The 29th Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Annual (AACB) Conference has kicked off on the Sunshine Coast.
The event theme, “The next wave: Exceeding tomorrow’s expectations” has attracted over 120 attendees – a record number and a who’s who from the business events and conference sector.
AACB CEO, Andrew Hiebl, said that Australia’s strongest business events competitors will come together on the Sunshine Coast to collaborate with the aim of growing the industry. “We will be hearing from local and international speakers with the future in mind, covering topics from destination storytelling techniques to the impacts of emerging technologies.”
Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) CEO, Simon Latchford, said the Sunshine Coast has gone from strength to strength as a popular destination for business events and incentive experiences and hosting the AACB event for the first time on the Sunshine Coast will demonstrate what the region can offer.
“With business events estimated to be worth $40.8 million to the Sunshine Coast region, showcasing what our region can offer and collaborating with the best in the business makes good sense. Hosting a prestigious industry event such as the AACB Conference attracts high profile industry speakers and experts, providing a unique opportunity for knowledge exchange.
“We welcome the recent announcement of a feasibility study into a new convention centre for the Sunshine Coast. A dedicated, multi-functional meetings and events centre would be a huge asset for the Sunshine Coast and would be a centrepiece for the new Maroochydore town centre.
“However, in the interim we have proven not to be constrained by our location and facilities to host more high yielding ‘briefcase & boardies style’ business events. As a regional destination competing against the capital cities, we can offer the same level of service and innovation, but with the added benefits of the breath-taking landscapes and accompanying activities that you don’t come across in a big city,” said Mr Latchford.
The prestigious AACB conference was secured by Business Events Sunshine Coast and is timely for the Sunshine Coast with the Queensland Government announcing last week a commitment of $700,000 to develop a business case for the Sunshine Coast Entertainment, Convention and Exhibition Centre via the Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program.
Delegates enjoyed a relaxed welcome function with Sunshine Coast style hospitality last night at new venue Pier 33 in Mooloolaba.