Dr Vanessa Findlay has stepped down from her position as independent chair of the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA).
An experienced and well-respected professional within the government, public and private sectors, the outgoing chair is credited for leading Australia's business event industry's advocacy and federal government lobbying efforts through Covid-19.
Findlay, who took on the role just before Covid-19 hit, pointed out the industry's "incredibly valuable contribution to the Australian economy" — 40,000 business events annually, making a direct contribution to the economy of AUD$36 billion (US$27 billion) and supporting 230,000 jobs.
"The industry is far too important to lose so when Covid hit it become imperative that we focus our attention on getting the best possible settings in place to ensure its future," she said.
"Eighteen months on from the most serious of downturns and the industry is poised for recovery and rebound. It has been a challenging and very rewarding period to work with an industry of such importance."
Deputy chair, Geoff Donaghy said that BECA's immediate priorities are providing input into the Reimagining the Visitor Economy 2030 strategy which was recently workshopped at the Business Events Industry Roundtable delivered by Tourism Australia and BECA at International Convention Centre Sydney involving 75 industry leaders and senior executives.
The council will also start preparing election policy advocacy and strategies on behalf of the business events industry in the lead up to federal election, in 2022.