage in the industry.
While membership has remained strong, the industry as a whole has had a very tough year, which is reflected in lower levels of training and sponsorship for MEA programs and a shift in the way members use their benefits. Moving forward the Board and MEA executive have taken a very conservative approach to the New Year, ensuring we deliver value and benefits which reflect the ever changing needs of memberships.
It is evident that there is a very strong culture that has built up over the years among MEA members, a feeling of ‘family’ and belonging that is very real and is at its most poignant at the annual conference and other major gatherings. This is a rare, special and perhaps intangible benefit of membership, but one that sets MEA apart from many associations in other walks-of-life.

MEA has a dedicated Board of Directors who invest a significant amount of their valuable time to provide leadership and support to our visionary and very hard working CEO and staff. I would like to thank Anne Jamieson, Phil Holmes AMM, Susan Ryan-Kiernan AFMEA, Dianna Crebbin and Matt Crouch as invited Board Member.
Linda Gaunt, our financial controller Kevin Moore and the staff of MEA achieve much more and put in much more time and effort than they are ever given credit for. My sincere thanks, on behalf of all members, go to them.

Most importantly I thank you our members for your continued support, input and commitment and for being a part of MEA, especially those who serve on committees and offer their time and expertise so unselfishly throughout the year.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.