BECA Summit 2010
Renewed spirit of collabroation at the BECA Summit 2010.
After a tough 2009 for the industry, the annual gathering of senior business events representatives expressed cautious optimism for the year ahead. But in a increasingly competitive international environment, the Summit recognised the need to cement a unified Australian strategy and strengthen the industry-government partnership.
International guest speaker, Canadian Rod Cameron who manages the global Joint Meetings Industry Council, congratulated Australia on its cohesive approach and its latest paper DeliveringInnovation, Knowledge and Performance: The Role of Business Events which examined the longer term legacies from business events. He confirmed a new global push to position conferences and exhibitions as economic drivers, and encouraged the industry to measure the value of business events which demonstrate they can play a key role in stimulating the economy, particularly in a post-GFC environment. "Globally, recovery is not complete, but this industry has a positive contribution to make", said Cameron.
Other speakers included Shadow Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo MP who addressed the Summit on relevant issues being considered in this federal election year; Deputy CEO of Austrade, Peter Yuile, who talked about the government's approach to devising a new Australia Brand and the relevance to the business events sector, and Nick Baker from Tourism Australia who updated the Summit on TA's activities. Leigh Harry, President of ICCA, stepped in for UK speaker Rohit Talwar, missing due to the volcanic ash over Europe, and talked about the global Convention 2020 project which is examining longer term meeting trends.
This year's event attracted a record 60 participants, including CEOs of Australian convention bureaux, convention centres, exhibition and conference management companies, along with senior representatives from industry associations, Austrade and Tourism Australia .
The Summit welcomed Tourism Australia's collaboration with the BE industry on a new international associations campaign, and participants discussed various opportunities to link business events into the new "There's Nothing Like Australia" campaign.
The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) proposed a strategic initiative to involve association leaders advocating the benefits of hosting international conferences.
BECA's joint work with the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) on a ground-breaking business events venue research project provided another example of solid collaboration in the industry. Stage 3 rollout of the project has received the support of the federal government via a TQUAL grant to TTF.
The National Tourism Alliance's (NTA) support for the business events sector through its submissions and lobbying was acknowledged with appreciation.
"We have made excellent progress lifting the appreciation of business events within the tourism industry, which is keenly aware of the millions of bed nights, airline seats and meals our delegates deliver each year. " said BECA chairman Geoff Donaghy. "The emphasis is now on widening this appreciation to the business community and other government portfolios beyond tourism, through strong messages about the ability of business events to deliver outcomes across many levels.
"Australia's potential to boost its international business events performance lies in powerful industry strategies, backed by government policy. The Summit reiterated the determination of business events industry to continue to work collaboratively to ensure this happened."
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