Karen Sainsbury from Cornerstone shares why Accreditation does matter

Over the coming months the PCO Association will continue to profile one of the association’s Certified Event Companies (CEC) by way of a Q & A.

In this interview Karen Sainsbury from Cornerstone answers our questions on what it means to be Cornerstonea Certified Event Company (CEC) with the PCO Association.

Cornerstone are current members of both nationally recognised industry bodies, Meetings and Events Association and Professional Conference Organisers Association, and are also accredited as a Certified Event Management Company by the PCO Association.

Managing Director of Operations, Natalie Brumniach has accreditation with the PCO Association and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and Karen Sainsbury, Managing Director of Sales & Operations is also an accreditation holder and is additionally one of the national councillors of the PCO Association.

Additionally, as an affiliate of the House of Travel Network, Cornerstone is accredited by IATA and AFTA, a global organisation to ensure customer service and ethics in the travel industry, and the Peak representation body of travel agents in Australia.

The team who will work with you to deliver your events are mature, experienced and driven to achieve your objectives.Below we hear from one of our Certified Event Companies (CEC)

Q: How many years have you been trading as an Event Management Company?
A: We began operating 7 and a half years ago under the name HOT Events Australia, recently rebranding to Cornerstone Events in 2016.

Q: What does being a Certified Event Company (CEC) mean to your business?
A: Being a Certified Event Company reinforces that we are following industry guidelines, it also enables us to ensure that we have a 3rd party auditor who has verified that we are operating above industry standards.

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced when applying for your CEC?
A: There were no major challenges in applying for the CEC as we have been very thorough since the inception of our company in ensuring we operate ethically and record all policies and procedures. We also have invested heavily in our risk management and risk mitigation procedures allowing us to be able to cover all required documentation.

Q: Name your three main reasons why an Event Company should be accredited
1. To reassure prospective clients that they’re working with an event management business who has been recognised as being: committed to ensuring the highest quality event management business practices, consistency and reliability in the delivery of services, professional standards and dedication to continuous improvement.

2. It is a measure to ensure authenticity within the industry.

3. It reinforces the professionalism and integrity in the industry
Accreditation provides both clients and industry with an assurance that the event management business they are or could be dealing with is committed to the highest quality event management business practices, consistency and reliability in the delivery of services, professional standards and dedication to continuous improvement.

The PCO Association CEC Program is independently audited. For a company to be awarded CEC accreditation it must have a minimum of one Certified Event Manager (CEM) employed in the business and additionally satisfy criteria that is audited by an independent certified practicing (CPA) accountant.
Accreditation is valid for a period of three years, after which time the business needs to apply again to maintain their accreditation

Karen Sainsbury
M +61 (0) 439 457 672
E: karen@cornerstoneevents.com.au
W: cornerstoneevents.com.au


Adelaide, South Australia has just held its largest ever business event, the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC).

4470 delegates from 71 nations plus visits by 700 school children and several thousand members of the public (who attended the public exhibition day), made the 2017 congress one of the biggest in IAC history. (Mexico in 2016 had 5500 delegates). Of major significance in these numbers is that the distance to Australia from the northern hemisphere was not seen as a negative by industry delegates, Governments, space agencies, organisations or corporations.

IAC was the first major event to be held in the newly expanded Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC). Australia’s first purpose-built convention centre, the ACC was reborn as the country’s newest, most versatile and technologically advanced meetings venue in August following the completion of a A$397m redevelopment. The IAC comprised a detailed program including eight plenary sessions, three highlight lectures, two breaking news, 200 technical sessions and a custom exhibition – all of which utilised every square metre of the centre’s available 20,000 sq/m. The venue’s highly flexible floor plan was put to the test with exemplary results and commendation by organisers and delegates.

Adelaide delivered! With high praise from all involved, including the International Astronautical Federation itself, the ‘Team Adelaide’ approach for which the destination is renowned delivered a world-class event. Michael Davis, chair Space Industry Association of Australia who worked with the Adelaide Convention Bureau to bring the event to Adelaide acknowledged “that the event has been universally judged as one of the most successful ever”. This success was due in no small part through to the efforts of PCO All Occasions Group – an Adelaide business who won the role following a world-wide tender process.

Being a smaller city of around 1.3m people, Adelaide became totally immersed in this highly prestigious event. The opening day announcement by Sen. Simon Birmingham that the government would commit to developing Australia’s own space agency through to Elon Musk’s presentation, ‘Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species’, drew massive crowds and generated much local excitement as well as extensive national and international media coverage. Beyond the official program at the Convention Centre, IAC associated exhibitions at the State Library and Museum were exceptionally well attended with traffic up by 50 percent on the week prior. The closing gala dinner at the Adelaide Oval’s Magarey Room was a sell-out, providing spectacular views across the river to the ACC and the city’s iconic Riverbank precinct, while local businesses welcomed delegates with open arms during official sightseeing tours throughout the week.

The Adelaide Convention Bureau in conjunction with the SIAA (Space Industry Association of Australia), commenced researching and pursuing the International Astronautical Congress in 2008. A failed bid in 2011 (lost to Toronto) was turned around in 2014 with the announcement made in Toronto that Adelaide was to host the 2017 event, beating out Germany, Turkey and the United States.

Economic Benefit
The estimated economic benefit for South Australia from the event was A$24m

Thank you Adelaide!


Sue Hill
Foster Hill PR & Marketing
E: suehill@fosterhill.com.au
T: +61 (0)418 822 629



New Zealand takes a refreshing approach to 10th PCOA Conference

100% NZThe 100% Pure New Zealand hub promises to be a welcoming space for delegates to engage and network at this month’s Professional Conference Organisers (PCO) Association conference.

Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Australia Manager Sharon Auld says the Kiwi team is planning a refreshing approach to help energise delegates.

“During the conference breaks on Monday 27 November, delegates can power up by pedalling the CINZ MEETINGS 2018 smoothie bike to blend their own juice,” she says.

At Tuesday lunch, the team will be sharing more good things from New Zealand, including top-rated organic wine from the Central Otago region.

To rehydrate at any time of the day during the conference, delegates can grab a glass of New Zealand’s artesian water, Antipodes at the 100% Pure New Zealand hub.

“We have exciting new venues and activities to unveil this year, including Christchurch’s new convention centre, a landmark for the South Island with its prime riverside position in New Zealand’s newest city.”

The NZ$475m Christchurch Centre is scheduled to be completed in early 2020, with the first conferences held later that year. The Centre will host up to 2,000 people, and the tiered 1400-delegate auditorium can be split to host two 700-delegate events simultaneously.

A record 18-strong team is joining CINZ at the 10th PCO Association conference on the Gold Coast from Sunday 26 to Tuesday 28 November.

• Air New Zealand
• Auckland Convention Bureau
• Auckland Museum – Tamaki Paenga Hira
• ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau
• Christchurch Centre
• Cordis Auckland
• Destination Rotorua Business Events
• Dunedin Convention Bureau
• Heritage & CityLife Hotels
• Hobbiton™ Movie Set
• Napier Conference Centre
• New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC)
• Queenstown Convention Bureau
• Real Journeys
• SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre
• Skyline Queenstown
• Tourism New Zealand
• Venues Wellington

Join us for the 10th Annual PCOA Conference and Exhibition, at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, between 26 – 28 November 2017