Impact Publications : MiceBTN_61
MICEBTN - NovEMBEr 2015 • Page 5 110% passion, commitment and expertise Exhibitions & Conferences | Events | Custom Projects With a reputation for creativity, dedication and precision, our multi award-winning team is your trusted partner, ensuring every event and exhibition is a success. Contact email@example.com or visit ExpoNet.com.au today! EXHIBITION HIRE • STYLISH FURNITURE • EVENT EQUIPMENT CUSTOM PROJECTS • INNOVATIVE DESIGN • ELECTRICAL & AV THE PROFESSIONAL Conference Or- ganisers (PCO) Association will ramp up its webinar series in 2016 and make it a priority sector following strong participa- tion in the online training format. PCO president Barry Neame, speaking on the eve of its Adelaide national confer- ence, said professional development and education would be enhanced next year to meet strong demand from members. “The webinars were an outstanding success with an average of 80 partici- pants at each session. This tells us that this is a preferred format for industry education and professional development. Early in the New Year we will survey members for addi- tional input on subject topics and increase the program for 2016.” The desire for increased knowledge and training among members has flowed through to the national conference with all training workshop spaces filled and an average of 60 partici- pants in each session. In what was considered by many to be a tough economy for Australia in 2015 with the mining downturn and China’s influence on global trading, the meetings sector is enjoying a resurgence particu- larly in domestic meetings. Neame says anecdotal chatter among members indicates a return by Austral- ian businesses to staging meetings and events in Australia rather than going off- shore, which was the trend in 2013/14. “In previous years meetings managers opted for Asia or Pacific destinations such as Hawaii, but with the impact of PCO to ramp up webinars exchange rates reducing the international value of Australian dollar, we are seeing a resurgence in Australia as the preferred meetings and events destination by both domestic and internation- al operators.” Looking ahead, Neame says early indications are that 2016 will be a good year for business growth but businesses will have to watch their costs. “Advanced bookings for busi- ness meetings is fairly robust,” said Neame. “However there has been pressure on PCOs to create memorable events often within tight budgets. Customers are demanding more and more for their promotional dollar which does not leave a lot of room. Businesses will have to keep an eye on costs and ensure that they make a profit to stay viable and are not just turning over business for the sake of it,” warned Neame. Meanwhile, the Adelaide conference numbers have exceeded 400, which is in line with the record-breaking conference in Canberra in 2014. The Adelaide program includes key presentations on technology and issues that will add value to members knowl- edge arsenals. PCO Membership improved by 10 per cent in 2015 to 380 members, while business partnerships have grown by 30 per cent.. Barry Neame Training focus for PCO conference in Adelaide. Meetings 2016 exhibitor bookings now open ExhIBITor bookings are now open for Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Meetings 2016, on 15-16 June at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds. Billed as New Zealand’s only national trade show for the conference and business tourism industry, the event celebrates its 20th anniversary next year. The 2016 Exhibitor Prospectus is out now, and CINZ has introduced an early bird special NZ$200 saving for exhibitor bookings made before 31 December 2015. Final applications for exhibitor bookings close on 28 March 2016. For more information go to the website www.meetings.co.nz/Exhibitors.