Strategic Advisor & Visitor Economy Expert at Karen Bolinger Consulting

An innovative and outcome driven C Suite Executive in the Visitor Economy sector who brings over 30 years experience across various government, commercial, public private partnership and not for profit membership-based businesses. Karen has worked at C Suite level in Destination Marketing Organisations and Convention Bureau in Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney, in hotels, venues and worked for and developed some of Australia’s largest major events and trade shows. Karen is an inclusive thinker, with an unparalleled understanding of the Visitor Economy and Business Events ecosystem, and the opportunities and challenges it faces in the new economy.

An experienced strategist who influences change and transforms business in highly contested markets in extremely complex stakeholder environments within multiple cultural and geographic locations. Karen has written game changing Business Event strategies for Sydney, Melbourne, Ireland, Cleveland, Copenhagen and Best Cities which have transformed how they approach business events with huge success.

A proven history of improving company performance and exceeding sales revenues and targets through improved repositioning and business development pipeline strategies and marketing campaigns. Karen turns strategy into actions and delivers outcomes.

Karen was the initiator of two key global movements within the business events industry – the concept of city’s being positioned as intellectual capitals and the long tail benefits beyond traditional measures business events have on destinations known as Legacy or Impact on societal outcomes.

This resulted in Karen’s contribution to the sector globally and locally being recognised and awarded the 2022 Paul Flackett IMEX Academy Award, 2019 Outstanding Contribution to the industry by the Victorian Tourism Accommodation Association (TAA) and in 2018 the Joint Meetings Industry Council Unity Award, which recognises individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the business events industry globally. In addition, in 2017 Karen was named in Meetings and Convention Magazine as one of the top 25 leading women in business events globally and a finalist in the 2016 CEO Magazine, Hospitality and Tourism Executive of the Year.

Most recently Karen has been appointed by the Australian Federal Government to the long-term visitor economy strategy – THRIVE 2030 – Tourism Industry Advisory Group a prestigious appointment.

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