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Global accolades put spotlight on Sydney: DMAI, MEA and ICCA recognise harbour city as leader and innovator

Sydney has been shining in May with Business Events Sydney (BESydney) achieving top industry honours in leadership and marketing with Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) respectively, and the city rankings in the International Conference and Convention Association’s (ICCA) top 20 global business events destinations.

BESydney was the inaugural recipient of DMAI’s Humanitarian Award, which was presented at the IMEX Academy Awards. DMAI established the award to recognise a destination marketing organisation that has demonstrated significant leadership and support of its community.  

Speaking at the ceremony in Frankfurt, Michael Gehrish, President of DMAI, said, “The award recognises BESydney’s perseverance and efforts that serve as a pillar in driving the evolution of the destination; impacting the destination brand to its local community and inbound visitors.

“BESydney’s Beyond Tourism Benefits research proved that the international norm to evaluate the lucrative business events sector in tourism terms alone, overlooks perhaps the most valuable legacies – the many educational, intellectual, trade and investment outcomes from business events,” he said.

“These efforts have helped showcase events as valuable knowledge economy drivers, as well as tourism drivers, which have a vital role to play in the government’s aligned economic development strategy.”

CEO of BESydney, Lyn Lewis-Smith said, “BESydney has worked extremely hard over the past few years to increase the understanding of business events and their legacies, and to continually build on the credibility and standing of our industry both here in Australia and globally. Receiving this inaugural award is one of the highlights of 2014. It is an honour and a privilege to be recognised by one of our leading global associations.”  

This month, BESydney was also named Australia’s leading metropolitan destination marketing organisation and awarded the coveted ‘MEA Hall of Fame’ status after securing the award for the third consecutive year at this year’s MEA National Industry Awards.

The Metropolitan Destination Marketing Organisation category celebrates innovative and sound marketing practices within organisations that are charged with showcasing and profiling destinations, both nationally and globally. The MEA Hall of Fame recognises entrants who have been successful in their category over three consecutive years.

Accepting the award, BESydney General Manager Event Delivery, Robyn Johnson, said, “I am honoured to be part of an exceptional global team that works tirelessly to promote the benefits of meeting in Australia’s premier business events city. Sydney boasts some of the world’s best event facilities, natural landscapes and local talent. We are lucky to be charged with marketing a destination that is – to borrow from one of our ambassadors – as multidimensional as it is multicultural.”

BESydney also proudly acknowledges the achievement of its Strategic Partner Doltone House, who also achieved Hall of Fame status in this year’s MEA awards.

In addition to BESydney’s recent wins, Sydney has cemented its place as Australia’s premier place to meet, exchange ideas and invent the future, taking out top places in the latest ICCA Country and City Rankings. Sydney retained its leading position as Australia’s number one business event destination and was ranked in the world’s top 20 cities in 2013.

“Rankings such as this are important to Sydney’s overall reputation as a leading global event destination and we are thrilled to have secured our spot among the world’s top 20,” said Ms Lewis-Smith.

“Sydney is renowned for high-quality research institutions and universities, strong local professional bodies and innovative thought leaders, and events held here certainly create valuable opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration with peers, global talent and entrepreneurs.  

“We also measure our success in terms of strategic impact – how are we helping to achieve broader economic and social objectives for NSW and Australia. We work hard to align the events we secure with key sectors and also other major events.

“Our recent DMAI Humanitarian Award is a lovely bookend to our ICCA rankings. We value the global recognition that comes from the ICCA rankings and we also know that our efforts to continually improve and evolve are helping Sydney to remain competitive and contributing to the future of our industry.”

These recent achievements round out a busy and successful month for the bureau that included the launch of its new brand Sydney Shines, the release of its new delegate expenditure methodology, the release of the Future Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI) global research results, and the announcement of 11 events secured for the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney.

BESydney has now turned its attention to Sydney’s nomination for the 2014 World Travel Awards, the travel industry’s version of the Oscars. Sydney has been named a finalist for ‘Australasia’s Leading Destination’ and ‘Australasia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination’.

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