The Australian Business Events Association (ABEA) represents a coming together of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), the Australian Convention Centres Group (ACCG) and the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA).
However two key Australian associations, Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) and the Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCOA) are not currently in the fold, with MEA telling Australasian Special Events early this year that it had no plans to join any industry collectives, despite supporting a united voice to government.
The new association will have former Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) CEO Peter King as its chair.
“A consolidated and united association can commission much-needed research, create policy, train its people, tackle sustainability, develop career paths, link with international and domestic trade opportunities and powerfully advocate to government,” said King.
“The industry has been on the fringe of the government’s radar for too long. COVID taught us that we need to get serious about amplifying our collective voice.
“We are building a platform through which we can develop the outcomes and the impact the people and organisations who deliver approximately 480,000 business events annually need to thrive, create jobs, and contribute to the economy.
“We will be focused on our pillars of advocacy, research and policy, development of the industry, the services members need to run their teams and businesses, and the promotion of the sector as a great place to work and do business.
“Ultimately, the Australian Business Events Association is about member prosperity. When our members win, everyone benefits.”
“We have designed our membership levels for the thousands of small businesses who are the engine room of our sector, as well as the large venues, destinations and corporates which play an equally important role.
King says the membership categories for the new association will cater to the diverse size and shape of the businesses which make up the industry.
“Everyone is equal at the table. Our State and Territory Chapters, sector groups and special interest committees will play a vital role in ensuring the issues around the country and within our different sectors will all be brought to the table.
“We have a lot to do as an industry, but united we are stronger than we’ve ever been. We are buoyed by the wonderful encouragement we have received from all around the country and from both sides of both state and federal government.
“We invite everyone in the events industry to come together, to support one another and put our best foot forward, to ensure everyone benefits.”
The existence of the ABEA is supported by research from 2022 in which the majority of those surveyed felt multiple industry associations created an inefficient use of funds and both confusion and lack of dilution of impact in advocacy work for business events stakeholders.
The new association is on the immediate hunt for a CEO.