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Visual Connections steps into the light

Friday, 07 August 2015
By Patrick Howard

Newly merged supplier super-group launches onto the scene in Sydney with inaugural board meeting and reception.

Changing face of the industry: (from left) Peter Harper, general manager – trade shows, Visual Connections, Marcus Adler, Adler Digital and board member, with Mitch Mulligan, managing director Bottcher Australia and inaugural president of Visual Connections.

Board executives and a good turnout of members presented the industry with the first mingling of the two very different supplier groups. Cultural differences aside the gathering was united by a common enthusiasm for the new organisation.

Mitchell Mulligan, inaugural president officially broke the ice. He paid tribute to the members who trusted the executive in carrying the merger forward. It was he said, the right move in context of the converging industry.

“With the rapid convergence of technology, reflected in both supplier consolidations and within our trade show environment, it made sense that the two leading supplier bodies within the print, sign, graphic and engraving industries should look to move closer,” he said.

“From initially co-locating successfully at PrintEx 2011, PacPrint 2013 and PrintEx15 and observing the synergies within both Associations, discussions began in earnest at the end of 2014. It is a measure of the similarities between the two Associations that the merger was successfully actioned without too much histrionics and on the 1st July GAMAA moved into the VISA offices and off we went.”

The new entity, Visual Connections has a total of 94 leading companies in the supply space with the combined memberships of both associations having a greater voice across the breadth of the industry. It is envisaged the new association will continue to foster the ethos of both GAMAA and VISA, which has been to promote the synergy between vendors for the betterment of the industry as a whole.

“The mandate for Visual Connections is firmly based on the objectives of both GAMAA and VISA to give back to the industry. The board is committed to contributing to a sustainable future for our industries by continuing to invest in education, sponsorship, exhibitions and grants programs,” he said.

The first order of business is already underway with a full strategic review, which is being led by Karen Goldsmith, General Manager – Association and Peter Harper – General Manager Trade Shows. The Visual Impact Trade Show coming up in Melbourne in September (17-19th) also got a plug with a call for members to step up and book their stands.

“In closing It would be remiss of me not thank our members for trusting in their vision and the process that has bought here today. A special thanks to Karen, Peter for their commitment and application in guiding us through the merger and also my thanks goes to the engaged executive committee,” said Mulligan.

“We are a united force and are excited about the opportunities this presents.”



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