The Australian Business Events Association, the newly formed peak body for the business events industry announced its board and launched its new logo in the lead up to its launch on 3 July 2023. With a focus on supporting members of all sizes from large corporations to small businesses, the composition of the board of well-regarded industry and business leaders from all areas signals its goal to foster growth and innovation within the industry.
The Australian Business Events Association was formed through the collaboration of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB), the Australian Convention Centres Group (ACCG), and the Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia Ltd (EEAA) and is due to launch on the 3 July. An independent committee is currently searching for a CEO, the post has been advertised and the Association hopes to make an appointment by early July.
The association also revealed its new logo – a contemporary icon of bold, impactful colours, reflecting the importance of human connection, the diverse areas of the industry working together, and the perpetual forward momentum desired for the industry and its members.
What do the appointments mean for the association?
Matt Pearce, CEO and co-founder of Talk2 Media & Events has been appointed as Deputy Chair. He is joined at the helm by Janet Hamilton, General Manager of the Cairns Convention Centre; Nigel Keen, General Manager of the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC); Michael Matthews, CEO of Canberra Convention Bureau; Julia Swanson, CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau and Nicole Walker, Managing Director of Arinex.
Commenting on the board appointments, Peter King, Chair of ABEA said each of the newly appointed directors are well positioned to drive the new association forward, direct the advocacy and facilitate the delivery of services with the aim of ensuring members thrive.
“We have assembled an exceptional calibre of committed directors who are renowned leaders in their own right. They live, breathe and lead business events and bring a new energy to the table and understand what the potential is for our sector. Together we will drive the policy, advocacy and research agenda, as well as effective members services,” said King.
What is the industry expertise of the appointees?
The seven inaugural Board of Directors have all paid a critical role in establishing the Australian Business Events Association. The board of directors will ultimately increase to 11 positions with a formal process to recruit an additional three directors to commence shortly.
Janet Hamilton, General Manager of the Cairns Convention Centre, is a senior executive in business events, her roles including General Manager of the Darwin Convention Centre, and External Relations Manager for Energy Resources of Australia. The breadth and scope of her experience reflect her dedication to an invigorated and successful business events industry.
Janet Hamilton has held Board positions in industry, tourism and arts organisations. “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. I plan on applying the full extent of my knowledge to support the range of businesses and individuals, to drive success and prosperity for our members.”
Nigel Keen has been General Manager of the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) since 2012, where his connections with influential associations and passion for promoting the business events industry enable him to maintain key stakeholder relationships with government and industry both nationally and internationally.
Michael Mathews, Chief Executive Officer of Canberra Convention Bureau and President of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) brings 30 years of international meetings and tourism industry experience to the board. The relationships and connections he’s built over this time will be integral to the reputation of the new Association.
Matt Pearce is the CEO and co-founder of Talk2 Media which runs trade and consumer exhibitions. He has held senior positions in media firms, like working as MD of Diversified Communications Asia. He is a Board Member of the Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia, Vice Chairman and Board Member of Business Events Council of Australia.
Matt Pearce has been a driving force behind the organisation and is focused on the growth potential of the industry. “With the drive of an all-encompassing entity like the Australian Business Events Association to promote the sector, we have the opportunity to represent our expertise, talent and technical innovations to a national and international audience.”
Julia Swanson has contributed strongly in her role as Chief Executive Officer to the growth and success of the Melbourne Convention Bureau in the global business events market. Among her many executive roles, she is on the Executive Committee of the Board of the BestCities Global Alliance, an alliance of 12 leading global cities that harness the power of collaboration and community to create positive impact through business events.
Nicole Walker, MD of Arinex, has developed an in-depth working knowledge of conference and operations whilst gaining a reputation as a leader in the global events industry. Leading the first event management company in Australia to be carbon neutral, Nicole is committed to sustainable event delivery and working in collaboration with member-based associations to drive long-term benefits for the business events and exhibition industry in Australia.