Major Events International ( MEI)  hosted a seminar on Major Events in Australia and are very grateful to our hosts Finmeccanica UK for use of their excellent facilities and their input into the event. Given the complex nature of winning business in some major events hosting nations, it was felt that Australia should be brought into focus given they have some iconic major events over the forthcoming years. With similar commercial structures, common language and many other factors which support ease of trading, the event proved that more UK companies should be seeking greater awareness of working with Australian companies and setting up businesses in Australia.

Mathew Maher Finmeccanica’s Business Development Manager , gave a company overview and with a particular focus of their involvement in major events which continues to grow as a key part of their business. They have a very active policy of working with SMEs and this showed to those present that Finmeccanica will seek the right suppliers to ensure their clients get provided with the optimal solution.

Matt was followed by David Crook, Senior Commissioner of Austrade in London. David explained the role of Austrade and of some similarities to UKTI.  He emphasized the 22 years of continual growth of the Australian economy and putting the perceived dominance of mining in context; important but not as dominating as often felt.  He talked of the considerable inward investment opportunities in Australia and of the strength of the relationship with both the US and UK as investment partners.  Whereas the investment relationship is East-West across the globe, the trading partnerships work along the North-South lines of longitude with Singapore and China representing the strongest of Australia’s partners.  David suggested that there were opportunities for UK companies looking for Australian partners with experience in Asian markets.

Campbell Unsworth Senior Associate at Minter Ellison, an Australian Law company, gave a succinct and clear introduction to some of the paramount customs and procedures around doing business in Australia.  He explained that although the legal framework in Australia is very similar to UK, there were a number of business rules that hold greater precedence in Australia than they might do in UK.  The Australian Consumer Act, intellectual property laws and National Employment Standards were just three that were highlighted. Minster Ellison have had a company in London for 35 years and are available for advice on Australia.

Following a break for networking, the next presentation was from Ken Smith, the Agent General at the Queensland Government based in the UK who gave an enlightening historical introduction to the State of Queensland and why it is such a good place for business to focus on.  Queensland is 7 times the size of the UK, ranking 30th in the world GDP tables (Australia is 12th).  It has a very diverse economy and mining is not as dominant as people might think (represents 10% of the state GDP).  There is a large scale of UK investment in Queensland, British Gas being one significant example.  There is also a very well developed sporting infrastructure in place with a huge convention and tourism capability that will considerably enhance the delivery of the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Dennis Mills from MEI then explained what we see as the opportunities around the major events in Austrlia and the local support model. This included a video introduction from Ericc Winton who is a major events expert well known in Australia and is the MEI lead assocatiate available to support companies with their plans for Australia. Slides on the Commonwealth Games, Asian Football Cup and Cricket World Cup are available below.

The last speaker was Ben McCormack who is the senior representative for AFL Europe.  We were introduced to the excitement and power of Australian Football by a short promotional film.  Ben’s task is to promote Australian Football throughout the 21 countries of Europe, trying to attract new support from Europe for Australia’s hugely popular home-grown game.  Despite the first game of Australian Football having taken place in England in 1880 it has still not ‘caught-on’ so Ben is trying to reverse the situation and would be interested in talking to any potential sponsors or supporters. Sponsorship opportunities exist if you wish to get in touch with Ben.

The afternoon was brought to a close with a summary of the Major Events Network (MEN) membership scheme, our future events and our quarterly Digest which gives an opportunity for companies to showcase their capabilities as well as keep abreast of opportunities.  All attendees of our events are automatically given Basic Membership which is free and gives each company a position on our on-line directory and the right to receive a copy of our Digest.

Copies of all presentations can be downloaded at:

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