PCO Conference 2013 – Melbourne Australia

KeepingMeetingTThe 2013 conference will look at some of the “big picture” issues that are likely to impact the MICE sector in the next five years.

From Dr Frank Gelber, Chief Economist at Biz Shrapnel to Prof David Weaver and the “Lifecycle of destinations”, we will examine Aviation, Venues, Global Meeting Trends and the continuing impacts of Technology. We will also address new age marketing and the development of online business communities.

The bread and butter issues have not been forgotten and will include a lengthy session on PCO business models.

The provisional program has been published on the conference web, it has been designed to be inclusive and encourage discussion.

The owner/directors SIG will be held before the conference and will be facilitated by Richard Woodwood.  Richard’s brief is to establish 6 issues of importance the Association can address in 2014.  The short list will be prepared following consultation with members and presented to SIG attendees for discussion and evaluation.

Remember “Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.”   Seth Godin

Alan Trotter to receive Lifetime Achievement Award from the PCO Association

Alan TrotterAlan Trotter,  CEO of Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) to receive Life Membership and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professional Conference Organisers Association for his significant contribution to the MICE Sector.

Alan has been the CEO of CINZ for 20 years.  During this time the membership has grown from 20 to 320.  Under Alan’s tenure, CINZ has established a sales and marketing office in Sydney which is responsible for the marketing of New Zealand in the Australian market for business tourism.  Australia currently contributes 60% of all international arrivals into New Zealand, and is therefore, a critical “engine room” market.

Alan also inaugurated the MEETINGS Exhibition held each year in June which is now recognised as the best business event tradeshow in Australasia and continues to grow exhibitor and hosted buyer numbers.

He was also responsible for introducing the Conference Assistance Programme (CAP) into New Zealand.  CINZ ran the CAP programme for 5 years with great success, before handing it over to Tourism New Zealand.

A passionate advocate for the Business Events Sector, it was Alan’s  vision to facilitate the union between PCO’s in New Zealand and Australia with an alliance between the CINZ PCO group and the Professional Conference Organisers Association.

Alan will be stepping down as CEO of CINZ at the end of the year.

Sarah Siebert, chair of the New Zealand PCO group and Professional Conference Organisers Association Councillor will make the presentation to Alan in Auckland next month.


Just say No – Reforms to Self-education Expense Deductions

The Professional Conference Organisers (PCO) Association Inc, on behalf of our members, would like to express our concern regarding reforms to self-education expense deductions, as recently announced by the Federal Government.

The PCO Association is a national not-for-profit member-based industry association representing conference, meetings and events managers. Our members collectively organise over 70% of the conference, meetings and business events convened throughout Australia per annum, with a spend by these business events customers worth in excess of $10b per annum (source: Tourism Research Australia 2011). The majority of these business events are hosted by not-for-profit organisations.

The industry is already feeling the impact of various State Government cut-backs on conference attendance, and to impose an additional dis-incentive for potential delegates to invest in their professional development by attending business events is a cause of major concern throughout the sector, in particular, the policy will:

  • Adversely impact the sustainability of Australia’s not-for-profit sector, many only just recovering from the impact of the GFC
  • Lead to a decline in the overall skill levels of Australian employees
  • Adversely affect the young and those just starting in careers
  • Adversely affect the competitiveness of Australian workers in the global marketplace
  • Adversely affect the viability of PCO businesses throughout Australia

The PCO Association urges the Federal Government to reconsider this retrograde step and reconsider the implementation of this policy for the sake of the not-for-profit sector, the business events industry, and the Australian economy.

Complete our petition and auto-send to the Treasurer

Footnote: Thank you to the 3011 people who completed the petition form, we have taken it down for a while.  With the change of PM and Treasurer and the likely change of Government we think the issue is off the agenda for the time being.  We will monitor the situation after the election.