In the biggest shake-up of the business events association landscape in over a decade, the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Inc (AACB), the Australian Convention Centres Group (ACCG), and the Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia Ltd (EEAA) have announced that they have unified and will launch the Australian Business Events Association on 3 July.

A project development group of directors has led the work to spearhead the new association from the three associations. They have announced that the widely respected Peter King has been appointed as Independent Chair of the Board. He was most recently the CEO of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The business events industry of Australia has called over many years to unify the sector. The most recent research conducted in 2022 revealed that 84 per cent of survey respondents wanted a unified body representing the sector to the Government and the broader business community.

It was deemed that the duplication of services from numerous associations resulted in inefficient use of industry funds, with multiple advocacy voices creating confusion with stakeholders and diluting industry messaging.

“An industry of our size, scope and importance needed one solid and robust association to get traction on the issues that matter. 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 government,” says Peter King.

“The industry has been on the fringe of the Government’s radar for too long. Covid taught us that we must 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 focus on our pillars of advocacy, research and policy, industry development, the services members need to run their teams and businesses, and promoting the sector as a great place to work and do business.

“Ultimately, the Australian Business Events Association is about member prosperity, and when our members win, everyone benefits,” says Peter King.

The Australian Business Events Association membership categories are designed to ensure industry engagement is accessible to all, regardless of business size.

“We have designed our membership levels for the thousands of small businesses that are the engine room of our sector, as well as the large venues, destinations and corporates which play an equally important role.

“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 much to do as an industry but are united; we are stronger than ever. We are buoyed by the wonderful encouragement from all around the country and on both sides of the state and federal government,” says Peter King.