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Mice Net : February 2010
mice.net 31 with happy clients, is paramount to ongoing success. "We have been working with some of our clients since 1970, others since the early 80's and 90's! We see them as part of the `ICMS Family'," Barrie explains. "[It's also important in] staying true to our core values and ethics. Some clients will think that the "grass is greener" and change PCOs for a time but they do come back when they find that it is not quite true. "Our involvement in the global stage from the beginnings of our business has meant that our networks have cemented over the passage of time. We have been a member of ICCA since 1975 and the fellowship and business leads attributed to our involvement with ICCA have been immeasurable. "Between Abi, Sarah and myself we all enjoy what we do, and this passion and commitment "infects" our team. We believe in leading by example and none of us are afraid of getting our hands dirty!" In terms of rewarding events they have managed, Barrie, Sarah and Abi have different memories. For Barrie his most rewarding event was the World Congress of Gastroenterology in 1990 which he remembers was the beginning of the mega congresses coming to Australia. "We had just over 10000 people involved," he says. "Each conference that we are involved with is rewarding for their uniqueness," Sarah adds. "The conference where I met my husband would be my most personally rewarding event! Professionally, there have been so many that I chance offending someone if I mention one specifically!" ICMS currently employs 25 people spread between offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and manages between 30 and 35 events each year. Abi says the "green agenda" is one area that has significantly changed in recent times. "We apply to our clients exactly the same corporate social responsibility as we do to our own people," she explains. "I am sure everyone could do more in terms of reducing, reusing and recycling but the main thing is it is on our agenda just as it is for our customers, the venues and facilities we use. ICMS works with its clients to ensure the lowest possible impact." Future plans ICMS's plans for the future are to build on the last 40 years of their business but not to rest on their laurels. "Having a 40 year history can signal that nothing changes but we are constantly reviewing processes and improving them along the way to maintain our competitive edge," Abi says. "We will continue to integrate with our partners globally to maintain Australia's reputation in the global business events sphere. Over the past few years we have been asked to manage international meetings in the USA, UK, Europe, South America and of course around Asia. In doing so, it has expanded the horizons of our team and provided the satisfaction that we can compete internationally against PCOs in other countries. "We will strive to win more business events for Australia working with our existing client base to ensure that we get back into the top 10 destinations in the ICCA rankings. Through Sarah's and previously my involvement with BECA we hope that the efforts of this group ensure more government recognition for what the business events sector provides in import and export earnings for Australia and that as an industry we are not going backwards with respect to support for this sector. "In the short term, we are striving to change our reputation of being the quiet achievers of the Australian industry, to stop being so humble, and make sure that the efforts of our team and our clients are not left unnoticed! We have always had a philosophy of a gentle approach to marketing but in today's environment we need to adopt a more up front presentation." news ABOVE: An ICMS advertisement Circa 1980. OPPOSITE: Barrie Markey, Sarah Markey-Hamm and Abigail Markey-Krause.