Sydney will shine even more as a successful global business events destination, according to NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and international leaders speaking at a Business Events Sydney (BESydney) seminar held today.
Mr Stoner and global business events representatives discussed how the proposed infrastructure projects in Sydney will impact on the city’s future business events growth, and the need for the city to collaborate and innovate to capitalise on opportunities.
“On top of creating economic value for the State through tourism receipts, business events provide a platform for knowledge exchange and innovation, build networks, and encourage trade and investment,” Mr Stoner said.
“The NSW Government is committed to delivering a world class exhibition and convention centre and will continue to support the business events industry that delivers a difference to both the economy and to people’s lives.”
Mr Jon Hutchison CEO of BESydney said in congratulating the Government on their initiative, “With the significant infrastructure development and renewal slated for Sydney, it’s important that we as a city understand the value of the opportunity created.”
“Sydney is a world leader. We are ranked the #10 global business events destination, and hold the #2 position in the Asia Pacific region. This is a remarkable achievement. Despite competing cities investing heavily in infrastructure and supporting bids, the underlying talent existing in Sydney shines through. A top five global ranking is entirely possible,” Mr Hutchison says.
“Despite what some may think, Sydney has not lost its mojo and Sydney’s world standing will be a strong base for growth in the future. It is up to us, all of us, to capitalise on this.”
“There are exciting plans on the drawing board, and underway, including the refresh and redevelopment of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and Darling Harbour precinct, the much discussed Barangaroo project, the refurbishment of Star City and other great new projects.
“These developments are essential for Sydney to maintain its place as a leading international host city for corporate, professional and association conferences and exhibitions.
“The timing is right. And there is an immense opportunity for Sydney to make the most of a significant shift taking place in the world congress and meetings environment.
“Not only is Asia growing at an astounding rate, but business events are also growing rapidly both in volume and size. And the implications for Australia and Sydney are significant.”
Facilitated by The Hon. Bruce Baird AM, Chairman, Tourism and Transport Forum, international speakers included industry leaders from Vienna, London, Amsterdam, Seoul and Australia.
Mr Samuel Koo, Chairman, Culture and Tourism Committee, Presidential Council on Nation Branding, former CEO of Seoul Tourism Organisation and former Foreign Ministry ambassador for cultural cooperation said, “When bringing important events to our cities, we must make sure that the event has added value for the participants, the city and its residents.”
The long-term vision and appeal of a city is also important. It is my firm belief that the password to the future success of our industry is collaboration.”
Mr Martin Sirk CEO of International Conference and Congress Association (ICCA), echoed this saying “It is vital government, academic, business leaders and the meetings industry really get together as a strong team, putting together common strategies, building them into the long-term development, inward investment, and educational strategies of the city.”
Professor Roy Green, Dean of the Faculty of Business, University of Technology of Sydney highlighted how business events provide opportunities for collaboration that is essential to creating Sydney’s knowledge-based future.
Professor Green said, “Treasurer Wayne Swan said that we need to leverage the boom to build a broader economy with education as the principle driver of prosperity. That means building productivity. Innovation is key to making this happen. And innovation is driven by collaboration, not silos.
“Innovation requires the exchange of ideas, skills and passion. Business events provide opportunities to network and collaborate locally and globally.”
Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research, who spoke today about future trends for conventions and the Convention 2020 study, said “As an industry we need to maximise the economic impact of meetings beyond visitor spend. We need to work together to demonstrate that the meetings sector is a critical contributor to the knowledge transfer process in industries that will drive long-term economic development.”
BESydney, a partnership between the New South Wales Government and the tourism industry, promotes Sydney as a business events destination, identifies new event opportunities and competes to bring these events to Sydney. This financial year, BESydney will secure business events that are expected to generate more than $200 million for the economy.
Mr Martin Sirk, CEO of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) talks about the importance of holding business events and how Sydney has jumped 17 places in the recent ICCA global rankings.
Mr Christian Mutschlechner, Director of Vienna Convention Bureau, speaks about how Vienna is one of the top global business events destinations.