Sandro Serio, Marketing Manager at Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has been awarded the prestigious AACB Staff Scholarship for 2019/20. The Scholarship was announced at the Destination Business Events AIME Gala Dinner held at Crown Aviary on Friday, 20 September, in Melbourne.
Andrew Hiebl, CEO at AACB said, “This scholarship exemplifies our ongoing commitment to excellence and is designed to offer bureau staff an opportunity to demonstrate their professional dedication to the business events industry by delivering an innovative project. Well done Sandro.”
With his winning proposal, ‘The value of experience design for business events and Australian destinations’, Sandro’s project will bridge best practice knowledge in design management from other sectors and equip bureaux and their partners with recommendations to optimise their communication with relevant audiences.
Sandro has secured a $5,500 cash grant towards his project and an international return flight to Europe.
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, and Ashley Howell, Head of Agency Partnerships and Leisure Sales, Qantas both congratulated Sandro on his success in winning the scholarship.
Ms Lion said, “Tourism Australia is very proud to support future development of our industry, especially through projects that bring best practise knowledge to the fore to further enhance our business events offering and ensure that Australia remains a competitive destination internationally. Congratulations to Sandro on winning the Scholarship this year; we look forward to hearing about the progress of his project.”
Mr Serio said he felt honoured his proposed research project was considered,
“The AACB scholarship is an excellent opportunity to showcase the capability of design to enhance quality user experience in a business events destination. It also offers a significant contribution towards my professional development
“Thank you AACB, Tourism Australia and Qantas for your support. I am extremely excited about the project and look forward to developing this research paper,” Mr Serio said.
The scholarship runner-up for 2019/20 was Darren Baynes, Industry and Engagement Manager at the Adelaide Convention Bureau.
Image (L-R): Andrew Hiebl, AACB; Jaclyn Snell, Qantas Airways; Emily Elkington, Tourism Australia; and Julia Swanson, MCB (accepting the award on behalf of Mr Serio).