Association Focus

Hill awarded lifetime AuSAE award

Wednesday, 26 September 2018 19:54
Nick Hill has been awarded Life Member of the Australasian Society of Association Executives.

Get involved in PCOA18

Monday, 03 September 2018 04:12

The Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCOA) is seeking five PCOs or in-house event managers to share a short case study (approximately 10 minutes) as part of a session at the PCOA Conference & Exhibition in December.

PCOA announces keynote

Monday, 30 July 2018 21:43

The Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCOA) 2018 conference has announced its opening keynote speaker.

PCOA18: Q&A with Garzberg

Thursday, 26 July 2018 20:58

PCOA18 featured speaker: Tomer Garzberg - founder and CEO,

Can you tell us what the philosophy is behind GRONADE?

Throughout history, humanity has seen its share of disruptive technologies, yet some were so pivotal to how far ahead we could propel ourselves, that it changed the course of how modern society evolves. These pivotal technologies include the steam engine and the domestication of electricity, even more so than the personal computer did. We are about to experience the 'new electricity', that is, machine intelligence (commonly referred to as artificial intelligence). Machine intelligence has the potential to liberate us from mundane labour, and free us to be contributing to society in ways where machines simply can not. It makes us more human.

Why did you accept to speak at PCOA18?

I'm a big believer that, while the common phrase 'the future of work' tends to focus on what might become of our work life as machine intelligence takes a foothold in our careers, it's a great opportunity to speak about the reality of how machine intelligence is practically changing the world today.

How will your presentation - the Future of Work resonate with the PCOA18 conference theme, ‘Embracing Change - How Agile Are You?’

I want to help create a dialogue where machine intelligence doesn't simply induce the fear of unknown, but the understanding of what it can do, it's limitations and opportunities, and how to embrace this inevitable change as opposed to having to deal with an existential crisis.

What are the three key messages delegates will take away from your presentation?

  1. What actually is artificial intelligence, and the limitations of today's algorithms
  2. Why the shift towards artificial augmentation of human tasks is inevitable
  3. How human mindsets and their workplaces must evolve as the notion of work changes

What advice can you give to those entering the ever-changing events industry?

No industry is immune to change, and while some industries are more human-to-human-centric operationally, it's the peripheral tasks outside of the obvious which will recalibrate due to machine-led disruption. So if change really is inevitable, embracing it is the primary catalyst for capitalising on the opportunities at hand. Identify the inefficiencies in every facet of your industry, focus on where our organisation leaves the most money on the table, and this will guide you as to where machine intelligence can transform your organisation, and your industry, forever.

Tomer Garzberg is sponsored by Saxton Speakers Bureau

The PCOA18 conference and exhibition is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 9 - 11 December. Click here to find out more and to register.

PCOA18: Speaker Q&A

Monday, 23 July 2018 20:01

PCOA18 conference and exhibition speaker name: Simon Griffiths

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m the co-founder and CEO of Who Gives A Crap.  We sell good looking, forest-friendly toilet paper, paper towels and tissues in 36 countries and donate 50% of our profits to help build toilets for those in need. As much as I love toilet paper, the reason I started this business is the impact we’re having on the world—since starting in 2013, we’ve donated almost A$2 million. 

Why did you accept to speak at PCOA18?

I’m really passionate about embracing (and creating) change, so this year’s conference theme is compelling.

How will your presentation resonate with the PCOA18 conference theme, Embracing Change’ - How Agile Are You?’

Every day I encourage my team to embrace change by testing out new ideas and learning from what works and what doesn’t work.  I’m looking forward to sharing some of the things I’ve learned from this approach, alongside some other lessons I’ve learned from running a purpose-led business.

What are the three key messages delegates will take away from your presentation?

  1. Doing good is good business: consumers want to give back and are on the lookout for value-aligned brands that let them create more impact with every dollar they spend
  2. Doing good isn't always easy: doing good is good business, but purpose-led businesses are held to a higher level of scrutiny than regular for-profit businesses.  So it’s important that you show customers that your company is true to its word. When you do this well, it helps to build an abnormally high level of brand trust... resulting in customers going above and beyond for the brands that they love!
  3. Everything is marketing: in the new world of hyper-connectivity where customers can share brand moments at the swipe of a finger, everything that a company creates can (and must) be thought of as a marketing opportunity.

What advice can you give to those entering the ever-changing events industry?

Learn by selling: keep trying new things, then listen intently to your customer to find out what worked and what didn’t work so well. If you use this information to adjust your approach in the future, it will make you more successful with every sale. Never be afraid to get things wrong - it’s how we learn.

Simon Griffiths' presentation at the 11th annual PCOA conference and exhibition is sponsored by ICMI. The PCOA18 conference and exhibition is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 9 - 11 December. Click here to find out more and to register.

First female MC for PCOA

Thursday, 22 March 2018 20:47

Yvonne Adele has been named as the MC for the 11th annual PCO Association conference, to be held in the new extension to the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre between 9-11 December.

Adele has previously worked with PCOA as a programme speaker, and her appointment marks the first female MC for the event in its history.

