Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) will sharpen focus on events in regional areas following an announcement this week of a new regional membership category.

Regional membership will be open to companies and individuals delivering events or event services outside capital cities and major centres across Australia.

MEA chief executive, Robyn Johnson (pictured) says: “The business events industry is a growing economic contributor to regional communities. MEA is pleased to be able to offer a membership package to acknowledge and support regional event operators. This new package will provide regional operators access to MEA’s educational programmes and events industry resources to enhance their expertise in this growing sector."

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The Events Centre, located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland is MEA's first regional member. General manager, Gary Mears, says: "As meeting industry advocates, we see MEA as a leader in providing important access to information, contacts and online tools to progress our organisation, in particular we will be making the most of the online support that is provided by MEA for sales training and building client relationships.”

MEA is also planning to set-up a regional committee that will allow regional bureaus, event planners and operators to have a greater voice in the events industry.

A Regional Business Event Award category is will also be added to MEA's annual awards programme.