A new report by the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) reveals increasing business optimism among its members, as the NSW Government enters the final weeks of bid evaluations for the Sydney International Convention Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct at Darling Harbour.
The EEAA Market Monitor, which tracks the health of the industry, shows that organisers expect to launch 27 new shows in 2013.
This is the second report produced by the Association and it covers the period of January to June 2012, with consolidated results for the 2011/12 financial year.
EEAA General Manager Joyce DiMascio says it is encouraging to see the exhibition sector perform strongly with optimistic forecasts for future growth. This bodes well for the utilisation of the expanded new facilities at Darling Harbour and the establishment of Glebe Island Expo.
“Sixty four percent of event organisers report the sectors they are operating in are growing, compared with 52 percent in the previous six months. Members estimate they will deliver 27 new events in 2013 alone,” she said.
The report also shows that 38 percent of trade shows and 10 percent of consumer events included a paid conference and that EEAA members hosted 649 events.
“The NSW Government is to be commended for its vision to invest in expanded facilities at Darling Harbour and the interim site at Glebe Island at a time when expos and events are on a growth trajectory.”
EEAA Chairman Matthew Pearce said the industry urged the NSW Government to consider the long-term needs of the city as it considers bids for creation of the valuable events infrastructure.
“We understand that there is pressure on the Government to deliver much needed social infrastructure – but it must not lose sight of the fact that business events generate profound economic and social benefits to the State.
“We urge the Premier and Ministers evaluating the options not to skimp on NSW’s economic future by making a bland choice – this State needs to deliver a flexible, world-class venue that is large enough to allow the industry to continue on its growth trajectory. The competition is not Melbourne, the competition is the rest of the world and we need a convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct that will be the envy of the world.
“As the international panel of experts now considers the two short-listed consortia bids for the Sydney International Convention Exhibition and Entertainment precinct, it is important the evaluation driver is to produce a facility not simply competitive with the best in Australia, but rivalling the best in the world.
“The Darling Harbour redevelopment is an opportunity to create a vibrant precinct – stretching from The Star, through the convention and exhibition spaces, to Chinatown – that is a beacon for attracting business and cultural events for decades to come.”
The EEAA Market Monitor reported member venues hosted 649 events. Members organised 136 events in the financial year ended 30 June 2012, attracting more than 1.6 million visitors and 22,898 exhibitors. Members employed 2,659 full time staff, plus an additional 6,725 part time or contract staff. The industry contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the national economy.