The announcement comes off the back of last week’s NSW Government commitment to provide an additional $123.35 million, a 25 per cent boost, to the sector. Of that, $73.25 million will be allocated to making Sydney number one for major events in Australia.
“We’re proud to contribute to NSW and will definitely play our part in realising the government’s vision of making Sydney the number one destination for major events in the country,” said BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith.
“This commitment demonstrates that NSW understands how economies and communities can benefit from the high-yield business and tourism opportunities from hosting meetings and conferences. We’re excited about the redevelopment of Darling Harbour and International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney). And we are equally excited about the opportunities this additional funding could provide.
“Almost every bid that leaves our office carries some level of government support. This is testament to how we, our organisation and our industry, are valued as part of an aligned, focused economic development strategy.
“In addition to the economic impact, we want to drive the legacy – a broader success: the knowledge sharing between global colleagues that inspires new research agendas, the spark that ignites from meeting a global luminary, meeting new investors and new business partners, and more.
“If we want to build our knowledge economy then we have to build our international connections and global profile. All of this can be achieved, at least in part, through a healthy calendar of business events.”
In 2014, business events contributed more than $224 million in economic impact to the NSW economy from 78 previously secured conferences, conventions and incentive events held in Sydney. Over the past five years, events secured by BESydney have delivered an economic impact of almost $1 billion to the NSW and Australian economies.
“We have our sights firmly on the future and on securing business for the new ICC Sydney. It’s now less than two years before these world-class facilities will open their doors to the world and we are looking forward to welcoming the thinkers, discovers and leading global minds that will help to shape our future,” concluded Ms Lewis-Smith.
Already, more than 20 events have chosen to hold their events at ICC Sydney, including the International Bar Association Annual Conference and the World Chambers Congress in 2017 and Sibos and the World Congress of Accountants in 2018.
Ms Lewis-Smith and members of the BESydney team are currently at AIME showcasing the many reasons Sydney shines. She is also attending in her role as President of the Australian Association of Convention Bureaux (AACB) to champion a new Federal Government agreement and explain what it means for the industry. Recently, the Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP, recognised international business events as an integral part of the government’s economic diplomacy agenda and announced an historic new framework – Attracting Business Events to Australia: Role of Government Agencies.