Startup Stories: Australian Business Events Association

New associations launch to fill a void in their sector. Here, the Australian Business Events Association tells us what got them started, how they’re succeeding, and what they plan to do next.

Starting point. Over the years, the business events industry of Australia has called for the sector to unify. Research conducted in 2022 revealed that 84% of survey respondents wanted a unified body representing the sector to government and the broader business community.

Knowing that, the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Inc., the Australian Convention Centres Group, and the Exhibition & Events Association of Australasia Ltd. announced in July that they had unified and would launch the Australian Business Events Association (ABEA).

“A consolidated and united association can commission much-needed research, create policy, train its people, tackle sustainability, develop career paths, link with international and domestic trade opportunities, and powerfully advocate to government,” said Board Chair Peter King to Travel Daily News Asia-Pacific.

Early work. At its launch, ABEA shared an ambitious 90-day plan to quickly bring to life its five core pillars of industry development, community, research, professional development, and advocacy.

Among its goals: appointing a CEO (which has been completed), establishing state and territory chapters, securing chairs and committee members, and filling board positions. ABEA has also already run member events in several cities to bring awareness to the new association, as well as special interest group meetings.

Next steps. Moving forward, ABEA is creating an advocacy framework to identify key stakeholders within government and industry, reinforce existing relationships, and create new partnerships.

“We have a lot to do as an industry, but united we are stronger than we’ve ever been,” King said. “We are buoyed by the wonderful encouragement we have received from all around the country and from both sides of both state and federal government.”


Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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