June 15, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

The Chair of the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) Dr Vanessa Findlay is stepping down after less than 18 months in the role.

Findlay took on the job of advocating for Australia’s business events industry at an immensely difficult time for the sector – her appointment was announced five days after the global pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation and as the industry was entering a total shutdown.

“It has been a challenging and very rewarding period to work with an industry of such importance,” said Findlay in her departing words for the industry.

“The industry is far too important to lose so when COVID hit it become imperative that we focus our attention on getting the best possible settings in place to ensure its future.

“Eighteen months on from the most serious of downturns and the industry is poised for recovery and rebound.”

BECA’s Deputy Chair Geoff Donaghy said the Council’s Board acknowledged and greatly appreciated Findlay’s work and contribution during her time in the role.

“She has been instrumental in taking the business events message to ministers, departments and agencies in Canberra and greatly advanced our industry’s standing and recognition within Federal Government channels,” he said.

Donaghy said BECA was currently focussed on contributing to the Federal Government’s Reimagining the Visitor Economy 2030 strategy and will then be looking at election policy advocacy on behalf of the industry.

“The Business Events Council of Australia and Tourism Australia are in the final stages of confirming the outcomes of an industry roundtable earlier this month, which included industry peak bodies and Federal Government representation.

“These outcomes will inform the Federal Government’s Reimagining the Visitor Economy 2030 strategy and, if necessary, could be used to refresh BECA’s Recovery and Rebound Framework.”

The roundtable heard from 75 industry leaders and senior executives.