Meetings and Events Australia held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 7 December 2017 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Electoral Council Meeting cast their votes to determine the Board of Directors. The incoming MEA Board is as follows:
- Chairperson: Anne Jamieson (2018-2019)
- Vice Chair: Ian Whitworth (2017-2018)
- Treasurer: Susan Ryman-Kiernan (2018-2019)
- Board Member/Secretary: Alana Hay (2017-2018)
- Board Member: Kate Smith (2017-2018)
The Chairperson of MEA, Anne Jamieson commented, “The last 12 months has seen MEA complete a full review of its Governance practices, with a number of actions taken to ensure MEA’s sustainability.” “With a solid strategic plan now in place MEA is set to deliver strong growth in 2018 and will continue to support, promote and reward excellence in the meetings and events sector“, she added.
CEO, Robyn Johnson added, “The skills and experience of this Board will ensure that MEA grows its position as the peak national industry body, representing our diverse and valuable industry”. “After a year of review and consolidation, I am looking forward to a busy and exciting year ahead, progressing with new initiatives that will deliver more benefits for our members”.
Annual Report: 2017 – a year of review and consolidation
Under the guidance of new CEO, Robyn Johnson and Chair Anne Jamieson, MEA has undertaken a forensic financial review and a rejuvenation of all parts of the organisation over the last 12 months.
The MEA Board and CEO developed a three year strategic plan, delivering against objectives and KPIs on time and within budget over the last 12 months. This plan sets a solid platform for the re-invigoration of the organisation, which has already resulted in a strong National Sponsorship program, all-time high industry confidence and growth in membership of more than 10% growth in the last 12 months.
MEA introduced a regional membership category, refreshed and re-launched the Meeting Essentials online program, overhauled and launched the National Awards program, and a National Mentorship program was launched with the support of Tourism Australia. MEA also undertook a national Skills Shortage survey, with the support of several industry bodies, that identified gaps and opportunities for training and development that MEA will seek to fulfil.
Close scrutiny of the accounts and organisational activity uncovered some anomalies that were addressed and an external audit of the RTO identified a non-compliance issue that was rectified. The new online Diploma of Event Management was re-launched in November and MEA has secured its RTO status through ASQA until 2024. Other financial challenges including a loss on The Event Show and extraordinary expenses were audited and consolidated into the 2017 accounts. With finances in check, strong growth in membership, plus new benefits and with the RTO again delivering training, a modest budget surplus is forecast for 2018.
This year of review, rectification and action places MEA in a solid position for new management to capitalise on its activities and opportunities. MEA will engage further with its Branches and membership to deliver exceptional professional development, networking, training and benefits to its membership in 2018 and beyond.