7 December 2000

Chief Executive of Lonely Planet Publications Steve Hibbard will discuss the company's award-winning website (www.lonelyplanet.com.au) attracting two million visitors a month at an international conference to be held in Brisbane in mid-December.

He and Dean and Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan John Leslie King are the two keynote speakers for the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) 2000 entitled Fundamental Concepts for the New Millennium.

Held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Sunday December 10 to Wednesday, December 13 this year-the first time it has been staged in the Asia-Pacific region since its inception in 1980-the conference includes presentations of completed research papers, research-in-progress papers, teaching cases, tutorials, panels and debates.

Conference Co-Chair and University of Queensland Professor of Information Systems in the Commerce Department Ron Weber said around 725 delegates would attend this year's conference and be involved in discussions on a wide range of topics.

"The main themes of this year's event will be: e-commerce; enterprise resource planning systems; database and data quality; the economics of information systems; knowledge management; the internet; and information systems ethics, personnel and strategies," Professor Weber said.

"This year, we had 384 submissions for the conference program of which we selected 95 for the presentation. This represents the largest number of submissions and the largest program of any ICIS conference."

Mr Hibbard has presided over Lonely Planet Publications for six years during which time sales have increased from $14 million to $65 million with a corresponding increase in the number and diversity of products.

Started by Tony and Maureen Wheeler in the early 1970s after a budget overland holiday from London through Asia to Australia, the company has grown from a hand-collated, trimmed and stapled guide-book written over the kitchen table by the Wheelers to one employing 500 people in Australia, America, the United Kingdom and France.

Mr Hibbard will discuss IT in the travel information industry at a plenary session on Tuesday, December 12, from 8.30am to 10am.

Other topics for discussion at the conference include the effect of traders' sometimes irrational behaviour on the artificial stock market, the effect of consumers' lifestyles on their internet-buying habits and the under-representation of women in IT.

Tutorials will examine the strategic re-positioning of the South China Morning Post on the web with SCMP.com and one of the world's most successful internet sites targeted at children, www.lego.com, operated by the LEGO Company.

The University of Queensland Business School is one of 19 sponsors of this year's conference.

For more information, contact Professor Ron Weber (telephone 07 3365 6585 at work or 07 3300 3382 at home).

Useful web links:

Main conference website:


Program website:


Ancillary events and meetings website:


Registered delegates: