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New CEO Melissa Brown starts next week

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Dear Business Events Colleague,

I am pleased to share progress made by ABEA over the last two months. Our commitment to realising the goals outlined in our 90-day plan has led to meaningful achievements including:

  • The appointment of 15 of our 17 Chairs representing diverse sectors and regions.

  • The successful execution of 3 Sector Pillar Meetings and 5 Special Interest Group Meetings, fostering meaningful dialogues.

  • Planning for the next 90-day plan (October to December), promising even more engagement and growth.

  • Continued development of our in-house operating systems designed to accelerate our responses to member needs.

  • Commenced the build of a public facing member directory ahead of schedule.

  • Achieved 65% of the new member targets for the financial year, within 8 weeks of launching.

  • Progressed planning for a Leading Well Program for Emerging Leaders to be delivered before year's end.

  • Commenced planning for a National Event to be delivered on 13 December 2023.

  • Prepared and delivered personalised Member Welcome Packs to all, including Membership Certificates and other membership assets.

  • Delivered an in-person presentation of the ABEA plan to most capital cities with further locations being scheduled.

Yours sincerely,

Peter King

ABEA Independent Chair

New CEO Melissa Brown ready to take the reins

“I am very excited to begin my role. I have many priorities but they can be best summarised as meeting the industry and understanding the key issues, so I may work with the Board to create and drive strategies that address these issues.”


As we prepare for the next phase of our journey, CEO Melissa Brown is poised to take the reins of leadership. Melissa's strategic focus will centre on understanding the industry's needs, aligning with the ABEA charter, and driving results that foster prosperity for business events.

Watch Melissa's introduction video below.

Committee Chairs Unveiled

Members attending the ABEA presentations will recall our desire for inclusion and participation. Success of any association can be measured not only by the efforts of an association's team, but equally by the contribution of its members.

ABEA's commitment to diversity and representation is evident in the appointment of 15 stakeholder Chairs. This impressive group includes:

8 Chairs for State & Territory Chapters, ensuring localised engagement and support

NSW: Helen Mantellato – ICC Sydney

Northern Territory: Peter Savoff – Darwin Convention Centre

Queensland: To be confirmed

South Australia: Simon Burgess – National Wine Centre of Australia

Tasmania: Marnie Craig – Business Events Tasmania

Victoria: Tim Hancock – ASN Events

Western Australia: Jessica Ferguson – Arinex

ACT: To be confirmed

​4 Chairs overseeing the Pillars that form the foundation of ABEA's initiatives

Organisers: Matt Pearce – Talk2Media

Suppliers: Keith Wootton – AV1

Venues: Nigel Keen – Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre

Bureaux: Michael Matthews – Canberra Convention Bureau (Interim. Longer term appointment wil be made by December).

5 Chairs leading Special Interest Groups, responding to industry needs

Education, Skills & Pathways to Industry: Kym Guesdon – Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Sustainability: Samantha Glass – ICC Sydney

Emerging Leaders: Amy Saleh – Hannover Fairs

Life Members: Jo-Anne Kelleway – Freeman Company

WH&S / Risk Management: David Longman – Diversified Communications

Each Group Chair will be tasked with building an inaugural Council to support group efforts and its members’ needs.

The ABEA team is compiling a register of individuals interested in participating in any of the above committees. Please register your interest by emailing Domenic Genua at ABEA at

Thank you for your continued dedication to advancing the business events landscape. Together, we are shaping a future of excellence and innovation.

Join the ABEA Community: Tailored Memberships

Recognising the uniqueness of each business within the events sector, our approach ensures that your specific needs are met as a member. By joining ABEA, you gain access to a multitude of membership advantages designed to suit enterprises of all scales.

Explore the benefits at, and find the membership plan that best aligns with your needs.

If you would like to have a TEAMS meeting with an ABEA representative, please email Karina Hall at who will contact you for arrangements.

For any clarification or guidance, our team is ready to assist you. Reach out to us at or call our office on (02) 9413 9520 for real support for your business endeavors.

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