Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA December 2014 January 2015 Contents We recently had our biggest number of stand partners
at this year’s IMEX America (Las Vegas, October
2014) - our largest of any show – with 25 attendees,
which was brilliant. A positive that it was a mix of operators:
bureaux, centres and venues, DMCs, and hotels. For us this is
brilliant because we provide a platform – the Australia stand –
and to then have a variety of product certainly helps in
showcasing the breadth of experiences and opportunities
available in Australia was just terrific.
We are waiting for the official survey that we do with participants
to come through, however, anecdotally we have had very good
feedback. The talk of leads that they received has been high.
The market overall out of the U.S. is just incredibly positive at
the moment. We’re hearing about events with budgets nearing
those of the 1980s and 1990s doing test runs of the event from
point of origin in the U.S. and doing an entire dry run of the
event before the actual event takes place. Those stories are
music to our ears. The U.S. market is definitely returning.
The entire stand this year hosted 353 individual appointments
with buyers and then there was also 12 group appointments
which amounted to time with an additional 135 buyers.
Following IMEX America we attended EIBTM [November,
Barcelona] with five stand partners. This was another good
show and remains an important one for us.
IMEX does seem to be gaining traction as a show that offers a
better return. I believe that our industry feel that they qualify the
buyers better, but EIBTM is still an important show for us, giving
us the opportunity to continue with our brand awareness and
gather additional market intel.
Back at home we continue to assess our marketing assets, and
our website is the call to action for the majority of our activity
around the world. Led by Tourism Australia’s marketing division,
they will be rolling out a new version of Tourism Australia’s
website in early 2015. Six to eight weeks after that the Business
Events Australia website will follow.
This is a huge project and an extremely exciting one. What we
found when we first developed our website – three years ago
now – we always kept the end buyer in mind. Although the
content remains current and useable, it’s fascinating in this
digital age how quickly everything has changed. What we will
offer on this updated website will provide information on all of
Australia’s greatest assets that people can use for research or
preparing pitch documents for their clients and customers.
At the present time we’re undertaking a strategic review on
business events [within Tourism Australia]. Tourism Australia’s
managing director, John O’Sullivan, being new to the role, really
wants to look at what we are all doing to achieve our Tourism 2020
goals and to continue to add value to what the industry is doing.
We’ve seen over the last few years the business event spend
has grown six per cent per annum but the short term results of
late have been a little weaker. In view of that and in view of the
heightened competitiveness of the sector, TA is going to
re-examine its approach to business events and make sure that
our strategy and resourcing is as effective as possible.
We’ll present the findings and recommendations to the board
Having recently had a four-year anniversary as head of business
events here I have reflected on then and now, and recall how
Australia has been such a leader in this space.
When I first joined Tourism Australia we had a very different
brand campaign. We recognised that it was much smarter to
leverage off the consumer campaign – There’s Nothing Like
Australia. We were the first destination to do a bespoke business
event ad campaign that showed an event in action; we were so
proud to deliver that.
When I look at what the competitors are doing now and how
competition has increased because so many have realised how
high yield the business event market is, many are now doing
bespoke business event campaigns. If you look at three or four
of them you can see how close their campaigns are to the one
we launched when I started.
When you see that it means you have to be smarter and a
step ahead and very targeted with everything you do; you have
to work harder to convert the right business.
Along with our industry partners we are continuing to do this
and more as we head into 2015. m
Head of Business Events Australia, Penny Lion, provides readers
with a snapshot of the organisation’s latest activity, observations
PENNY LION, HEAD OF
BUSINESS EVENTS AUSTRALIA
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