Australia’s key representative body for the business events industry, the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) kicked off Global Meetings Industry Day today by delivering a copy of its Forward Calendar report to the nation’s parliament in Canberra.
AACB CEO Andrew Hiebl presented a copy of the report to staff of tourism minister Senator Richard Colbeck, who is today marking Global Meetings Industry Day in Shanghai, China, at the Business Events Australia Greater China Showcase.
The Forward Calendar is the most comprehensive audit of future business events attracted to Australia ever produced and comes after an unprecedented data sharing exercise between the nation’s convention bureaux.
Mr Hiebl said, “Business events are unique in that they are the only tourism sector that provides a vision of confirmed future business. The report provides an unparalleled forward vision of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions won by our members. This intelligence can be used by governments and their departments to maximise the beyond tourism benefits that these events offer.”
“We have 296 international business events confirmed for our convention centres, hotels and universities through to 2024. These events are forecast to attract almost one quarter of a million delegates (66% international) – translating to more than one million delegate days – and generating over A$663 million (US$507 million) in direct delegate expenditure.”
Key findings of the report also highlight that of the international business events secured for Australia 30% are in the medical sector with an estimated 90,000 delegates. Following medical, other industry sectors by percentage of events included:
- Professional, scientific and technical services (17.9%)
- Information media and telecommunications (9.8%)
- Administrative and support services (8.4%)
- Manufacturing (7.1%)
- Arts and recreation services (3.7%)
- Financial and insurance services (3.7%)
- Retail trade (3.0%)
Further, 54% of association meetings and conventions include a trade/exhibition component.
The Australian government is facing a federal election this year and the AACB is calling on the government to commit to a bid fund to help our convention bureaux secure more international business events for Australia. With professional development of Australia’s workforce directly benefiting from business events through exposure to international expertise, networks and best practice, such an investment by government would directly target industry growth and jobs of the future.
“We recognise the minister’s efforts in China today, but seek a financial commitment to support bringing business events of national significance to the country”.