Australia

Exhibitions & Trade Fairs launches new industry conference

Inaugural conference, The Business of Events, to ‘fill a gap in the market’ when it kicks off in February 2019.

In a crowded market, what makes a new event stand out? According to Exhibitions & Trade Fairs managing director, Gary Daly, the answer is simple: Give the people what they want.

After interviewing more than 100 industry players, Daly, and Australian event industry veteran, says he discovered a gap in the market. So he and his team are now preparing to launch a new two-day conference, The Business Events, to serve as an education platform for senior event professionals.

“There are a lot of conferences out there, but all have a different target market,” Daly says, “so we conducted a survey to ask senior events professionals whether they are being catered for… surprisingly, many said no.”

Daly asserts the conference is about the ‘business of events’ and behind-the-scenes planning, rather than ‘business events’ and will focus on knowledge exchange with key business leaders.

“Content is king,” he states. “People don’t pay to attend conferences for the coffee and biscuits. They want to walk away more knowledgeable, with examples and tangible evidence that they can apply in their day-to-day work… you need to give them something that they need.”

Under the theme ‘Powering Growth’, the Business of Events conference features an impressive line-up of keynotes, plenaries and break-out sessions that will examine how to identify new business opportunities and increase the bottom line, and also how to leverage major events.

Alongside international keynote, Laura Schwartz, former White House Director of Events, the programme will feature presentations from Penny Lion, executive general manager of events, Tourism Australia, Andrew Westacott, CEO, Australian Grand Prix, and Helen Sawczak, National CEO at the Australia China Business Council.

“These speakers contribute to the Australian economy through major events and operate in international markets with different policies and jurisdictions, so they know what issues you can face in the international marketplace,” Daly says.

The event will be held in Sydney, on 7-8 February, two weeks before AIME 2019 in Melbourne. Daly says he is not looking to compete with AIME, but hopes that a richer events calendar will help to bolster the business events industry in Australia.

“It’s in our interest that the events industry continues flourish. AIME is critical to our industry in APAC and it’s important that it continues,” he says.