Association Events Summit

29 October 2020




Andrew Hiebl

Chief Executive Officer, Association of Australian Convention Bureaux

After graduating from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Business in Tourism & Hospitality, Andrew entered the business events arena managing events and operations at the Albury Convention & Performing Arts Centre (now Albury Entertainment Centre).

With five years of venue-based event management skills under his belt, the world of destination marketing called through “convention bureaux” and Andrew took on the challenge of heading up the Albury Wodonga Convention Bureau for Destination Albury Wodonga in 2005.

In 2008, Andrew was lured to the calls of the Great Ocean Road where he established the Convention Bureau, Business Events Geelong, for the award-winning regional tourism organisation, Geelong Otway Tourism (now Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine). With a vision of improving Regional Victoria’s reach into the business events market, he was appointed Chair of the Regional Victoria Conference Group the following year, were he led the rebrand to Business Events Victoria and the successful campaign calling on the Victorian Government to invest in the Regional Victoria Business Events Program.

After securing “Hall of Fame” status for Business Events Geelong at the National Meetings & Events Industry Awards in 2012, Andrew reconfirmed his commitment to the industry by taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer for the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux where he holds a position on the Business Events Council of Australia board.

Andrew also represents the business events industry on the long-standing Tourism Visa Advisory Group, convened by the Department of Home Affairs, and has most recently joined the board of Australian Regional Tourism Ltd.

Brian Nash

Director of Audio Visual, International Convention Centre Sydney

Brian's combination of experience, wealth of industry knowledge and background at Australian major venues means that leadership of ICC Sydney’s audio visual department is in expert hands.

Under Brian’s leadership, effective and efficient audio visual systems and processes are put into place for every client. His oversight covers operational readiness of all systems, staff and equipment to ensuring a seamless delivery of service.

Brian and his team are focussed on delivering the latest technologies and innovations from across the audio visual sector at ICC Sydney. Seamless, flexible and upgradable systems and processes ensure client expectations are met today and into the future.

Matt Crouch

Principal, Matt Crouch Legal

Matt Crouch is well-known as the legal expert in the events sector, having specialised for over 35 years in assisting event managers, including many operating within associations.  Matt practices as a solicitor, teaches event-law and frequently contributes legal columns in events industry publications.  You may have seen him at one of his many presentations at events-industry conferences, webinars and professional development sessions.  This year, Matt has been much in demand to assist event-sector participants navigate the legal and commercial hurdles of COVID-19.  His aim is always to speak plainly, to un-pack legal complexity and provide practical solutions.

Nick Whitefield

General Manager - Events, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine

A skilled and motivated event manager, Nick has worked energetically over the past 14 years to deliver quality event branding and engagement opportunities for clients and attendees both in Australia and abroad. With management experience in live entertainment, major event operations delivery and sponsorship, Nick is now working to usher in a new world of virtual and hybrid events at one of Australia’s busiest medical Colleges. With a fervent belief in open communication and building rapport with clients and suppliers, Nick excels at managing stakeholder relationships and takes pride in developing staff as employees and people.

Tamara Vermeend

Head of Events, Self-Managed Super Funds Association

Tamara is Head of Events at the SMSF Association.

Tamara has over 25 years’ experience in the tourism and events industry including operational and senior management roles. Prior to moving to Adelaide in 2015, Tamara’s career focussed on tourism and events in New Zealand.

For the past 3 years Tamara has worked at the SMSF Association as Head of Events where her small team deliver up to 100 events annually.

Tom Dunsmore

General Manager, Australian Boarding Schools Association

Tom Dunsmore is the General Manager at the Australian Boarding Schools Association, a small NFP with three staff members. Tom’s role incorporates managing around 20 Partnerships and organising over 100 events and industry activities annually. The presentation will provide an overview of how COVID19 has transformed ABSA’s events and elements of their Partnerships. In addition, Tom will share insights into the Association's current transition into a new framework of professional learning, creating a pathway for staff, plus will address the strategy implemented to continue engaging Partners within the industry.

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