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September 18, 2020
In this issue
“Not enough” – EEAA President reacts to $50 million funding
New direction for NZ’s industry re-connection event
Adelaide’s new hotel room boom
New event director appointed for AIME 2021
Our virtual dive into the Great Barrier Reef
Your weekly quotivation
“Not enough” – EEAA President reacts to $50 million funding
President of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) Spiro Anemogiannis has released a statement following the Federal Government’s $50 million funding for the business events industry. While Mr Anemogiannis acknowledged that the funding was a “positive step in the right direction”, he said that it is “still not enough.”
“State borders need to re-open ASAP to allow national events to be scheduled with confidence along with the easing of event space restrictions,” he said.
“Only when the workforce in the corporate world starts to return to their office in greater numbers will our clients and customers be confident enough to attend our events.”
Mr Anemogiannis implored industry members to return to working from their offices in order to demonstrate both that we can work together under the new COVID rules, and that we are putting into practice the safety protocols we plan on bringing to events.
“I returned to my office in the Sydney CBD on July 1 when the city was probably at 10 to 15 per cent of usual activity and increasing five per cent each week,” he said.
“The Melbourne flare-up caused the numbers to grind to a halt. In the last two weeks however, it feels close to 40 per cent.
“I think we need to get to 60 per cent plus which is achievable for Sydney this coming quarter, but is obviously a while off for Melbourne.”
To read the full statement, click here. 
New direction for NZ’s industry re-connection event
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) has re-imagined its industry re-connection event, BE Reconnected, which was set to take place at Vodafone Events Centre in December. The new event – BE Reconnected Plan BE, will take place on December 1, 2020, at Aotea Centre, Auckland, and take on a new look. The program will feature a variety of keynote speakers and presenters as well as networking opportunities including lunch and meet and mingle drinks.
Commenting on the new event, chief executive of CINZ Lisa Hopkins said: “What sounded like a great idea in March has altered course in September.
“It’s the world we live in and if we have learned anything, it’s that you always have to have a backup plan.
“It does seem that Be Reconnected is exactly what the industry needs - a boost of confidence that we are strong, determined and with an eye on the future.”
To register for Be Reconnected – Plan BE, click here. 
Adelaide’s new hotel room boom
By Graeme Kemlo
Adelaide is well positioned to emerge from COVID-19 ready for business events growth with 600 major brand new hotel rooms this year, another 400 in 2021 and 800 due in 2022.
The city had been on a roll with unprecedented hotel occupancy growth across the last quarter of 2019 and while some hotel developments have slowed due to COVID-19, Adelaide is social distancing but mostly open for business.
Just open are Oval Hotel with 138 rooms and 25 event spaces (at Adelaide Oval), and Crowne Plaza with 329 rooms and four meeting rooms. Eos by SkyCity, which has 123 rooms plus six meeting spaces, is due by December.
Scheduled for 2021 are Sofitel Adelaide with 257 rooms, and IHG’s Indigo Adelaide Markets with 137 rooms. Due in 2022 is Westin with 285-rooms, Hyatt Regency with 295 rooms and QT Adelaide
Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) general manager Simon Burgess said major brands such as Sofitel (a 15 minute walk from the ACC) “Are within striking distance, and will make an impact and be popular with conference delegates.”
New event director appointed for AIME 2021
Silke Calder has been appointed as the new event director for the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME), which will take place from March 15, 2021, and follow a hybrid format for the first time.
Silke has more than 20 years’ experience across creative agencies, international trade conventions and venues, including her most recent role as head of sales guest events at one of the world’s largest trade fairs and venues, Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH.
On Silke’s appointment, Talk2 Media & Events CEO Matt Pearce said: “It's undoubtedly been one of the toughest years for our community that we’ve experienced in a generation. The appointment of a strong leader, particularly as we look to launch AIME’s new hybrid model, means we are strengthening our mission to grow business for those attending the event – both physically and virtually.”
Silke said: “The opportunity to deliver the event’s new format and pave the way for more innovative means for our industry to conduct business is incredibly exciting. Now, more than ever, we must harness the power of technology to come together and get business back on track.”
Find out more about AIME 2021 here. 
Our virtual dive into the Great Barrier Reef
By Jenny Gill
Meeting in person and networking over a vino may not be possible right now, but a fun virtual live trivia game was the perfect alternative to connect with industry folk for Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef’s annual Regional Showcase Event.
40 conference and incentive organisers participated and the event included interactive video presentations from the business event industry suppliers, which showcased the region in a fun and slightly competitive environment.
With everybody eager to jump on a plane, major prizes were up for grabs including the first prize of a five night holiday plus return airfares for two people which was won by an elated Melanie Bowie of Key Conferences.
Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef’s general manager, Rosie Douglas, also gave an update on the latest and said there was strong interest in the destination for events as planners looked to regional areas where delegates could enjoy space.
“We are looking forward to welcoming back the business events sector once travel restrictions have eased,” she said.
Your weekly quotivation
From time to time, Darren Isenberg claims that a quotivational reel is his “favourite one yet.” However, this time he’s insisting that this one really is his favourite. His kids even said “whoa” at each new photo.
Since we live in a time when things that are happening are bordering on the inexplicable (not just coronavirus, but world politics, too), Darren thought he would delve through the internet to find some explanations. Well, to cut a long story short, he couldn’t. Instead, he found a whole bundle of pictures that were even LESS explicable than the current state of the planet.
To find out what on earth he’s talking about, watch the video here. 
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