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December 9, 2020
In this issue
As the industry wheels start turning again – what needs to change?
Hayden Hughes appointed GM of Hilton Sydney
Fed up with TED
EEAA awards winners announced
BCEC advocates make scientific strides during Covid


As the industry wheels start turning again – what needs to change?
 
By Joyce DiMascio
 
Around the nation, the wheels of a scaled back business events sector are turning again.
 
Our industry has held on, clinging to life with the support of governments, landlords and, importantly, staff who have taken lower wages and adapted to different roles.
 
The industry has worked together on its national advocacy through the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA). With scarce resources and under the stewardship of Dr Vanessa Findlay, a pragmatic policy and political head, the largely volunteer-based board and councillors continued to knock on doors looking for support and a roadmap to recovery.
 
But what have we learnt from this most turbulent period?
 
Continue reading here. 
Hayden Hughes appointed GM of Hilton Sydney
 
Hayden Hughes has been appointed general manager of Hilton Sydney, making the move south from Brisbane where he served as general manager for Sofitel Brisbane Central.
 
A 30-year hospitality veteran, Hayden began his career with Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove where he spent six years in operations. From there, Hayden held management positions at hotels on the Gold Coast, in Tokyo, Japan and in Brisbane. Hayden moved into his first general manager role at Novotel Melbourne on Collins in 2010 and then held general manager positions at Accor’s Darling Harbour, Sydney hotels before his return to Brisbane.
 
Commenting on his appointment, Hayden said: “I am grateful for the opportunity to join such an internationally renowned brand to lead the iconic hotel that is Hilton Sydney. The opportunity was irresistible.
 
“The timing could not be more perfect as we gear up for what we hope is a big year for the hotel in 2021.”
 
Hilton Sydney offers 587 guest rooms and 3786 sqm of event space. We recently visited the hotel for the Hilton EventReady with CleanStay media event, where micenet learnt all about the brand’s new initiative, Hilton EventReady. You can read about it here. 
Fed up with TED
 
By Laura Bradley
 
If there’s one thing founder and CEO of ICMI Speakers and Entertainment Barry Markoff has had enough of, it’s the influx of TED-style speakers at events.
 
Addressing the more than 480 virtual and in-person participants at the Professional Conference Organiser Association’s (PCOA) annual conference on Monday, Mr Markoff identified the introduction of TED talks – those ideas-based monologues that are all over YouTube – as one of the most difficult issues he has witnessed over the past couple of years.
 
Continue reading here. 
EEAA awards winners announced
 
By Joyce DiMascio
 
At the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) Awards for Excellence ceremony last night Libbie Ray and Juston Presuda, co-owners of Connected Event Group, and Helen Mantellato of the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney were named the industry’s 2020 Unsung Heroes.
 
The Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award went to Alysia McAuliffe from Reed Exhibitions Australia.
 
Only two awards categories were presented for the year due to the impact of Covid on the industry’s ability to hold events.
 
The awards ceremony was preceded by the CEO Forum and Annual General Meeting and held at ICC Sydney as a hybrid event. The AGM saw the election of Libbie Ray of Connected Event Group and Elissa Duke from the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) for the first time, boosting the number of women on the Board by 50 per cent. President of the EEAA, Spiro Anemogiannis, said the organisation will end the year in sound financial position. He did call on the industry to form one peak body to help strengthen the voice of the business events sector.
 
Stay tuned for more news from the EEAA.
BCEC advocates make scientific strides during Covid
 
For the past decade, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) has partnered with Queensland’s elite scientific community to deliver benefits and create new legacies for the city. During this time, the BCEC Convention Advocates Partnership has seen 84 people become advocates, 127 conferences be secured for Brisbane and $171.9 million in direct expenditure be delivered to the state.
 
Against the backdrop of COVID-19, the BCEC advocates have been busily continuing their work in leading research and development.
 
Continue reading here. 
 
 
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