While the past few months has seen growing chatter on how artificial
intelligence can replace some manual endeavours a number of Australian
organisations are growing or steadfastly sticking to human connections
to boost the business events sector.
some time Business Events Tasmania has run a successful ambassador
programme, made up of members from a variety of industry specialisations
who represent the state’s forward-thinking approach.
These ambassadors are encouraged to assist in bidding for
international meetings for Tasmania, but the bureau is now taking this
one step further with the launch of its Visionary Program.
Business Events Tasmania CEO, Marnie Craig, said the bureau doesn’t
think the word ambassador quite sums up all that these individuals are.
“They’re more than someone who simply represents their industry,” she
said. “They’re pioneers who’ve had to do things differently because
following expected pathways just doesn’t cut it in Tasmania. They are
Craig said the current crop of 16 visionaries have been instrumental
in securing business events into Tasmania, while another 21 industry
leaders are currently progressing through the expressions of interest
Recruiting domain specialists as ambassadors
Not all bureaus in Australia are eager to ditch the “ambassador” label yet.
Destination Gold Coast recently relaunched BE Connected Gold Coast,
naming Rebecca Frizelle, Dr Dinesh Palipana and Dr Hal Rice as the first
three ambassadors to join the revitalised business events ambassador
These trio are renowned specialists in their domain. Frizelle is
co-owner of NRL Gold Coast Titans, deputy chancellor at Griffith
University and on the organising committee of the 2032 Olympic Games;
Palipana is a doctor, lawyer, disability advocate, researcher and 2021
Queensland Australian of the Year; whereas Rice is director
interventional neuroradiology at Gold Coast University Hospital,
associate professor at Griffith University School of Medicine, and
founding partner of Qscan Group.
Destination Gold Coast’s head of business events, Selina Sinclair,
said the ambassadors – eight at this stage – will showcase the Gold
Coast’s changing profile as a hub for innovation by attracting and
building best-in-class business events whose benefits go beyond
visitation and are a key contributor to the city’s growth.
Rice, as a renowned stroke specialist and a founding ambassadors from
the original programme, is a great example of partnering with
Destination Gold Coast "to not only bring events to our city but through
his work is putting the Gold Coast on the world medical stage”, said
“Dr Rice has continued to bring international medical conferences to
the Gold Coast, generating millions of dollars in economic benefit for
the city and is now, through both public and private sector investment,
in the final stages of building a world-class training centre for
image-guided surgeries right here at the Gold Coast’s A$1 billion Health
and Knowledge Precinct.”
Meanwhile, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) took it
on itself to establish an ambassador programme through the BCEC
Convention Advocates Partnership.
The group includes local scientists, researchers, academics and
business influencers who are passionate about Brisbane and invested in
playing a part in growing Brisbane’s international profile and in
securing international and national key sector conferences to Brisbane.
To date, BCEC Advocates – 76 in total – have assisted in bringing 135
conferences to Brisbane, delivering A$190 million in economic impact to
the city and to Queensland.
The BCEC recently created an Advocate Alumni for those advocates who
have moved overseas or changed roles but still wanted to remain
connected and to contribute. There are currently 12 in this group.
Melbourne also has an active ambassador programme, operated by the
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). Two new members,
Alejandro Saravia and Emma Coath, both innovative thinkers and leaders
in food and agriculture, were recently appointed to join the Club
Chef Saravia champions Victoria’s produce, farmers, and growers
through his celebrated dining concept Farmer’s Daughters, with his
latest project, Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters, at Federation Square.
Emma Coath is managing director of Rocket Seeder, a company that
supports innovators and entrepreneurs to develop solutions to the
world’s biggest problems in the food and agriculture sector by giving
early-stage startups the best possible chance to develop a sustainable
enterprise for global impact.
Since its inception in 2005, the Club Melbourne Ambassador Program
has secured 160 international conferences worth over A$1 billion to
So it seems that AI can’t replace everything just yet.