Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), Karen Bolinger, has today announced the return of Business Events Week, which will be held from Monday, 17 to Friday, 21 February 2014.
The inaugural Business Events Week took place in February this year and featured a week-long program of activities that illustrated the fundamental value of business events to the nation’s economy, knowledge base and tourism industry.
Speaking during Tourism Australia’s Dreamtime 2013, which is currently being hosted in Melbourne for the first time, Ms Bolinger also announced that Professor Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist for Australia, has been appointed to the role of official Ambassador for Business Events Week 2014.
“Conferences span the entire business and knowledge sectors, providing a major platform to collaborate, innovate and educate,” Ms Bolinger said.
“The scientific community in particular is a major beneficiary of the legacies produced by conferences and who better to convey the significance of this than our Chief Scientist.
“Professor Chubb has provided a major contribution to our country and was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for service to higher education, including research and development policy and to the facilitation of a knowledge-based global economy.
“At the Melbourne Convention Bureau, we advocate that along with developing knowledge and research, business events are pivotal in terms of driving the economy and tourism sector.
“To put this into context, by 2020 the value of business events to the Australian economy will rise to $31 billion.
“In addition, business events create a positive flow on effect for small to medium businesses; in Victoria alone, between 2009 to 2013 delegate spend during MCB-secured business events is estimated at $100 million on hotels, $46 million on air travel, $23 million on sightseeing and tours, and $50 million on retail.
“The significance of business events to the nation, and the jobs they provide, presents a strong argument for the ongoing investment into the industry.”
Professor Ian Chubb said he was proud to be involved in Business Events Week.
“The long term economic benefits of business events are extremely valuable and varied; from attracting inward investment and generating knowledge economy jobs to securing research funding for academic institutions,” Professor Chubb said.
“I am a firm believer in what business events can do to support the development of the research and knowledge sectors and am honored to be involved in driving awareness via Business Events Week.”
Business Events Week 2014 will feature the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meeting Expo (AIME) as its centrepiece; a two-day event, now in its 22nd year, showcasing the best Australian, Asia-Pacific and international destinations, products and services.
Also confirmed to take place during the Week is the annual Associations Forum CEO Symposium, where 100 to 120 senior decision makers from domestic and Asia-Pacific not-for-profit organisations will partake in business sessions, as well as a networking and social program.
The Week will also see the return of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s Open House – a public event showcasing innovation in the business events space. Open House will feature addresses from Chief of CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Dr Cathy Foley; Cato Brand Partners Chairman, Dr Ken Cato; and The Gruen Transfer’s Todd Sampson.