The Adelaide Convention Bureau AGM held at the Morphettville Racecourse at 8am on Thursday 27th September has seen the appointment of Michael Sfera and Martin Haese to the board with the full board listed below.
Addressing the members, Adelaide Convention Bureau Chairman Mr Phil Baker said the hard work and strategic direction of the Bureau had produced good results in terms of the number of events won in the past 12 months which was up 29% on target with 28% of these events being held during low season which is great news for the industry. However, it must be noted the events won are smaller in size than many previous bid wins and as a result the economic benefit brought to the state was down 15% on target with $84.9m.
“It appears the challenging economic conditions and a high $AUD will remain constant for the next few years and the trend of winning smaller events will continue with larger events remaining elusive in a highly competitive industry where significant resources are required to win large events. These constant challenges will continue in the years ahead at a time when new infrastructure is coming online, particularly the exciting $3 billion redevelopment of the Adelaide Riverbank Precinct. The Plans to develop this precinct into a world-class convention, events, dining and entertainment promenade will only assist the Bureau in selling the destination” said Baker.
He also noted that whilst the economic benefit figure was down, the Adelaide Convention Bureau still produced one of the highest returns on investment ratios on total budget for Australian convention bureaux at 40:1.
“So looking forward, it certainly is an exciting future for SA’s business events industry, however this will not bewithout its extreme challenges to ensure new government and industry infrastructure will be maximised to its fullest potential” Mr Baker concluded.
Adelaide Convention Bureau CEO Damien Kitto concurred with Mr Baker in that the year had been tough but successful due to the strategy to develop and/or strengthen relationships with key industry partners, launcha four nation alliance with the express purpose of securing lucrative science based events and maintain a healthy Conventions Adelaide Ambassador Program.
Mr Kitto also noted that during these challenging times where global and national competition to secure events is at an all time high, the current investment in infrastructure meant Adelaide was looking firmly to the future.
Mr Kitto addressed the reduced stakeholder revenue the Bureau had received and outlined organisational and budget adjustments made to ensure a high level of business development and sales activity was maintained.
“There is no doubt our bid win increase of 29% is an incredible result although we struggled to secure the large conventions (800+ delegates) due to economic conditions” said Mr Kitto. “Our greatest challenge is the ability to present an attractive and well funded bid to convention organisers. Such is the value of these highly sought after conventions, competing destinations are increasingly presenting highly resourced and well funded bid submissions” he said
“There is a real opportunity to deliver a ‘Vibrant Adelaide’ and greater prosperity to the business events sector ifgreater business development resources were provided to the Bureau. In particular, the development of a ‘bid
development fund’ would immediately let the Bureau and partners entice clients away from the safe haven of the eastern seaboard and allow Adelaide to better compete with Asian competitors at a time when Government, Council and industry are investing unprecedented levels in related business events infrastructure” said Mr Kitto
He then thanked and praised the ongoing support of the Bureau members by providing almost $1 million in cash and in kind to support core marketing, business development and sales activity. “This Team Adelaide ethos and approach is acknowledged and admired by buyers and media visiting our city” he said
Mr Kitto finished by advising that there is around $45 million of business to be decided in the next quarter from bids submitted pre June 30. A total pipeline of $256 million is currently being worked on by the Bureau, and if the 50+% conversion rate is maintained around $130 million of business can expect to flow through the destination over the next 2-5 years.
Looking toward the future, he highlighted that 2012 has been a very successful year with $170 million of business on the books, $100 million of this will flow through the economy during the second half of the calendar year.
He also pointed out that the outlook for Adelaide beyond 2012 is looking softer with the level of confirmed business on the books 2013 – $73 million, 2014 – $63 million and 2015 – $1.5 million and whilst smaller events will be won in the lead up to these years, the business events sector confronts a testing time compared to past years which have been relatively strong.
The Adelaide Convention Bureau board comprises:
- Phil Baker – Chair
- Alec Gilbert , Chief Executive, Adelaide Convention Centre — Deputy Chair
- Cr Natasha Malani, Adelaide City Council
- Jim Kouts, IPR GDF SUEZ Australia
- Anne-Marie Quinn, Managing Director All Occasions Management
- John Culshaw, Chairman Pentroth Group
- Michael Sfera, General Manager Sfera’s
- Martin Haese, General Manager Rundle Mall Management
The full AGM report from the Adelaide Convention Bureau