Venue Management Association CEO Steve Romer is exiting the organisation after three-and-a-half years in the role.

A venues veteran, Steve Romer served as Sydney Entertainment Centre’s General Manager from 2009-2013, during which time the site rose from No. 37 to No. 2 in world arena rankings according to Billboard, and took out the 2012 Arena Excellence Award from the International Association of Venue Managers.

Romer served as President of the VMA from 2008 to 2011 and prior to that held executive roles at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Blacktown International Sports Park and at theme parks Dreamworld and Sea World.

At VMA, Romer oversaw the business and operations of the organisation and guided its annual Asia-Pacific Venue Industry Congress, the 2018 edition of which will be held next May in Auckland.

Gold Coast-based Romer, who has yet to reveal his plans, is proud of his achievements at VMA.

Speaking with TIO, he notes the organisation has broken all previous attendance records, content delivery and commercial outcomes year on year for its last four annual congresses, from Melbourne in 2014 right through to Sydney earlier this year.

“We’ve been stretching the VMAs’ reach into Asia,” he says. “We are introducing a professional development program in Shanghai this November and it is already fully sold out.”

VMA Asia and Pacific President Steve Harper noted in a statement: “Steve leaves on a high, with the VMA now elevated to a new level of professionalism, along with the delivery of significant membership growth, increased membership benefits, the further development of professional and educational programs and a strong financial position to enable the organisation to return even greater benefits to its members.”

The VMA Board now kicks off its recruitment process while Romer will stay on board as CEO until late October.