25 Sep 2019

Jago and Deery join prestigious AACB Hall of Fame

The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) and IMEX Group are pleased to announce Professor Leo Jago OAM and Professor Margaret Deery as the AACB Hall of Fame inductees for 2019. The announcement was made at the Destination Business Events Gala Dinner held at Crown Aviary on Friday, 20 September, in Melbourne.

The AACB Hall of Fame recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of Australian convention bureaux and the business events industry, sponsored by the IMEX Group. It also provides a historical narrative of leaders who have grown and nurtured the industry to the present day.

“On behalf of the Board, we are delighted to recognise Professor Leo Jago OAM and Professor Margaret Deery as Hall of Fame Inductees. It is a privilege to recognise their valuable contribution to Australia’s convention bureaux and outstanding achievements for the business events industry,” said Michael Matthews, AACB President.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, added, “We, at IMEX, are delighted that Professors Jago and Deery are being inducted into the AACB Hall of Fame in 2019. It is important that every industry recognises its trailblazers and this acknowledgement truly reflects their dedication to the advancement of the business events sector. Congratulations!”

Professors Jago and Deery have had a significant impact on the AACB and its members for some 21 years, advising many convention bureaux around the country how to best value the economic benefit of business events to their respective destinations. This work also led to ongoing improvements to the AACB’s annual performance reports over the past 16 years, through to the development of the Association’s current sophisticated market intelligence program. A program which now produces Forward Calendar reporting – future analyses of bids won, bids lost and the bid pipeline – to drive government engagement and advocacy.

They are best known across the industry for their involvement in the 2005 National Business Events Study - one of the most robust research reports that is still referenced today to identify the economic contribution of the industry to Australia. Then later articulating the beyond tourism benefits generated by the industry in The Role of Business Events: Delivering Innovation, Knowledge and Performance.

Professor Jago OAM was most recently recognised in Australia as the inaugural Chief Economist for Tourism and General Manager at Tourism Research Australia (2012-2014), before heading to the UK as a Professor at the University of Surrey. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2016 for his services to the tourism industry and to education.

Professors Jago and Deery said, “We feel honoured to be inducted into the AACB Hall of Fame and privileged to have had the opportunity to work with the business events industry for 21 years. As researchers we have had insights into the substantial contribution that this industry makes to the economy.

“Although the AACB members compete for business, we have always been so impressed with the willingness of staff to support staff from other bureaux and to share data for the benefit of all members. We have not seen this in other sectors in which we have worked.

“We would like to thank the AACB and IMEX for making this award possible; it is a great honour to join such a distinguished group of Hall of Fame inductees from earlier years.”

Professors Jago and Deery join a respected line-up of business events industry pioneers through this award, including:

  • 2015 – David Weston and David Hall
  • 2016 – Sue Calwell and Jon Hutchison AM
  • 2017 – Vin Barron
  • 2018 – Mike Cannon


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