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New ABEA board appointments

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New association board appointments
Six well-known industry faces have been appointed to the board of the recently announced Australian Business Events Association (ABEA), which aims to provide a united voice for Australia’s industry.

Past president and current board member of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australia (EEAA), Talk2 Media and Events director Matt Pearce will be deputy chair of the new ABEA board. Former chief executive of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) Peter King has already been announced as chair of the board.

The EEAA’s current president and CEO of Arinex, Nicole Walker, is also on the new board, alongside current EEAA vice president, Nigel Keen, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (PCEC) general manager. Also joining the board from the convention centre side is Janet Hamilton, current general manager of Cairns Convention Centre.

Representing the convention bureau perspective on the board are Julia Swanson, CEO of Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), and Michael Mathews, CEO of Canberra Convention Bureau. Mathews is also the current president of the Association of the Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB).

A further four directors will join the board, with a recruitment process to fill these spots to begin soon. A search is already underway to find the body’s first CEO, with the operational leader expected to be appointed in early July, with the association to officially begin operating from July 3.

“We have assembled an exceptional calibre of committed directors who are renowned leaders in their own right,” said King of his six fellow board members.

“They live, breathe and lead business events and bring a new energy to the table and understand what the potential is for our sector.

Peter King, ABEA board chair

“Together we will drive the policy, advocacy and research agenda, as well as effective members services.”

The six new board appointments are all drawn from the three groups which have come together to form the new association – the EEAA, the AACB and the Australian Convention Centres Group(ACCG), which represents the largest convention centres based in major Australian cities and regional centres.

“With the drive of an all-encompassing entity like the Australian Business Events Association to highlight and promote the sector, we have the opportunity to represent our expertise, talent and technical innovations to a national and international audience,” said Pearce.

And while the group currently represents the interests of destinations, centres and exhibitions, as Hamilton points out, they’ll be drawing from their full set of career experiences.

“I’ve spent my entire career working in all facets of the industry and am acutely aware of its needs and the challenges it faces,” said Hamilton.

“I plan on applying the full extent of my knowledge to support the range of businesses and individuals that constitute the sector, to drive success and prosperity for our members.” 

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