Interview with Ms Marie Kinsella
Ms Marie Kinsella
Ms Marie Kinsella
Managing Director
Australian Exhibitions & Conferences Pty Ltd (AEC)
Australian Exhibitions & Conferences Pty Ltd (AEC)

Incorporated in 1997, Australian Exhibitions & Conferences Pty Ltd (AEC) is an organiser of Trade Fairs and Exhibitions encompassing industries like Furniture / Furnishings / Interiors, Retail, Safety, Fashion, Automotive, and Building & Renovating. Dedication to the individual needs of exhibitors has earned the company a reputation for unsurpassed professional event management and marketing. This service philosophy, and the drawing power of its events, has seen AEC grow into the largest Australian-owned exhibition organiser in just 10 years. As the largest Australian owned and operated exhibition company, AEC’s expertise extends from trade events and major public exhibitions to international conferences throughout Australia. After working in the exhibition industry for eight years, Ms Marie Kinsella founded Australian Exhibitions & Conferences Pty Ltd (AEC) in 1997. Designated Managing Director, Ms Kinsella focuses on delivering quality events to her clients, and her company is now recognised as one of Australia’s leading exhibition organising companies. She has grown the company to be the only exhibition organiser in Australia whose calendar of events continues to expand with the introduction of several new Fairs over the past few years. Apart from its own extensive event portfolio, AEC is the organiser of the Victorian Government's State of Design Festival. Her focus on continued improvement underlies the company’s sustained growth. Speaking to Face2Face team exclusively, Ms Marie Kinsella discusses at length about transformation trade fair industry has undergone in a decade and the factors that influence fashion industry.

It’s a great pleasure for Face2Face to have this one to one with you, Ms Kinsella. Please share with us how the Company came to being and achieved its current niche.

Desire to start own company after many years with the industry in marketing, exhibition management roles before becoming General Manager. The success of the company is a combination of passion, drive, core values, good people industry partnerships and a bit of luck. The focus has always been on delivering positive outcomes for all stakeholders. This focus underpinned AEC’s growth.

Delivering exhibitions is demanding and whatever challenges you face the doors open on the published date at the published time. Having people that share the vision, passion and pressure to deliver is an essential ingredient for our success. The exhibition environment does not suit everyone. Whilst the events are great and are the physical representation of all our hard work, the day to day operations of the business are not all that glamorous.

As they say “10% inspiration, 90% perspiration!” The harder you work the “luckier” you get.

Agreed. There is no substitute for hard work! In this decade of existence in the industry, do you think the meaning of trade-fair / event has transformed considerably? What is your take?

Whilst the meaning of a trade fair may not have changed over the years, certainly the expectation from the buyer/visitor has. As we are all aware markets across all industries, and as was clearly demonstrated last year, globally can change quickly and dramatically. The challenge for exhibition organisers is to be across industry changes and trends and to be able to reflect these in the fairs. There is so much more competition for buyers’ attention that organisers today invest far more into the delivery of their events to ensure that buyers are motivated to attend as opposed to simply reproducing a “marketplace”.

Well, you have been hosting many shows in number of verticals pertaining to Fashion viz apparels & accessories like foot wears, eye gears etc. in your view, what all factors influence fashion, and fashion fair thereon?

Fashion is subject to many influences – socio, political, geographical, economic and design. Design often reflects the changes in society, changes in society’s needs, values. On the back of the recession we’ve seen a return to more prudence both in the way businesses conduct themselves and in the way we go about our personal lives. This is reflected in fashion – a return to more conservative, longer lasting, less fads, more value. Good design and investment in good design is essential in differentiating products/services and avoiding simply delivering another commoditised product/service that’s purely price-point driven to the market.

Published on: 23/11/2009

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of