Held in June 2014, the convention had an estimated economic impact to New South Wales (NSW) of $62 million. The event attracted global attention for the association’s key cause, the worldwide eradication of the Polio disease, in part through high profile media coverage of its awareness campaigns.
Rotary’s campaign awareness event broke a double world record for the largest bridge climb on Sydney Harbour Bridge with 340 participants waving 278 flags. This turnout eclipsed Oprah Winfrey’s world-record climb in 2011. Money raised from the Rotary climb was matched by the Bill Gates Foundation and BridgeClimb Sydney donated 50 per cent of the proceeds from their ticket sales. These contributions have helped to protect 240,000 children from Polio.
The record-breaking climb is Rotary’s most successful media event ever.
The climb received international coverage on NBC (US), BBC (UK) and via news agencies across China, Belgium and Ireland. Overall, the convention received over 250 media mentions, and a video clip showing a Channel 7 Sunrise host interviewing Convention Chair Mark Maloney prior to his climb, attracted over one million views.
Last night’s Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) awards were jointly accepted by Australian Rotarians including the Host Organising Committee Chair Barry Thompson, Rotary Down Under Executive Director Bob Aitken and on behalf of Business Events Sydney (BESydney), General Manager of Event Delivery, Robyn Johnson.
Thompson highlighted the benefits of working with BESydney, along with the many Sydney stakeholders, to help deliver such a successful and high profile event.
“Working with BESydney to deliver the 105th Rotary International Convention was a fantastic experience that supported us to deliver a truly world-class event which generated international headlines.
“We’re so pleased the event has been recognised with these three MEA awards that bring further awareness to our ‘End Polio Now’ campaign. These achievements would not have been possible were it not for our partnership with BESydney. They are an innovative and experienced team who understand how to deliver an amazing event experience,” said Thompson.
Johnson confirmed Rotary will now automatically progress to the National MEA Awards.
“We’re pleased that the 105th Rotary International Convention took out awards for the Association or Government Meeting of the Year, for Corporate Social Responsibility and also in the Education category in the NSW MEA awards. We’ll be looking forward to the National MEA Awards in May and are hopeful that this highly successful event may be celebrated further. This is one of the most successful conventions that Sydney has ever hosted, recognised with high profile global media coverage, a large number of attendees and an estimated $62 million contribution to our economy,” said Johnson.