The Future of Association Events

  • Dr Effie Steriopoulos (Event Management Lecturer, William Angliss Institute)
  • Rod Lucas (Group Chief Executive, Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Victoria)
  • Jamie Crain (CEO, Sports Medicine Australia) 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, association events changed overnight. We had to postpone, then cancel, then postpone again. Now, we have to innovate. How will you engage with your members and encourage them to register? What does the latest research say? What do you have to know when planning your next event? 

Dr Effie Steriopoulus will provide an overview of the latest research on how events will be managed in the future. Rod Lucas and Jamie Crain will discuss their experience over the last two years. The Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Victoria hosts one of the largest trade shows in Australia, while Sports Medicine Australia regularly hosts smaller events and conferences. From their unique perspectives, Rod and Jamie discuss lessons learnt and what they’re set to do differently in the years ahead. 


Dr Effie Steriopoulos, Event Management Lecturer, William Angliss Institute

Dr Effie Steriopoulos is  an event management lecturer at William Angliss Institute, Melbourne, Australia. She coordinates and teaches: marketing and communications, business development in events, social media and brand strategy, and event evaluation and innovation. Her PhD is situated in the marketing discipline and explores how transformative experiences act as a catalyst for consumers and create brand loyalty. Her research approach is based on phenomenological practice and a qualitative design incorporating thematic analytical approaches. Effie’s research interests are transformative experiences, experiential and emotional marketing with a consumer behaviour focus. Effie also sees events as ways to engage with students, offer them authentic educational experiences and create opportunities for individual transformation. She has published papers in ‘experiences’ relating to tourism and events, overseas study tours and iconic brands. She keeps abreast of event industry developments running annual seminars for students, alumni, and industry. She is also interested in exploring how events can be used as tools for place and destination marketing, while promoting brands and social inclusivity. Effie is on the executive board for the Council of Australasian Tourism and Hospitality Education (CAUTHE), a CAUTHE Chapter Director and co-chair of the CAUTHE Event Special Interest Group (SIG). She lived in Greece for 17 years, worked as a tour guide offering immersive tourism experiences, and decided to move back to Melbourne in 1996. She also speaks Greek and basic German.

Robert Lucas, Group Chief Executive of the Caravan Trade & Industries Association of Victoria

Robert Lucas is the Group Chief Executive of the Caravan Trade & Industries Association of Victoria T/A Caravan Industry Victoria and the National Caravan Industry Training College having being appointed to these roles in March 2011and 2015. He has over 26 years’ senior executive experience working within and leading industry associations and business groups. He has a proven track record in turning around poorly performing associations and growing them into sustainable, relevant organisations. He is known for his deep knowledge of contemporary business issues and being a straight shooter in getting things done. He is acknowledged nationally within the caravan and recreational vehicle industry for his long term strategic planning and execution, innovative ideas and restructuring the industries association into one of Victoria’s most vibrant, relevant and forward thinking industry associations. He sits on a number of industry boards and Government committees including the Victorian Skills Authority Manufacturing Industry Advisory Group, Northlink and the Federal Government’s North Western Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce and a number of not-for-profit boards. He has graduate and post graduate tertiary qualifications in Business Administration, Management, HR/IR and Education and Training.

Jamie Crain, CEO, Sports Medicine Australia

Jamie is Chief Executive Officer of Sports Medicine Australia, a professional membership body focused on improved health outcomes for all Australians through education, and safer participation in sport, exercise and physical activity. Jamie commenced his professional career within the UK travel industry some 20+ years ago working in the British Airways group within their frequent flyer membership divisions, responsible for pricing, yield management and product strategy. 

Returning to Australia in 2008, Jamie worked across a number of senior commercial positions including Origin Energy, Melbourne Airport, and between 2012 and 2017 Jamie was a senior executive at Australian Motoring Services, the commercial arm of the Australia’s largest membership collective: the Australian auto clubs.  He was tasked with delivering national products and services such as travel insurance, wholesale roadside assistance and loyalty solutions for the clubs and their 8 million members. 

Jamie later joined the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, leading the Membership, Marketing, and International support teams, before joining Sports Medicine Australia as CEO in early 2021. Jamie is a member of CPA Australia, CIMA, and holds an MBA from Henley Business School in the UK. 


Need more information?

Phone us on 03 8393 9382 or register your details and we will be in touch.

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