"Our advocacy is highly targeted and is designed to influence decision makers."


Our advocacy agenda

Our advocacy agenda is a big part of who we are and our role as the primary representative of the Australian exhibition and event industry.

The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) provides a strong and effective voice for the industry, actively lobbying on the issues that matter most to its members and the sector. Our advocacy agenda, which is highly targeted and designed to influence decision makers, is set around ensuring the industry continues to be represented in government, industry and relevant business forums and maintains its visibility in key circles of influence. We collaborate with industry organisations to both leverage their influence and deliver a coordinated and united voice on key issues. Each year, the Association reviews and adjusts its advocacy framework to ensure its relevance to the needs of members and the industry.

Promoting the Power of Exhibitions is at the heart of the Association’s advocacy strategies.

There are two core pillars to the EEAA advocacy agenda:

  • The Power of Exhibitions to drive the economy by stimulating trade, investment, regional economic development, employment, tourism and knowledge sharing. We represent our industry to government and advocate for policies that support its growth.
  • The Power of Exhibitions to drive marketing success and community engagement. We promote our industry’s unique capacity to bring together face-to-face, live event market places with the online world.

Our advocacy work has yielded significant results, including achieving a high level of government, business and industry engagement for the sector and a respected voice in key circles of influence in this country. EEAA has been particularly effective at achieving increased industry involvement in government decision making and activities.

EEAA’s advocacy achievements:

  • launch of Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Program after successful campaigning from EEAA and other bodies.
  • advocating for the expansion of exhibition facilities at Darling Harbour Sydney, both in the CBD and at Sydney Olympic Park
  • representing the sector in negotiations with the NSW Government to create an interim exhibition centre at Glebe Island and the redevelopment of Darling Harbour
  • advocating for the expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
  • advocating for convention bureaux KPIs to include a remit for exhibition generated visitation
  • the reinstatement of funding for the Perth Convention Bureau
  • the inclusion of EEAA member events in Destination NSW’s promotional activities
  • input into the Victorian Government’s regional economic development strategy
  • advocacy for an appropriate policy environment in NSW to allow continued access to short-term rentals
  • the inclusion of EEAA member events in Tourism Australia’s promotional calendar and access to delegate boosting and bid funding support

  • securing participation in international trade missions led by the Department of Trade and Investment (NSW)
  • developing closer ties with Austrade and Trade Commissioners in five countries in Asia to enable members to do more business in the region
  • the inclusion of exhibitions in the policy framework of the Australian Government’s Demand Driver Infrastructure Program
  • the inclusion of “exhibitions” in revisions to the curriculum for events courses
  • playing a key role to review and update the course content for Event qualifications through TAFE and other institutions to ensure what is taught is fit for purpose and reflects the needs of the industry.
  • increasing attendance at EEAA events by senior political leaders
  • creation of the first traineeship program for the exhibition and events industry
  • recognised internationally for its industry advocacy by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) and Exhibition World Magazine who awarded the EEAA the Global Exhibitions Day #GED Industry Impact Award in both 2018 and 2017.

Our current priorities

Exhibitions and events as important drivers of the economy

The business event sector is big business. Business events comprise conferences and conventions, exhibitions and incentives. Their value goes well beyond the industry sector of the event – for small and big business. These events play a pivotal role in Australia’s economic prosperity, including boosting the visitor economy through domestic and international visitation (such as transport, hotels, retail and restaurants), facilitating small business growth by connecting buyers and sellers, knowledge sharing leading to innovation and business collaboration (both locally and globally) and providing a platform for international trade and investment.

If Australia is to remain competitive in a global market, and reap the full benefits available through all sectors of our national economy, we need the full support of our governments to attract new events and to leverage the footprint and returns from existing ones.

EEAA policy priorities (2016-19):

  • Consumer and business confidence: providing a strong economy and employment opportunities.
  • Workforce: the skills shortage, exacerbated by a hostile visa environment, has made it difficult to hire much-needed specialist staff to support the growth of the industry.
  • Skills and training: provide access to fit-for-purpose training and re-train opportunities that enable access to the development of an appropriately skilled workforce.
  • Infrastructure investment (venues): an audit of our current capacity and mapping the future needs of the business events industry in both major cities and regional Australia is essential.
  • Driving demand: leveraging business events that are already in Australia and further internationalising their footprint and economic impact could be leveraged more strategically to assist industry growth sectors. There is a wide-ranging calendar of existing events that could be supported to become more ‘international’.
  • Market access: policies that keep our borders open are important for our sector – both in relation to aviation access and visa processing.
  • Visitor experience: give consideration to the needs of business events visitors and how their needs differ to leisure visitors in order to maintain Australia’s competitiveness and appeal.

The EEAA works collaboratively with the Business Council of Australia (BECA) and other industry groups to ensure that business events are given the profile and attention they deserve in policy-making. To this end, the EEAA actively maintains solid and effective ongoing relationships with key government representatives and reference groups to ensure the sector is adequately represented and has voice in decisions that affect its sustainability and prosperity.

Through our sustained advocacy work in this area, the EEAA has achieved the highest level of government, business and industry engagement for the sector and a respected voice in key circles of influence in this country. We have been particularly effective at achieving increased industry involvement in government decision making and activities. There is now broad-based understanding of how the exhibition industry contributes to economic development, jobs creation, trade and investment and innovation, thanks in part to the success of our Power of Exhibitions work.

Find out more about the economic power of exhibitions

Exhibitions and events as powerful marketing channels

The EEAA has a continuing focus on promoting the unique benefits of exhibitions and events as an effective marketing channel. Working collaboratively with its member community, the EEAA is increasing its work in this space to help provide its members with a greater understanding of and tools for presenting the Power of Exhibitions to those who make or influence decisions about marketing and marketing spend. With the proliferation of digital channels, now more than ever, the industry must become better equipped to promote the unique marketing power of exhibitions.

Exhibitions are powerful marketplaces. They are an experiential marketing channel that engages an active and highly motivated audience in a face-to-face environment. The people who attend exhibitions choose to be there and want to connect with the products or services on show. They are engaged in the purchase cycle and have the authority to purchase or influence purchasing.

Nothing drives sales and brand building like the power of face-to-face contact with the brand, product and experience. It’s the distinguishing power of exhibitions and events and the reason for their resilience as an effective marketing channel.

Find out more about the marketing power of exhibitions and events

Powering a skilled workforce

The EEAA is committed to ensuring the exhibition and event industry prospers well into the future by promoting careers in the sector and helping to ensure ongoing access to a skilled talent pool and quality labour.

The EEAA’s ‘A career for life’ campaign promotes careers in business events to school leavers, career advisors and their parents. In 2018 and 2019, 10 individuals were showcased, displaying the diverse range of job roles and opportunities within the exhibition and event industry.

Find out more about 'A career for life'

We also collaborate with our members in the training sector to influence course content and the development of industry-relevant training packages, courses and workshops, as well as representing the industry on advisory committees to advocate for policy that supports appropriate skills training in the sector.

Find out more about how we’re helping to build skills for our sector