Venue operator AEG Ogden Group has revealed that it is promoting two general managers, coming shortly after the group’s announcement that it has been appointed operator for the upcoming Te Pae Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Speaking at AIME 2019 on Tuesday afternoon, AEG Ogden’s director of convention centres, Geoff Donaghy, announced that Cairns Convention Centre (CCC) general manager Ross Steele will manage the Te Pae Christchurch, which is on track for a October 2020 opening.
Hours later, it was announced that Darwin Convention Centre’s general manager Janet Hamilton will move into Steele’s vacated role in Cairns.
Both Steele and Hamilton have impressive records in the industry, with the Association of International Congress Centres ranking CCC number one in the world under his watch; and Hamilton breaking records in terms of number of market bids and delegate numbers attending conferences in Darwin.
Both Steele and Hamilton told TTGmice that they will continue courting the Asian market in their new roles.
“In my previous appointment with Cairns we’ve been in Asia a lot, so I see that as a real opportunity for Christchurch to work especially with the association and incentive market in Asia in the long term,” said Steele.
Prior to the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011, Christchurch claimed 40 per cent of the Australasian events market for New Zealand, and the city is keen to regain its foothold in hosting conferences in the country.
Meanwhile, Hamilton says her successor, who is yet to be announced, will still need to work on changing Asia’s perception of Darwin.
“We’re the closest (Australian) city to Asia, so it’s actually (all about) getting that brand awareness out there for the territory,” she said.
Hamilton also revealed to TTGmice that Darwin has embarked on a research project into Asia focusing first on Singapore, which will see a delegation of potential clients visit the Australian city later this year. “And then we’ll broaden that as we continue our research and relationships,” she said.