Following the disruption of 2020 – 2021 (which is still being felt in 2022) is the Australian event industry back on track?
The formation of the Australian Business Events Association without MEA and the PCOA feels like a lost opportunity. Would a broader association that embraced the entire event industry be more successful, or even possible given the fractious nature of the industry associations?
The MEA Evolve conference felt like there is some sort of recovery happening for that association – but it has a long way to go. My feeling is that MEA has a huge challenge ahead along with a great opportunity.
The challenge is to rebuild membership and the state branches, followed by the networking and education programs. There is also the challenge that the association is still perceived to be mainly for PCOs and business event managers. The opportunity is to broaden the membership base beyond “business events” and embrace festivals and private functions. The established education programs provided by the RTO arm of MEA along with its accreditation program also provide a great opportunity to bring in new members and to highlight the skills of those members.
These issues were addressed at the Evolve conference and I took the opportunity to interview both the chair of MEA, Michael Firman and one of the board’s newest members, Thomas Staunton.
I took the opportunity at the awards presentation to do some quick interviews with a few of the winners