CINZ Wellington industry update

Monday, 19 February 2018 20:04

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand will hold a business events sector update for the industry on Monday 12 March in Wellington.

Sue Sullivan, CINZ chief executive will be joined by Leonie Ashford, Tourism New Zealand’s business events bid manager, and Shanti Carter, group sales account manager from Air New Zealand.

CINZ Emerging Talent series to kick off in March

Monday, 19 February 2018 19:48

The Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Emerging Talent series starts for 2018 with events in Auckland and Wellington in March.

The Auckland event on Monday 5 March at SKYCITY sold out within 48 hours. A repeat event is now scheduled for April, where the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) team will present an update.

New Brissy association event

Thursday, 08 February 2018 04:32

Registrations are open for a new event targeted solely at association meeting planners.

The Great Association Meetings and Events Symposium (GAMES) takes place at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on April 17-18, 2018.

PCO association webinars

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 23:05

The PCO Association has kicked off its webinar series, with the first session to be held on Thursday 15 February.

This is the fifth consecutive year the PCO Association will put out its webinar series.


Wednesday, 17 January 2018 03:40

IBTM has unveiled the final itinerary for IBTM Arabia 2018, which takes place 5-7 February at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi.

Leading the agenda as keynote speaker is Rohit Talwar, global futurist, author and CEO of foresight firm, Fast Future, who will deliver a session on how the meetings industry can anticipate, respond to and benefit from an

Aus gets taste of MEETINGS

Monday, 20 November 2017 22:39

MEETINGS 2018 will officially launch to Australian conference organisers at the 10th PCOA event next week on the Gold Coast.

MEETINGS has teamed up with key destinations and principal sponsor, Air New Zealand to offer familiarisations to Australian hosted buyers attending the 2018 event in Auckland on 30 and 31 May.

PCOA Conference programme live

Monday, 13 November 2017 22:02

This year’s PCOA Conference programme is now live, detailing a run of events for this year’s conference on the Gold Coast.  

Following the theme of MEETING Beyond Tomorrow, the conference will address the challenges faced by the dynamic PCO industry and will explore the trends and shifts that impact everyone in it.

EEAA announces finalists

Monday, 06 November 2017 19:50

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has announced its 2017 finalists of its annual Awards for Excellence.

One of these finalists is New Zealand’s own XPO exhibitions, making the cut for Best Trade Show Under 10,000m2 for its work with the buildnz | designex & The National Safety Show and SouthMACH.

Winners in the show categories will undergo a second round of judging to determine the coveted Best Show winner for 2017.

MEA’s third leaders’ breakfast

Monday, 16 October 2017 21:50

Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) will host its third Leaders’ Breakfast from 7.30am to 9.00am on 14 November 2017 at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Melbourne.

All eyes on New Zealand

Monday, 02 October 2017 21:54

New Zealand remains high on the consideration set for business events with

PCOs and event organisers based in Australia, according to CINZ chief executive Sue Sullivan in the recent CINZ board representatives’ update.

‘All indicators are that this will continue. This is supported by the interest shown in the new conference centres in Christchurch and Auckland,’ she says.

Get tropical at Alexandra Park

Thursday, 28 September 2017 01:35

Alexandra Park is giving away a trip for two to Vanuatu flying Air Vanuatu and staying at Mangoes Resort & Restaurant next month.

On 13 and 27 October, Alexandra Park will host two Tropical Nights at its Top of the Park venue, with dining packages ranging from $60 to $120 per person.

Everyone who buys a Tropical Night ticket goes into the draw to win the trip.

‘Use endorsed PCOs,’ urges chair

Thursday, 17 August 2017 05:37

The industry as a whole needs to better understand the significance of using an endorsed professional conference organiser, according to the new chairperson of the Approved Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) Group. Dunedin-based Ali Copeman, of akB Conference Management, says endorsed PCOs go through a rigorous process to achieve the status, especially around financial viability.

New GM for NZEA

Monday, 07 August 2017 22:35


Segolene de Fontenay has been appointed to the role of general manager for the New Zealand Events Association, taking over from Vicky Watson. Through her appointment, de Fontenay says she will be working on making the association more visible and credible by representing its members through a strong industry voice.

Convene Q kicks off

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 06:00

Convene Queensland 2017 kicked off today in Brisbane.

In its fourth year running, buyers and operators all met at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre to network, swap business cards and share their Queensland knowledge.

Kiwi wellness on display at AFNC

Monday, 17 July 2017 23:44

Kiwi representatives have descended on Sydney for the Associations Forum National Conference (AFNC), which comes to an end today.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Australia manager Sharon Auld says the group highlights the vast array of support available for those considering New Zealand as a conference destination.

‘With our diverse regional choices, we can help anyone wanting to find a stand-out destination for their next event, and access the support available through Tourism New Zealand’s Conference Assistance Programme,’ she says.

Tourism New Zealand sponsored the panel session ‘Bigger, Better and More Profitable Events’ yesterday. The interactive workshop brought together association meeting practitioners to talk about their experiences growing events, in both size and profit. Phillipa Tocker, executive director of Museums Aotearoa - the independent association for New Zealand’s museums and galleries - joined the panel to share her insights.

