Report by Trevor Connell
Most people in our industry would be aware of the convention bureaus promoting the various cities and regions throughout the country. But how many realise that they get together on a regular basis to share information, strategies and training?
This is done through the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux which recently held their annual conference in Geelong.
The conference is focussed at two levels – bureaux CEOs meet for discussions while their staff attend workshops and training sessions. Then they all attend plenary sessions that included industry overviews both local and internationally.
To round the conference off this year the final speaker of the conference was Adam Elliot who fitted the conference theme of resilience to his persistence in completing Harvey Krumpet and then his very entertaining description of how events unfolded after his nomination for the Academy Award.
Two annual AACB scholarships are designed to encourage Australian Convention Bureaux staff to pursue excellence and were announced at the conference gala dinner held at the Ford Discovery Centre.
The annual Vin Barron IMEX prize is awarded to aspiring future leaders in the bureaux and is jointly sponsored by AACB, IMEX and Qantas. This year’s winner was Deborah Lonne of Brisbane Marketing who will attend the Future Leaders forum at IMEX.
The annual AACB Staff Scholarship goes to the staff member who submits the most valuable project, i.e. valuable to the applicant, their bureau and the members of AACB. It is jointly sponsored by AACB, Business Events Australia and Qantas.
This year’s Scholarship was awarded to Danielle Ramirez from the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau while Kylie McKenzie from Brisbane Marketing and Danielle Seymour from The Whitsundays Convention Bureau were runners-up and will receive a grant towards their professional development.
The submissions and reports are available from the AACB website
Photos from the gala dinner at the Ford Discovery Centre
Big Stick Adventures conducted a team building exercise and as we were in the football finals weeks participants were encouraged to wear team colours. The Gold Coast team were resplendent in the red and yellow colours of the new Gold Coast AFL team.
The exercise required participants to explore Geelong to find various clues to add to the team points tally. On two separate occasions members of the Gold Coast team were abused by locals for “stealing their men” and “keep your hands of our Ablett”. In the latter case the person on the receiving end had no idea what it was all about, fortunately she didn’t ask the question on the tip of her tongue “What’s an Ablett?”
And for those who don’t follow AFL – Gary Ablett Jnr is one of the star players for Geelong who is mooted to move to the new Gold Coast team.
Interview with Mike Cannon
At the conclusion of the conference I interviewed Mike Cannon, the Executive Director of the AACB, to get a further insight into the history and achievements of the association and I quizzed him on how these bureaux, who one would expect to be bitter rivals, manage to cooperate in such an endeavour – listen here….