THE ROLE OF THE AACB
The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Inc. consists of 17 city and regional bureaux, dedicated to marketing their specific region as premier Business Events
destinations to intrastate, interstate and international markets. The bureaux also recognise their responsibility to promote Australia as a whole.
KEY FOCUS AREAS OF THE AACB
- An Annual Convention Bureaux Performance Report
- Ongoing research leading to Business Events market intelligence
- Bureaux staff education
- A national domestic marketing and education campaign targeting BE Buyers
- Providing a policy development forum
- Liaison to Business Events Australia (BEA), the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), Austrade and such like so as to develop activities to promote Australia as a Business Event destination
- Lobbying & Government Liaison
THE ROLE OF A BUREAU
- To market its destination as a leading Business Events location
- To be the driving force in securing Business Events for its destination ie:
- - Incentive Travel Rewards Programs
- Corporate Meetings
- Exhibitions and special events
- To drive maximum delegate numbers through delegate boosting marketing activities for events the CVB has won
- To exchange ideas, network development and trade contracts
A BUREAU CEO
As defined by Robert Ford and Bill Peeper in "Managing Destination Marketing Organisations" 2008;
"The executive in charge of a city's Convention and Visitors Bureau is a person serving many masters with conflicting interests, while attempting to market an intangible product without having any control over any part of that product"
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BUREAU
To provide measurable benefits for its stakeholders through a range of sophisticated;
- Sales and destination marketing activities, and
- Coordination and advisory services
SPECIFIC CONVENTION BUREAU ACTIVITIES
The Bureaux prepare bid documents (hardcopy and online) and promotional DVDs, presentations and support materials for national and international association conferences and corporate meetings and incentive travel groups.
When competing internationally for conventions, all Australian CVBs promote Australia. In fact bid documents and DVDs carry standard text on each State and present Australian iconography and photographs of Australia's key national attractions.
The Bureaux undertake a broad range of destination marketing activities to position their city, their region and (internationally, by necessity) Australia as a leading Business Events destination in the asia Pacific region.
This is supported by branded marketing collateral such as
- Meeting and Incentive Planners Guides
- co-operative Marketing Prospectus'
- Convention Services Package booklets
- Delegate Boosting Materials
- Websites, DVDs and other sales collateral
- "How to Organise a Conference" material
- Suppliers Directory (listing of their members); and
- Annual Reports (often called for by buyers as a matter of governance)
Various Australian Bureaux have sales offices or representatives in UK/Europe, North America and South East Asia. Some are venturing to representation in China and India. Some CVBs also have PR agencies employed.
The Convention Bureaux conduct comprehensive programs of site inspections and familiarisations for meeting and incentive travel planners, agents, associations and corporate end users. Some conduct their own interstate and international roadshows with member partners.
Once a piece of business has been won, some Australian CVBs and their partners combine to maximise delegate attendance at that event. Delegate Boositing activities can include direct mailing members of an association to encourage them to attend the convention, using email promotional "blasts", advertising in the association's newsletters or website, publicity campaigns in trade magazines and taking booths at the association's conventions in the years leading up to the year the event will be held in Australia. Owing to budget restrictions, many CVBs concentrate solely on winning the events and the opportunity to maximise delegate attendance to Australia is lost.
Conferences secured by Bureaux are passed on to Bureaux members as sales leads and opportunities, usually according to membership category.
Additionally, members are able to access a (sometimes confidential) calendar of Business Events secured by the Bureaux to enable members to contact potential clients directly.
The AACB runs educational programs for Australian buyers, and the Bureaux provide professional development opportunities for staff including an AACB Staff Scholarship program also supported by QANTAS and Tourism Australia (TA).
The Bureaux, often working in partnership with Business Events Australia sends representatives to the major industry trade shows including IMEX, EIBTM, AIME, ATE, and the Associations Forum.
The Bureaux work closely with Business Events Australia through a recently established dedicated Marketing Sub Committee of AACB to identify co-operative marketing opportunities and co-ordinate participation in Team Australia trade events.
Most of the Bureaux have a dedicated researcher identifying potential sales leads from a variety of sources including the ICCA database and publications.
In addition most CVBs conduct convention delegate research to measure the economic impact of events in their city. AACB members recently agreed to implement a set of questions to assist in standardising data collection.