Auld says the stand included wellness feature to help delegates take some time out between sessions.

The New Zealand representatives at the 12th AFNC included:

  • Auckland Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira
  • Christchurch & Canterbury Convention Bureau
  • Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ)
  • Destination Rotorua Business Events
  • Hobbiton™ Movie Set
  • The Langham Auckland
  • Skyline Queenstown
  • Tourism New Zealand

Speakers get ready for AKL

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 01:46

SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre will host the Global Speaking Summit in 2018.

Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) – a division of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) – with support from Tourism New Zealand and the National Speakers Association, compiled the winning bid for Auckland.

ACB manager Anna Hayward says securing another bid win this year highlights the strong momentum of the Auckland sector.

Events awards return to AKL

Monday, 19 June 2017 22:47

Applications for the new Zealand Events Awards are open as the industry looks to recognise success and innovation.

New Zealand Events Association (NZEA) chair Andrea Scotland says the Awards have seen year-on-year growth creating an intensely competitive forum nationally that recognises and promotes excellence within the events sector.

‘The purpose of the New Zealand Event Awards is to celebrate the boundaries pushed, the new benchmarks set and innovations we can share. We have world-class events and organisers in New Zealand, this is proven in the incredibly high calibre of applications we receive yearly and the feedback from our independent panel of judges,’ she explains.

MEETINGS 2017: And the winners are

Monday, 05 June 2017 23:02

CINZ MEETINGS 2017 came to an end on Thursday last week, wrapping up two full on days of meetings and networking with a gala dinner at The Langham Auckland.

The dinner was staged by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), with styling by Event Impressions, entertainment and sound from The Production Agency, and Staging Connections managing the audio-visual component.

‘Our evening was the opportunity for all those involved to celebrate a week of knowledge sharing, relationship building and successful business generation,’ commented CINZ CEO Sue Sullivan.

Welly shoots, economy scores

Monday, 22 May 2017 23:16

The next iMean (Interaction and Meaning) conference is going to be held out of the United Kingdom for the first time ever.

Wellington will be the new location for the linguistics event in 2019, bringing around 250 delegates to the capital with an expected boost of around $700k to the economy.

Behind the conference win is Victoria University, with funding support from Tourism New Zealand and the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA).

AuSAE is back for another year

Thursday, 18 May 2017 05:24

The annual Australian Society of Association Executives Leadership, Insights and Networking conference (LINC) has just announced its dates and location for this year.

It will be held between the 13 - 14 November 2017 in Wellington at Shed 6, Venues Wellington.

Convene Q's famil options

Monday, 15 May 2017 04:39

Three exciting regional famil options are among the highlights for incentive operators and meeting planners who attend a major business events expo in Brisbane on 18 July.

Convene Queensland (Convene Q) will showcase more than 100 venues, accommodation choices, attractions, activities, theme and audio visual companies, speakers and other suppliers in the state. It is ideal for association executives, professional conference organisers, executive administrators and others who organise meetings, functions, trade shows and others who organise business events in Queensland.

Convene Q general manager Allyssa Eastaugh says that while delegates are welcome to attend the show only, they can get extra value out of exploring further through the event’s highly regarded famil programme – open to hosted buyers from around Australia and New Zealand.

MEETINGS 2017 to put NZ on show

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 22:16

MEETINGS is a two-day national business tourism event for the conference, meetings, events, exhibition and travel incentive industry.

The event has been happening for the past 20 years, enabling attendees to meet exhibitors from across New Zealand all in one or two days.

Sue Sullivan, Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive, says they’re inviting everyone responsible for meetings and events to spend a few valuable hours at MEETINGS 2017.

Come together at Convene

Sunday, 09 April 2017 23:13

Convene 2017 kicks off this week, taking place at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau for the first time.

Convene showcases products and services from across the North Island to buyers from New Zealand and Australia.

The event enables organisers of conferences, meetings and incentives to source a diverse range of North Island products and services in one day.

NZ embraces PCOA 2016 themes

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 03:22

A record 18 exhibitors will represent New Zealand at the 2016 PCOA Conference in Brisbane this month.
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Australia manager Sharon Auld says the New Zealand team is set to embrace and demonstrate the conference themes of connect, collaborate, differentiate.
The conference theme will come to life in presentations from the three New Zealand speakers in the programme - transformation leader Bruce Cotterill, Air New Zealand’s Jenni Martin and New Zealand International Convention Centre’s Callum Mallett. During the conference breaks, the speakers will also be on hand to chat personally with delegates.

Build in UN’s goals

Monday, 24 October 2016 23:21

Associations have been urged to take note of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals that were adopted late last year, and build them into their own aspirations.

Speaking at the Union of International Associations’ (UIA) round table Asia-Pacific 2016 late September, UIA vice president Cyril Ritchie pointed out that associations and civil society organisations are groupings of citizens who have ‘self organised’ to promote a good cause.

‘Or they have self-organised to combat a bad plan. The moral and ethical power of civil society has no limits, there is an essential role to play.’