With the full support of its board, the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) is pleased to announce the election of Karen Bolinger, CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau as its new president.
The election was held at the AACB Annual General Meeting yesterday and announced at the opening of the AACB Conference this morning.
“I am looking forward to a productive year, with one of the first actions being to revisit the strategic plan with a view to the future model of the business events industry in Australia,” said Bolinger.
“AACB has a powerful voice in advocating for industry, stakeholders and partners who benefit from the sector, as well as influencing government to raise the profile of this vital economic driver for Australia.
“I plan to continue the great work that has already been achieved and delivering new initiatives established in the 2017/18 strategic plan.”
Bolinger opened the AACB Conference with a presentation on the significance and growth of the business events industry, following the official presidential handover from Lyn Lewis-Smith. Ms Lewis-Smith, CEO of Business Events Sydney served as AACB president for four years.
“It has been an honour to be AACB President over the last four years, and I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together over that time.
“Particularly the progress we have made engaging government and industry in the value and importance of business events, and the vital impact they have on the Australian economy.
“I look forward to working with Karen, Andrew, the board and all our members to build on that progress in the years to come,” said Lewis-Smith.
The Board also welcomes the appointment of Michael Matthews, CEO at the Canberra Convention Bureau as Treasurer, and Damien Kitto, CEO of the Adelaide Convention Bureau as Vice President.
AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl said, “I would like to give a special thanks to Lyn for the time that she has committed to leading the AACB.
“It has been a privilege to serve under Lyn’s leadership over the last four years – a period in which I regard as one of personal growth through her guidance, advice and mentorship. I look forward to working closely with the new Executive team that has been elected.”
The 28th Annual AACB Conference is underway at the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania, commencing with the Welcome Reception last night and concluding with the AIME Gala Dinner on Friday 8 September.
The Conference offers a unique opportunity for competitors and industry counterparts to network, share ideas, discuss trends and issues, and work collaboratively to develop the overall business events market in Australia.
AACB sponsors and supporters include AIME, Tourism Australia, Simpleview, IMEX, Qantas, Destinations International, iVvy, Executive PA Media and the Associations Forum.