Spiro Anemogiannis, President of Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA), has announced he is stepping down from the role, and has used the opportunity to encourage event industry representation groups to consolidate for more effective advocacy.
“The pandemic extended my tenure past the conventional four years, and now it is time to pass on the baton to new office bearers.” Said Anemogiannis.
“When I joined the EEAA board eight years ago I quickly discovered there were several other event associations not only competing for the same members but also duplicating each other’s activities. By the time I was voted in as President I envisioned an opportunity to bring all these associations together under one new umbrella organisation.”
“With the help of other board members and the initial commitment of some like-minded associations we came close. Regrettably the timing wasn’t right for a myriad of reasons, but the conversation is continuing.”
The events industry has been one of the worst affected by COVID restrictions, however Anemogiannis is optimistic about its future, “Government is gradually coming to the understanding that ‘business events’ is one of the most important drivers of business and the economy, and able to drive visitation to key economic centres.”
“If our industry has one major industry body, say something similar to the Australian Chamber of Commerce along with their state equivalents, we would be a very powerful lobby group. Maybe the Chamber of Business Events? We need to come together – there is a different proposal for the major event associations to reform under one new banner. Hopefully this will succeed” He said.
As the events industry emerges from the pandemic a much smaller one, there will be less potential membership revenue to finance these individual associations for some time to come. One way or another Spiros Anemogiannis is likely to see his vision realised.