18 Sep 2015

Vibhor Pandey awarded AACB Staff Scholarship

Vibhor Pandey, Manager of Market Research and Lead Generation at Brisbane Convention Bureau, has been awarded with the prestigious AACB Staff Scholarship for 2015/16. The scholarship, co-sponsored by Tourism Australia and Qantas, was announced at the AACB Staff Conference last week.

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 that highlights innovation and excellence.

As the winner, Mr Pandey will attend the next ICCA Research, Sales and Marketing Program event in Dubai in 2016 which is specifically designed for meeting industry professionals who work with associations meetings research, new lead generation, marketing and sales.

Vibhor said, “I look forward to working with Australian convention bureaux and ICCA participants, with the aim to present a case study and white paper on how research, insights and data can better help our chances of entering into meaningful relationships with prospective clients.”

Business Events Australia General Manager Penny Lion commented, “Tourism Australia is proud to continue to support the AACB Staff Scholarship program. The scholarship offers a terrific opportunity to provide a unique experience outside of the current work environment. Tourism Australia congratulates Vibhor Pandey on winning the 2015/16 scholarship and looks forward to hearing new insights gleaned from his project.”

Qantas International Sales Executive Manager Stephen Thompson added, “Qantas would like to congratulate Vibhor Pandey, and the runners up, on their achievement. We recognise the high standard of submissions for the staff scholarship and are pleased to support this program and provide opportunity to help ensure the continued strength of the business events industry.”

Brisbane Marketing General Manager, Conventions and Business Events, Rob Nelson said, “I’m proud that Vibhor is working on a project that he is not only passionate about but also has the potential of securing more meaningful business event leads for AACB members. On behalf of Vibhor and Brisbane Marketing I’d like to thank the AACB and sponsors Qantas and Tourism Australia for their support of this opportunity.”

Vibhor is the third member of the Brisbane Convention Bureau team to win the coveted prize following Kylie McKenzie (2011) and Juliet Alabaster (2009), both of whom remain members of the team. As part of the scholarship requirements, Vibhor will share his observations and lessons learned during the 27th AACB Staff Conference in 2016.

AACB Executive Director Andrew Hiebl said, “AACB is committed to the recognition and encouragement of excellence. It is exciting to see so many outstanding submissions year after year, 2015 was no exception. I would like to congratulate Vibhor and thank all bureau staff that put in the time and effort to enter.”

The two scholarship runners-up included:

  • Tim Boundy, Business Development Manager at Adelaide Convention Bureau, with a project titled ‘Maximising the beyond tourism benefits of business events’, and
  • Brooke Jaworski, Marketing and Communications at Business Events Geelong, with the aim of ‘Revolutionising business events through digital marketing’.


Photo credit from left to right: Scott van Eck (Qantas), Brooke Jaworski (Business Events Geelong), Vibhor Pandey (Brisbane Convention Bureau), Lani Strathearn (Adelaide Convention Bureau, on behalf of Tim Boundy), Lyn Lewis-Smith (AACB President) and Kelly Maynard (Tourism Australia).

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