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PCOA President Barry Neame and BEIA chief executive, Lisa Hopkins, after signig the landmark agreement yesterday.The Professional Conference Organisers Association Inc (PCOA), based in Australia, and New Zealand’s Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday to enhance the business events industry in both countries.

This strategic partnership underscores the importance of collaboration and the shared vision of both organisations to elevate the sector’s global competitiveness and sustainability.

“This is good for Australian PCOs as well,” BEIA CEO Lisa Hopkins commented. “We are each other’s biggest source of conferences. A stronger business events industry in Australia and New Zealand can only be good.”

The signing occurred at BEIA’s annual flagship tradeshow for business events professionals, MEETINGS 2024, in Rotorua.

The MOU has been in the making for over 12 months, with PCOA President Barry Neame and BEIA CEO Lisa Hopkins at the helm, diligently working to bring this landmark agreement to fruition. Their commitment to fostering strong relationships and leveraging synergies between these two key business event associations highlights the critical role of cooperation in driving industry growth and resilience.

This partnership is pivotal for the business events industry, which has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years. By combining resources and expertise, PCOA (the premier organisation representing Event Management Professionals across Australia and New Zealand) and BEIA (the official membership-based association of New Zealand’s business events sector) are poised to provide enhanced support to their members, fostering innovation and excellence in event planning and execution. The MOU will facilitate knowledge sharing and the development of professional standards that reflect the highest industry benchmarks.

PCOA President Barry Neame, who was visiting New Zealand from Canberra, and BEIA Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins signed the agreement together. They were joined by BEIA Board Chair Martin Snedden and Arna Wahl Davies, Chair of the BEIA Approved PCO group,  PCOA Councillor, and New Zealand representative. Members of the Approved PCO group also witnessed the signing.

Barry Neame says this agreement marks a significant milestone for the two organisations.

“By working together, we can harness our collective strengths to create a more dynamic and resilient business events sector. Our members will benefit from increased professional development and collaboration opportunities, ultimately enhancing the quality and impact of events across our regions.

Lisa Hopkins says the signing of this MOU is a testament to the strong relationship between BEIA and PCOA.

“We recognise the immense potential that lies in our collaboration, and we are excited to embark on this journey together. Our shared goal is to support our members, business partners, and suppliers and showcase the exceptional capabilities of the business events industry in Australia and New Zealand.”

Innovation is a crucial focus of the agreement. “Both our organisations are encouraging new approaches and creative solutions, and it is exciting to share knowledge and ideas for our mutual success,” she says.

The MOU sets the stage for various collaborative initiatives, including advocacy efforts and educational programs designed to address the evolving needs of the business events industry. By working together, PCOA and BEIA aim to create a unified voice that can effectively support the business events communities.

PCOA represents event management professionals across Australia and New Zealand. Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) is the membership-based association for New Zealand’s business events sector.

Their agreement, which is for four years, recognises the two diverse organisations’ continuing shared interest in promoting the events industry, conducting professional development activities, and upskilling practitioners.




From Peter Needham in Rotorua, New Zealand