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Would you like a lottery ticket with that vaccine?

By Emma Bowyer, ICMSA owner and managing director

Australians shouldn’t need an incentive to have COVID-19 vaccinations but it seems likely we’re heading down that path if we don’t up our game over the coming months.

Whether you love him or otherwise, Sir Richard Branson’s recent comments that our stumbling vaccine rollout to date risks the Australian economy because of the anticipated slow reopening of international borders makes perfect sense.

Vaccinations in the US are around the 300 million mark now and globally at 2.6 billion. At the time of writing we were inching up to 7 million who will have received at least one dose. At our current rate, achieving the 40 million doses needed to fully vaccinate Australia’s adult population – and re-open international borders – won’t happen until September 2022.

If we truly want to see the benefits of in-person events our only hope is that our health agencies and governments give us the opportunity to be vaccinated sooner rather than later and that we take up the offer as quick as we can.

Already, 100% of the eligible ICMSA staff have either received their first dose, or booked their appointment to do so.

Company growth with our own people

I have always been a big believer in promoting from within and thanks to our business strategy during the pandemic we are now in a strong position to grow our offerings to our clients by utilising the skills our existing staff have, particularly in the social media and digital space.

At our Directors’ Retreat last month we made the decision to promote three staff into new roles and have advertised for four new positions. This is only possible today because we were able to successfully navigate our way through such a challenging 12 month period. We are now benefiting from having retained all of our staff in pre-COVID employment who, in their new roles, will soon be adding value to our clients’ events in new and exciting areas.

Alaura Duncan,
formerly Administrative Assistant now Social Media Coordinator

Ava Davidson,
formerly Exhibition Assistant now Sponsorship & Exhibition Coordinator

Blair Hardaker,
formerly Webmaster now Digital Interface Manager

Good wine, strong women and serious strategy at ICMSA Directors’ Retreat

Pictured from left to right are ICMSA Directors Suellen Holland, Fallon Beatty, Lili Lin, Kate Stevens, Emma Bowyer, Radhika Kulasekera, Emma Mogus and Selina Moscatt.

ICMSA Directors spent four days in the Hunter Valley last month discussing strategy for the company over the next 12, 24 and 60 months.

Owner and Managing Director, Emma Bowyer, said that to have this brains trust to bounce ideas off and set direction is invaluable.

“We achieved a lot during our sessions, both reflecting on major successes and how to build new ones. The lovely Hunter wine and great local food was certainly a treat at the end of each busy and rewarding day,” she said.

Four out of four in industry awards

Anyone who has prepared award submissions know they take a fair amount of work and you are certainly buoyed when that hard work pays off, as it has done for ICMSA in the 2020 Meetings & Events Australia Awards.

We submitted four awards and have been informed all four are now finalists in their respective categories, with the winners announced in September 2021. Submissions included:

Association Event of the Year The 12th APFSSH and the 8th APFSHT Triennial Scientific Congress on behalf of the Australian Hand Surgery Society

Association Event of the Year MD Student Conference 2020 on behalf of the University of Melbourne Medical School

Regional Event of the Year ASBAQ 2020 State Conference Association on behalf of School Business Administrators Queensland

PCO of the Year ICMS Australasia

All three events delivered exceptional outcomes for our clients. The event submission relating to PCO of the Year was a particularly proud experience in consideration of the year, our response to it and the knowledge that the team worked as a unified one throughout.

Ongoing investment leads to positive stakeholder outcomes

At the height of the pandemic in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 many organisations made the bold decision to pivot their meetings from live events to virtual ones. During this time ICMSA ran seven successful virtual meetings with extremely strong outcomes for attendees and event owners.

As the talk is now turning to running hybrid meetings – a mix of live and virtual attendees – it is important that companies do not mistake this shift with the opportunity to reduce their investment in events. Hybrid meetings are, for all intents and purposes, more challenging than purely live meetings or 100% virtual meetings for the simple fact that while you are delivering content to the same audience, you must do so in a way that engages both – those attending live and those watching remotely.

There is a perception out there that this is easier – and cheaper – to do when in fact it is harder and often more costly. As an example, whereas with virtual meetings you could pre-record keynote sessions and then include a live Q&A component, doing so while you have a mix of a live audience and a remote one will just not cut the mustard. You will save in a pre-record but is that a good thing when you could potentially lose the interest of half your hybrid audience?

If you are considering running a hybrid event please talk to us to ensure that you get the best outcomes for your attendees. We are always up front about discussing realistic budgets in line with your ROI.

ICMSA releases two industry white papers

ICMSA has just put the finishing touches to two industry white papers following one of the most challenging years in the company’s 55 year history, during which we ran no fewer than seven virtual meetings. The white papers are:

Meetings in a COVID-19 world: monetising virtual meetings – with a focus on the association sector
Meetings in a COVID-19 world - Pathways To Economic Recovery Through Events – with a focus on government and corporate business

The first examines how to effectively monetise virtual meetings, which ICMSA achieved through the seven virtual meetings it ran from June 2020 to February 2021 while retaining sponsorship and stakeholder engagement.

The second paper delves deeper into how meetings, even if they are held virtually, can assist Australia as part of its economic recovery and showcase our standing in the world in key sectors.

Contact Emma Bowyer - [email protected] – if you would like to receive a copy.

ICMSA invited to participate in Tourism Australia workshop

ICMSA Executive Director Suellen Holland with Director - Business Events at Tourism Events Queensland, Sandra Passaro, at the Tourism Australia workshop.

Earlier this month Executive Director, Suellen Holland, represented ICMSA at the Tourism Australia workshop for industry leaders to discuss the pathway for recovery in the Business Events Sector. There was acknowledgment of some of the challenges, not limited to skill shortages, international border closures and state border closures, but it was widely felt that Australia was well-primed to respond to market demands because of our reputation of managing the pandemic and that Australia is seen as a bucket list destination more than ever.

In the news...

ICMSA has been in the news since our last correspondence with articles by Emma Bowyer appearing in New Zealand’s Meeting Newz magazine shortly after the opening of the Trans Tasman Bubble, on the popular Associations Forum portal, and in the business events industry publication Spice.

The Meeting Newz team asked Emma for her thoughts on the bubble opening up and what it may mean for the business events sector in Australia and New Zealand.

Click here to read the article.

In the Associations Forum piece Emma discusses the ICMSA white paper on monetising virtual meetings.

Click here to view the article.

For Spice Emma penned an article about how the delivery mechanisms for events may have changed over the past 12 months but the outcomes remain the same.

Click here to view the article.

Site visits, inspections and industry get-togethers – we’ve been everywhere, man!

The Accor Hotels educational to Canberra included a fun electric scooter ride for the group around Lake Burley Griffin and into the parliamentary zone… a great break-out option for small meetings groups.

Whenever possible ICMSA staff get out and about to experience the very latest products and to remain up-to-date on new venues and enhancements to established ones.

The past two months have been no exception with Executive Director Suellen Holland jetting off to Alice Springs for an educational courtesy of Northern Territory Business Events. She can’t wait to go back!

Corporate Communications Specialist Brad Foster visited Canberra with Accor, experiencing the group’s range of properties as well as some additional special treats. Staff also visited the beautiful new Crown Sydney thanks to Business Events Perth and Crown, toasted the reopening of Watersedge, Campbell’s Stores at Circular Quay, and attended a fashion parade courtesy of Harry The Hirer.

Need advice on a destination or venue for an upcoming meeting? We are more than happy to assist.

ICMSA Executive Director, Suellen Holland, participated in a Northern Territory Business Events educational to stunning Alice Springs recently.

What is old is new again… Some of the ICMSA Sydney office team visited the refurbished Watersedge, Campbell’s Stores, at Circular Quay West which is now managed by The Venues Collection. Watersedge, with a capacity for up to 5,000, was one of the hottest Sydney event spaces for meetings and incentives groups in Sydney in the last decade and looks set to be so again with its stunning location opposite the Opera House.

ICMSA’s Creative Director Lili Lin and National Accommodation Manager, Adriane Pinto, soaking up the atmosphere at Australian Afterpay Fashion Week 2021 in Sydney courtesy of Harry the Hirer.

Readying for the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health

ICMSA has been appointed PCO of the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work scheduled to take place in Sydney in 2023.

The Congress is a global forum for advancing worker health protection and provides a platform for sharing experiences and information on occupational safety and health with the aim of prevention worldwide.

Secured for Sydney by BESydney in 2018, it is being co-organised by the International Labour Organization, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and SafeWork NSW. Anticipation is for delegate attendance to exceed 4,000 with many of the world’s leading governments, organisations and institutions set to take part.

Need some advice about your upcoming meetings, be they virtual, hybrid or in-person? Contact Emma Bowyer – [email protected].

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