Ali Thompson, a highly experienced business events and tourism executive, has been appointed Business & Leisure Events Manager for Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC).
VSC undertake programs and activities to attract conferences and events to the region, assist members with event planning and delivery, and lead the promotion of the region as one of Australia’s premier business and leisure event destinations.
Ali Thompson has been specialising in the MICE industry (Meetings Incentives Conference & Exhibitions) for over 20 years. She has run her own marketing and events business and worked and collaborated with events companies and industry bodies from the UK, New Zealand and Australia including coordination of the AIME Expo in 2017 and 2018 (Asia-Pacific Incentive & Meetings Expo).
Prominent in industry groups, Ali is a founding member of Influential Women in Meetings & Events, member of Women in Tourism, and Event Professionals Australia, was a Committee Member of Meetings and Events Australia for many years, and previously sat on the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Advisory Board.
Announcing the appointment, VSC CEO, Matt Stoeckel, said that Ali’s appointment came at an exciting time in the future of the Sunshine Coast’s business and leisure events sector.
“We are very fortunate to be able to attract such a passionate industry professional as Ali, and her experience and contacts will ensure she hits the ground at a really crucial time for the destination as we rebuild our business events market,” said Mr Stoeckel.
“With a landscape that is ideal for high-end incentives, the Sunshine Coast has enormous potential to grow its business and leisure events sector.
“Ali will work closely with the events team at Sunshine Coast Council, Tourism and Events Queensland, and business and events operators across the Sunshine Coast to strengthen our position as a leading business and event destination.”
Ali Thompson said that the MICE industry is truly embedded in her DNA, and she was really excited about joining the established business events team at Visit Sunshine Coast.
“The Sunshine Coast offers an array of unique incentive and conferencing opportunities, blessed with an incredible coastline and breathtaking hinterland,” Ms Thompson said.“Plus, it has just been declared a Biosphere by UNESCO – what better place to wow delegates in a diverse eco-escapism that is committed to sustainability whilst warming the soul with year-round sunshine!”
Business Events has been slowly rebuilding through the pandemic with the region hosting several major national conferences and events during 2022 including the United in Compassion 2022 Symposium, the annual Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Summit and Australasian HIV and AIDS conference.In recent times the region has played host to several major events and competitions including the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships (‘The Aussies’) 2021, Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast (annual event), Mooloolaba Triathlon (annual event) and The Curated Plate (2022).
The new position of Business & Leisure Events Manager replaces the former role of Business Events Manager held by Maureen Brennan since 2018. There will be a transition period over the coming weeks as Maureen Brennan finishes up and Ali Thompson commences with VSC.