Business Events Adelaide Announces New Chairperson

30th Jan, 2024

Business Events Adelaide, the organisation responsible for attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in national and international business events every year to South Australia, has a new chairperson.

Mr Ian Horne (cover photo), long term Hotel Industry advocate and former CEO of the Australian Hotels Association SA has been appointed by the Business Events Adelaide Board as Chair replacing Mr Jim Kouts, who held the position since 2017.

Mr Kouts will remain as an independent director as part of a considered governance strategy. Mr Horne has been a member of the Business Events Adelaide Board since 2014, most recently as Deputy Chair.

Having been the recipient of the Tourism Industry Award for outstanding contribution by an individual in 2023, Ian is regarded as one of the State’s most experienced tourism and hospitality industry advocates. Since retiring from AHA SA mid-2023 he has been appointed to the Board of Tourism Australia, adding to his membership of the South Australian Tourism Commission Board, the Adelaide Venue Management Corporation and the South Australian Skills Commission.

Business Events Adelaide CEO Damien Kitto said: “We are very fortunate to have someone of Ian’s calibre ready to lead Business Events Adelaide into the future. He is a highly regarded, connected and respected leader and having worked closely with Jim in refining Business Events Adelaide’s strategic vision, there is no one better placed to assume the position of Chair”.

The Business Events Adelaide’s new deputy chair is well known and experienced independent director Catherine Cooper.

“Ian and Catherine’s appointments will ensure Adelaide maintains its position as a business event destination that puts economic growth future front and centre.” Mr Kitto added.


A Director since 2012, Jim Kouts has served as Chair since 2017. Under his stewardship. Mr Kouts led the organisation and its members through the disruption caused to the business events sector by the COVID pandemic. He was instrumental in securing increased Government funding in 2023, which has enabled Business Events Adelaide to take a more strategic approach to business development opportunities. He also oversaw the organisations rebrand from Adelaide Convention Bureau to Business Events Adelaide, as well as the strengthening of its operational structure.   Business Events Adelaide is a 50-year-old independent, not for profit, member based organisation. Its purpose is to win business events for South Australia, a valued and proven economic driver in both the long and short term.

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