Additional support from the Federal Government for business events

aacbAdditional support from the Federal Government for the business events industry has been welcomed by the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB).

The support has come in the form of a successful reception at the Australian High Commission in London for Australian convention bureaux and heads of European associations and companies who have previously held, or have planned to hold, congresses in Australia, hosted by the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon Steven Ciobo MP, and Tourism Australia.

“Minister Ciobo is continuing to do an excellent job of ‘flying the flag’ for Australia’s business events industry,” said the AACB’s President, Lyn Lewis-Smith.

“The fact he’s now doing this on the world stage is taking this support to another level, which the industry welcomes.

“Events like the one the Minister has hosted in London have the potential to entice more global conferences and conventions to Australia, ahead of other international destinations.”

Expenditure by overseas delegates attending business events in Australia generates more than $2.2 billion in gross domestic product and 22,500 jobs annually.

“The fine work Minister Ciobo has been doing to promote Australia as a superior destination for international business events would be complemented by other high-level government stakeholders delivering a similar message,” Ms Lewis-Smith said.

“The AACB is briefing these stakeholders on an ongoing basis to maximise the chances of this occurring.”

About AACB: The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux is the peak Australian business events network driving economic prosperity for Australia. The Association brings together 16 influential city and regional bureaux dedicated to marketing their specific region as premier business events destinations to domestic and international markets. AACB and its members represent more than 1700 tourism and events industry operators.

Andrew Hiebl AFMEA | Chief Executive Officer
Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Inc

How to ‘Take Control’ and Change your Business Life

I see plenty of people getting distracted in their work. Usually they focus on stuff that is easy to do rather than the stuff that is important to do. I sort of get that.

What I struggle with however, is people getting distracted by the things they can’t do anything about. That’s just a waste of time.

We live in a world full of distractions. There are plenty of things going on out there that affect our businesses. In some cases they have a direct influence on our ability to be successful. Think about it. In the last five years we have seen the prices for most of the world’s major commodities such as oil, iron ore, coal and even milk powder collapse to previously unimagined levels. We’ve seen major economies such as Greece, and to a lesser extent Spain and Italy fail. An enormous influx of refugees from the Middle East has raided Europe’s borders, resulting in uncertainty with global ramifications. More recently Britain’s public have voted to leave the European Union, with short and long term consequences for both sides. And at the time of writing, the United States of America is on the verge of electing either one of two poorly qualified – and some would say dangerous – people to become their next President.

All of these happenings have the ability to impact the business environment that we operate in. They create uncertainty. They contribute to negative debate, which in turn influences the attitudes of the people we deal with every day. I often see people rolling out the list of excuses for their poor performance. These matters regularly surface. They are usually accompanied by complaints about traffic, the government, taxes, and sometimes even the weather.

Here’s the point. None of us can do anythng about this stuff. Sure, it affects us. It affects our business. I have recently seen a very good business with very good people that is at risk of failing, primarily because of the exchange rate. BUT ….. there is nothing that we – you and I – can do about it.

In other words, there are, and always will be, a number of things going on out there that are out of our control, and yet, impact our business. The first question to ask is, can I do anything about that? If not, move on.

Instead we should be focussing on the things we can control. Even in the most inhospitable of environments, if we do the very best that we can to manage the things that we can influence, we have a good chance of being very successful.

So what are the things we can control?

A few years back, I set about trying to understand the things that affect our business outcomes and that we can control. I began by listing all the things I’d done as a business manager. I tallied everything from running a surf lifesaving club, selling Xerox copiers, through building my own computer and office equipment dealership to studying at Stanford University. I listed the various issues and outcomes from my UK consultancy adventure and my time as CEO at Australia’s largest Commercial Real Estate organisation, Colliers.

I devoted one line of my yellow pad for each “thing”. In no particular order, the list included:
– Organise patrol captains and roster
– Raise money for new inflatable rescue craft
– Negotiate a major leasing fee
– Systems review and decision
– Lead property management presentation
– Give a speech to new recruits
– Restructure divisions and decrease headcount
– Replace underperforming manager
– Rescue a lost client …… and so on

After two days I had 30 items per page and 20 pages of assorted experiences. I threw my pile of pages into a desk drawer for a couple of days and pondered what I would do with my new list. Three days later I pulled the assorted papers from their resting place and began putting my thoughts into some form of logical order.

Moving down the margin, I categorised the list into headings. It may have been a banking matter, a branding challenge, an employment issue or a sales opportunity. I analysed the points and refined the definitions in the margins. My first cut produced 20 or so headings. Too many, I thought. I re-categorised a couple of times. It took two days to complete the list but then, after some creative thinking, everything on those 20 pages fitted under just 7 headings.

And here’s the best bit. Everything we do in business falls under one of those 7 headings. And all of those headings represent the things we can control.

Since developing this little list of mine, I’ve delivered more than 1,000 business presentations, completed three further major turnarounds as a CEO and sat on several company boards including a major retail group, a private equity firm, a transport and logistics group, a global franchise network and a telecommunications company. I’ve also chaired a private School board and a National Sporting Association. And after all those experiences I haven’t found anything in what I’ve done that doesn’t fit under one of my seven headings.

At the 9th Annual PCOA Conference and Exhibition is being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre between 27 and 29 November 2016. I am looking forward to sharing what I call “The 7 Principles of Profit” with the attendees. I’ll be there with Tourism New Zealand.

Early-bird registrations are open and the full conference program can be found here 

About the author:
1165 _PCOA 2016_Bruce Cotterill_Headshot 2Bruce Cotterill is a Company Director and 5 time CEO who advises business leaders on Leadership, Governance, and Management. He is the creator of the “7 Principles of Profit” concept and is an expert in improving business performance. He is a regular conference speaker and from his base in New Zealand has delivered keynote presentations to business audiences around the world.


How do I get more business via networking

Networking is important at events, but it is just as (or even more) important outside of events.

This edition of Meetings Industry Insights addresses the question, “How do I get more business via networking”?

Jane Anderson is an authority on using LinkedIn to leverage your network and grow your business. In the show we walk through some easy to implement ideas to demonstrate you how to do it.

Warwick Merry is the MC for the PCO Association Conference and Exhibition to be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, 27 – 29 November 2016

Warwick Merry is a Master MC, Exhibiting Expert and the host of the PCO Association’s Meetings Industry Insights show. Visit to watch the latest episodes.