The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA)’s work to help its Members “internationalise” their events and services was centre-stage at the 2014 EEAA Conference with a practical session delivered by Austrade and Hong Kong Trade Development Council officials, and EEAA Members working internationally.
EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, said four international sessions – including keynote addresses by Austrade CEO Bruce Gosper, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Director, Bonnie Shek and a workshop with Austrade’s Trade Manager – International Operations, Gabriella Nunes, all identified practical opportunities for working more effectively in the international landscape.
“There is enormous potential to grow the international footprint of existing annual events and our Conference focussed on both the high level strategic sectoral links with Government policy, as well as practical ways EEAA can engage with Austrade and other agencies like the HKTDC,” Ms DiMascio said.
“EEAA Organiser Members like Reed Exhibitions, Diversified Communications, Exhibitions and Trade Fairs (ETF) and National Media spoke about the practical ways the EEAA Austrade relationship was helping them to better understand how to access the Government’s services for industry.”
Key lessons from the sessions related to:
- Calendar and Timing: The importance of timing of events and ensuring they do not conflict with key major shows in other parts of Asia
- Hosted Buyer Programs: Ensuring hosted buyer programs deliver a full suite of language services, hospitality, introductions and value-adds such as site visits and other commercial introductions
- Trade Missions: The value of participation in Austrade trade missions and business matching
- Key Industry Pillars: Clarity around the key industry pillars on Austrade’s agenda: Food and Agribusiness, Advanced Manufacturing, Infrastructure , Resources and Energy, Health, Services and their alignment with major trade and consumer expos
- Grants and Assistance: Where to look for information about Austrade support http://www.austrade.gov.au/Assistance
Managing Director of ETF, Gary Daly, said that as the CEO of an organisation that currently delivers exhibitions in the international markets, ETF sees the formalised engagement with Austrade to further expand these opportunities as a very welcome development.
“Not only does the EEAA program have the potential to assist us with expanding our footprint further, particularly in the Asian region, the arrangement with Austrade helps us to identify key buyers in developing industries that we can attract to our shows in Australia,” he said.
“Business events are not only about conferences and meetings, with the exhibition potential growing day-by day the engagement with Austrade is a valuable relationship in developing these opportunities.”
EEAA Conference Panel Members John Gorton from Reed Exhibitions, Jon Perry from Diversified Communications and Mark Harvey from National Media commended the historic video conference in September between EEAA Members and senior Australian trade officials in Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, Seoul, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney which was facilitated through Austrade Sydney.
Following the video conference, Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb urged the EEAA and Austrade to keep working on the initiative as it had the potential to generate new markets for Australian export.
The EEAA has welcomed the announcement last week regarding the Business Events Framework between Austrade, Tourism Australia and the Australian Association of Convention Bureaux (AACB) and the support it provides the conference sector.
“This new framework will help convention bureaux that target international meetings access support from Government to assist event bidding. Hopefully the dark days of being passed around from pillar to post for conference bid support letters have come to an end,” Ms DiMascio said.
“It’s another step in the right direction for business events and shows a growing recognition by the Government and its agencies of the importance of business events to the Australian economy.”
“Through the combination of the work done with EEAA throughout 2014, our future program with Austrade, and the framework launched last week by Minister Andrew Robb with the AACB, we can start taking bigger steps forward across all areas of business events. The next opportunity for a rethink will be in the review currently underway at Business Events Australia by LEK Consulting.” Ms DiMascio said.