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 November 19, 2007
The Perth Convention Bureau Appoints European Marketing Agency

 The Perth Convention Bureau (PCB), Australia has appointed UK-based business tourism marketing agency Total Marketing Communications (TMC) to act as its sales and marketing representative covering
Europe.

The appointment comes in the wake of the Western Australian Government's substantially increased funding commitment to marketing the State as a business events destination.

The Government has committed an additional $11.9 million over five years to attract the larger, high yielding 900-plus delegate conferences, to be matched by an industry contribution of $2.2 million over the same period.

This has effectively seen the Bureau's annual Government-private sector funding increase by 58 per cent from $2.6 million to $4.5 million in the 2007-08 financial year.

TMC's Managing Director is Deidre Keegan, an Australian who has been working in the tourism industry in Europe for the past 25 years. The company has other business tourism clients including the Greater Boston Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Ms Keegan says: "It is exciting to be working with the Perth Convention Bureau. With the relatively new Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre and Burswood Entertainment Complex with its combined on-site hotels and meeting space, plus international brand hotels and superb international air access from Europe and the Middle East, I feel Perth has come of age in what it can offer the international meetings organiser."

"For the overseas delegate, Perth and Western Australia offer an extremely good value, high quality international meeting product with the 'Outback', beaches, flora and fauna and wine regions literally on Perth's doorstep for the quintessential post conference Aussie experience."

The PCB's Executive Chairman Graham Muir said "The appointment of the European representative would complement the activities of a business events sales manager with the Western Australian Agent General's office in London.

He said: "We recognise that it is almost impossible to present Perth to international meeting planners without having a strong in-market presence in Europe where the majority of their organistions are based.

"We're delighted to have secured the services of TMC and Deidre, particularly with her knowledge of our product and her commitment to providing hands-on involvement."

The agency appointment is one of a raft of initiatives that will be implemented as the PCB undertakes a major overhaul of its structure and operations.

These include the development of a 'business events' brand for Western Australia to co-incide with a major destination marketing campaign.

Mr Muir said: "Now that we have adequate funding to mount a significant destination marketing campaign both nationally and internationally, it's important that we have a recognisable brand.

"We also plan to be more visible in the marketplace, attending some seven national and international trade shows, so it's important that we present a consistent message to meeting planners."

Another key initiative is the appointment of a senior business development executive to focus primarily on securing major international conventions for Perth. A global search is currently under way to recruit the sales supremo.

The Bureau is also in the process of recruiting a new Managing Director.

While there will be an increased focus on the traditional markets of the UK/Europe and Asia, the Bureau will also be exploring the opportunities available in North America.

Mr Muir said the PCB's involvement as a senior partner in the Energy Cities Alliance --launched recently at the International Congress and Convention Association conference in Thailand - represents one of several exciting marketing initiatives that are in the pipeline.

The other Energy Cities Alliance founding partners are the Aberdeen Convention Bureau, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre and Perth Convention Bureau.

In creating the strategic marketing alliance, the partners are aiming to obtain a competitive edge in the international marketplace, particularly in the field of energy-related conferences.

A key focus of the alliance is the exchange of sales leads, to be known as the Energy Transfer Advantage that also incorporates a substantial support package for conference organisers and a dedicated website.