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March 15, 2021
In this issue
PCOA announces dates and location for 2021 conference
It’s time to BE immersed in Cairns and Great Barrier Reef
Ex Reed Exhibitions executives launch new business
Voyages gains certification as indigenous supplier for business event
Global Cities After Dark announces conference program, with an entire evening dedicated to major events
In case you missed it

PCOA announces dates and location for 2021 conference
The Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCOA) has announced that its 14th annual conference will take place between December 5 and 7, 2021, at the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart.
The conference will borrow inspiration from its Tasmanian surroundings, with a program exploring fresh ideas and thinking with a focus on doing things differently. According to the association’s website, the content for the 2021 event has been curated to address the most pressing issues facing the industry.
These include sustainability, the opportunity to reposition the role of event planners as partners and trusted advisors, the trend towards live experiences and human connection and the negotiation of fee structures and pricing.
To find out more about the event, click here. 
It’s time to BE immersed in Cairns and Great Barrier Reef
After 20 successful years, the much-loved Sell TNQ event has been relaunched, refreshed and renamed! We introduce you to… ‘BE Immersed: Cairns and Great Barrier Reef’.
This is a unique opportunity for professional conference and incentive organisers from Australia and New Zealand to step into the shoes of their delegates and experience why Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef is the perfect destination for your next business event.
Held in Cairns and Port Douglas between May 6 and 9, 2021, this all-inclusive, luxury program showcases the very best of the business events products the region has to offer.
Registrations to attend this educational program are now open. Find out more here. 
Ex Reed Exhibitions executives launch new business
By Joyce DiMascio
Major exhibition organisers are shedding some of their best and most experienced staff, but out of the carnage new enterprises are emerging.
The latest duo to combine their outstanding events industry expertise are former Reed Exhibitions executives Paul Baker and Tim Rusbridge. Between them, they know the Australian and UK markets inside-out.
The duo have formed a full-service event consultancy and management business called connexU. With refreshing optimism, they have launched the business saying that it is the agile businesses with the clearest strategic vision that will burst back to pre-COVID levels quicker than others.
“In fact, those who also execute well, could usher in a new golden era for face-to-face events,” they said.
connexU will assist businesses, associations and government in navigating the evolving face-to-face landscape - providing strategic clarity, access to new technologies and new methods to engage communities and unlocking previously untapped sources of revenue, their PR says.
Tim Rusbridge said: “This industry has changed and connexU was created specifically for the new era - one that values agility and a more entrepreneurial mindset. There are incredible opportunities out there for those set up to identify them and then capitalise quickly.”
For more information on connexU and its services, please visit the connexU website or contact connexU on +61 2 8277 4324.
Voyages gains certification as indigenous supplier for business events
Last week Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia became certified as an indigenous supplier by Supply Nation, Australia's largest national directory of verified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses.
This certification is relevant to large companies who have designated Reconciliation Action Plans, as it now allows them to use their business events booking with the resort to meet their indigenous spend targets. It also gives meeting planners assurance as Supply Nation regulates and constantly monitors to ensure suppliers are meeting their strict guidelines.
“This is exciting news as it enables businesses in Australia to know that they are channelling their spend in the right direction – toward funding indigenous communities – and ultimately ensures a more ethical supply chain” said Matt Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.
“Not only can they now book an event that provides their delegates with an exciting and immersive experience at a venue that supports and celebrates indigenous culture but in doing so they will also be helping to financially sustain our country’s first nations people.”
Global Cities After Dark announces conference program, with an entire evening dedicated to major events
Global Cities After Dark, a forum which explores night-time culture from a global perspective, has announced the full program for this year’s conference, which will take place between March 22 and 26, 2021, at various locations around Sydney.
Of particular interest to event planners is the Major Events and Tourism Workshop, which will see the tourism and events sectors come together to discuss ways to navigate and rebuild in the current climate. Co-founder of arts and entertainment company Meow Wolf, Vince Kadlubek, will be the keynote for the evening. He will present the business model that has allowed his business to remain financially sustainable; explore why programming creativity into empty spaces acts as a tourism driver and discuss key trends in the US Major Events & Tourism sectors and what similar businesses in Sydney can do to set themselves up for future success.
Other speakers include ideas curator for Vivid Sydney Tory Loudon, Ngiyampaa Wailwan woman Ali Murphy-Oates and acting director, Parramatta Artists’ Studios and City Animation Carla Theunissen.
The workshop will take place between 6:30 and 9:30 pm on March 24, 2021, in the Learning Centre at the Powerhouse Museum.
To find out more, click here. 
In case you missed it
The biggest story to hit the business events industry last week was the federal government’s announcement of a targeted package for the tourism industry and an extension of the Business Events Grants program administered through Austrade.
As expected, the announcement was met with mixed opinions from industry leaders and practitioners, with many being of the opinion that more should be done to salvage business events.
Joyce DiMascio had a chat with some such members last week to ascertain the sentiment around the announcement. Click here to read her story.
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