New business and leisure events manager appointed to visit Sunshine Coast

Ali Thompson, Business and Leisure Events Manager for Visit Sunshine Coast

Ali Thompson has specialized in the MICE (Meetings Incentives Conference & Exhibitions) industry for over 20 years.

Ali Thompsonseasoned executive in business events and tourism, has been appointed head of business and leisure events for Visit the Sunshine Coast.

VSC undertakes programs and activities to attract conferences and events to the region, assists members in planning and organizing events, and leads the promotion of the region as one of the leading destinations for business events and recreation in Australia.

Ali Thompson has specialized in the MICE (Meetings Incentives Conference & Exhibitions) industry for over 20 years. She has run her own marketing and events business and has worked and collaborated with event companies and industry bodies in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, including coordinating the ‘AIME Expo in 2017 and 2018 (Asia-Pacific Incentive & Meetings Expo).

Prominent in industry groups, Ali is a founding member of Influential Women in Meetings & Events, a member of Women in Tourism and Event Professionals Australia, was a board member of Meetings and Events Australia for many years and has served to Asia-Pacific. Incentives and Meetings Advisory Committee.


Announcing the appointment, CEO of VSC, Matt Stoeckelsaid Ali’s appointment came at an exciting time for the future of the Sunshine Coast’s business and leisure events sector.

“We are very fortunate to be able to attract such a passionate industry professional as Ali, and her experience and contacts will ensure that she arrives on the ground at a truly crucial time for the destination as we rebuild our market. business events”, says Mr. Stoeckel.

“With an ideal landscape for high-end incentives, the Sunshine Coast has enormous potential to develop its business and leisure events sector.

“Ali will work closely with the Sunshine Coast Council’s events team, Tourism and Events Queensland, and Sunshine Coast’s business and events operators to strengthen our position as a premier business and events destination.”


Ali Thompson said the MICE industry is really in her DNA and she was really excited to join Visit Sunshine Coast’s established business events team.

“The Sunshine Coast offers a range of unique incentive and conference opportunities, boasting an incredible coastline and breathtaking hinterland,” said Ms. Thompson.

Plus, it’s just been declared a UNESCO Biosphere – what better place to wow delegates on a diverse eco-escape that’s committed to sustainability while warming the soul with year-round sunshine! “

Business events have slowly rebuilt during the pandemic, with the region hosting several major national conferences and events in 2022, including the United in Compassion 2022 symposium, the annual summit of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and the Australasian conference on HIV and AIDS.


The area has hosted several major events and competitions in recent times, including the 2021 Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships (“The Aussies”), Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast (annual event), Mooloolaba Triathlon (annual event) and The Curated Plate ( 2022).

The new position of Business & Leisure Events Manager replaces the previous role of Business Events Manager held by Maureen Brennan since 2018. There will be a transition period over the next few weeks as Maureen Brennan finishes and Ali Thompson starts with VSC.

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