Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA October November 2014 Contents Justifying your conference attendance
How many organisations expect reporting back from delegates
who they fund to attend conferences? Who is justifying their
employer’s funding and their time out of the office?
One would think it automatic to expect outcomes or at least a
sharing of new knowledge gained at the event with other
colleagues back at the office. But I suspect many organisations
approve the attendance each year with no returns defined.
Not any more for Scottish judges according to a report in the
UK’s Sunday Herald. After copping some criticism about a
publicly-funded attendance by a judge at an overseas congress,
Scotland’s chief judge Lord Gill determined funding for any such
future attendances would only be approved if there is a
supporting business case and the delegate submits a report
within a month of the event which would be published on a
The story picked up on complaints about one day at the end
of the conference set aside for sightseeing. Tsk, tsk.
Great compliment for Aussie cities
Five Australian cities made the top 20 list in The Economist’s
latest global “liveability” ranking. More impressive is the fact that
four of these came in the top 10 in the world. Melbourne take a
bow at number one. Adelaide was number five, Sydney number
seven, Perth number nine, and Brisbane number 20. That has
got to count for something when selling Australia as a travel
destination, be it for pleasure or business.
ABC’S Q&A connects congress to community
One of the best examples seen of public/business events
connections was the Q&A television program hosted by the ABC
towards the end of the AIDS conference in Melbourne. Aired
nationally on July 21 and beamed from a packed Melbourne
Town Hall, the program’s value was evident by the quality of the
international speakers and the responses seen on Twitter shown
at the bottom of the screen. It was community engagement of a
large international congress at its finest.
ACTE and CAPA combo event on corporate
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) joined
forces with the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation’s (CAPA) annual
aviation summit to present a day on corporate travel which drew
more than 250 attendees in Sydney in August.
Kicking off the day was Flight Centre’s Graham Turner who
spoke to a capacity crowd. Not surprisingly, Turner was upbeat
about the future, declaring a “golden era of travel”. It has
certainly been a golden run for his company - from one shop in
1982 to a successful stock market float in 1995 and now $17
billion in annual revenue and more than 16,000 staff in 11
countries. With more than 30 brands, six operate in the
No surprise also that Flight Centre is yet another example of
travel companies moving into the meetings market with the
absorption of CI Events which now has offices in Australia, UK,
USA, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Turner sees this golden travel era running another two
decades, acknowledging the impact of the retiring,
superannuated baby boomers who are cashed up and keen to
travel. One wonders if this impact will taper off eventually as the
baby boomers hit their 70s and 80s and turn their spend to
health and aged care. Will Gen X take their place? A slump in
the Aussie dollar would also give pause to the current flood of
Aussies heading overseas. But for the moment the market is
strong, very strong, and companies like Flight Centre are the
In a later discussion, Turner confirmed a strong interest in the
business travel market which he said was currently represented
in all Flight Centre overseas offices, bar India and Canada. From
all indications, you can expect this interest to strengthen.
In other ACTE/CAPA sessions, there were in-depth
discussions on the finer points of corporate travel. From a
meetings viewpoint, it was noted by a few companies that the
emphasis had moved to face-to-face meetings with customers,
acknowledging the importance of building brand profile and
relationships through personal contact. In-house information
transfer was largely being met through virtual meetings. One
major organisation had invested in Telepresence rooms which
were operating 100 per cent of the time. With the MH370 and
MH17 air disasters, plus the current ebola scare and shifting
geopolitical danger areas, corporate travel managers were
focused on duty-of-care and risk management for employees.
Industry stalwart Elizabeth Rich proffers industry
snippets from here and abroad.
BY ELIZABETH RICH
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