Samantha Thompson, Business Development Manager of Gold Coast Business Events has been awarded with the prestigious AACB Staff Scholarship for 2016/17.
The scholarship was announced at the AACB Annual Conference gala dinner held at Victoria Park, Brisbane on 9 September.
The scholarship is designed to offer middle to senior level bureau staff an opportunity to demonstrate their professional commitment to the business events sector by delivering a project which highlights innovation and excellence.
Samantha’s winning proposal is based around the research, plan and implementation of a large scale business events legacy strategy focused on the Commonwealth Games 2018, being held on the Gold Coast. Samantha’s project will include visits with the Glasgow City and Convention Edinburgh teams in Scotland to gain greater insight to their own Business Events Legacy Plans and bureau operations.
The scholarship is co-sponsored by Tourism Australia and Qantas. Both recognise the important role that convention bureaux play in attracting business events to Australia and therefore see this scholarship as an investment in the future leadership of the industry.
Penny Lion, Executive General Manager, Events at Tourism Australia, said, “Tourism Australia is a long standing sponsor of the AACB Staff Scholarship program. It’s one of the many ways we support the development of our industry, and we know it will deliver benefits for Australia. We congratulate Samantha Thompson on winning the 2016/17 scholarship and look forward to hearing new insights gleaned from this project.”
As part of the scholarship requirements, Samantha will share her observations and lessons learned during the 28th AACB Annual Conference in 2017.
AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl said, “AACB is committed to the recognition and encouragement of excellence. I would like to congratulate Samantha and thank all bureau staff who put in the time and effort to enter.”
The scholarship runner-up was Adeline Keh, Sales Executive of Business Events Victoria, with a project titled “Leveraging satellite meetings of international conferences for increased regional dispersal and yield“.
As runner-up, Adeline will receive a cash prize from Simpleview to go towards delivering her project.