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Australia’s business events industry out in force at IMEX Frankfurt 2013

Tourism Australia and a delegation of 16 partners from the Australian business events industry will be in attendance at IMEX Frankfurt 2013 to showcase the country’s latest developments for meetings, incentives, conferences and business events.

Highlighting Australia’s ongoing investment in business events infrastructure and services is a key focus for the delegation, including the redevelopment of Sydney’s Darling Harbour precinct which will be home to Australia’s largest convention and exhibition facility when it opens in 2016.

The momentum with which the Australian business events industry is evolving is a major factor in the growth of key European markets said Penny Lion, Head of Business Events Australia – the specialist business events marketing arm of Tourism Australia.

“Business arrivals from the United Kingdom increased two per cent in the year ending March 2013, with almost 60,000 delegates travelling to Australia for a business event. These numbers show that Australia’s commitment to delivering professional events which are supported by first class service delivery and event infrastructure is paying off,” said Ms Lion.

With new developments taking place throughout the country, a round-up of some of the highlights that the Australian delegation will be sharing with IMEX attendees is detailed below.

Sydney grows for the future

Sydney is reinforcing its position as a premier destination for major international events with the development of the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney and the ICC Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour.

The new precinct will have the largest meeting space in Australia with 40,000 square metres of exhibition space spread across more than 40 rooms. Scheduled to open in 2016, the total capacity in the integrated precinct will be 12,000 delegates across four areas, including an 8,000 capacity red carpet entertainment venue. The precinct will also feature a new hotel with up to 900 rooms, alongside retail and food and beverage outlets.

To accommodate events during the development of the new precinct, an interim facility will be built at Glebe Island. From December 2013, Glebe Island will be available for exhibitions and trade shows during the three-year redevelopment of the Darling Harbour precinct.  The facility will offer nearly 30,000 square metres of fully serviced exhibition space on the shores of Sydney Harbour. Dedicated ferry and bus services will shuttle visitors between the facility, Darling Harbour and Sydney’s central business district.

Other major developments in Sydney include The Star’s new multi-purpose events centre, which boasts breathtaking views of Sydney harbour.  With the capacity to hold up to 3,000 delegates, the new event space accommodates all types of events from meetings, seminars, trade shows and exhibitions to gala dinners, cocktail function and ceremonies.  The venue is located on the rooftop of The Star above 20 signature restaurants, bars, cafes and the award-winning five-star boutique hotel and spa, The Darling.

Adelaide Convention Centre takes the lead with new technology

The Adelaide Convention Centre is utilising technology to streamline event planning and improve engagement with delegates. The venue is the first in Australia to offer touch screen technology that allows conference organisers to monitor their entire event from a single location. State of the art touch screens allow organisers to view all meeting rooms and foyer areas simultaneously to ensure their event runs to plan.

Adelaide Convention Centre has also installed web streaming capabilities in each meeting room, enabling delegates to participate in sessions regardless of their physical location. These developments are part of a wider A$350 million expansion of Adelaide Convention Centre, stage one of which is set to open in early 2014. The newly-expanded Convention Centre is central to the transformation of Adelaide’s entire Riverside Precinct into a vibrant business, sporting, cultural and social hub.

Investment in Brisbane attracts global leaders

With 7,000 delegates and media expected to gather at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in November 2014 for the G20 Leaders Summit, the city is rapidly growing in status as a leading destination for international conferences and business events.

Over $A88 million has been invested in refurbishments and upgrades to Brisbane hotels in the past financial year and a further $A36 million is marked for further development in 2013, demonstrating the city’s commitment to providing the international business events industry with excellent accommodation options.

Convention organisers will also benefit from new events infrastructure, including the $A59 million Royal International Convention Centre, an $A140 million expansion of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and the elegantly refurbished Brisbane City Hall, which caters for 1,600 guests.

Australia’s newest convention centre is open for business

Just a 15 minute drive from Brisbane international airport, the Royal International Convention Centre (RICC) has opened its doors, offering multi-functional and flexible event spaces which can accommodate up to 3,000 delegates. The 10,000 square metre two-level building features three halls, seven meeting rooms, two boardrooms and an open foyer space. In June, a landscaped plaza will be completed which will provide further event space. Unlike any other convention centre in Australia, RICC facilities are complemented by a range of indoor and outdoor venues including a 20,000 seat arena and large scale festival and amusement areas.

Melbourne makes a big impression on international buyers

Melbourne continues to be an aspirational destination for international business events buyers with 83 per cent of participants in the recent Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) 2013 pre-touring program indicating that they intend to bring a business event to the city or regional Victoria in the future.  Close to 180 hosted buyers and media from 25 countries participated in 13 tours which showcased the area’s business events infrastructure and natural attractions including the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island and the Yarra Valley.

Dreamtime 2013

Melbourne will also showcase its capabilities for doing business when it hosts Dreamtime 2013, Tourism Australia’s signature business events platform, in December.  International buyers and media will enjoy three days of Melbourne city activities, business sessions and networking events before participating in educational visits at destinations across Australia.

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