WITH numerous world-class facilities and a thriving, accessible domestic and international airport, Events Queensland CEO John O’Sullivan believes Brisbane could become the nation’s corporate events capital.
Already regarded as one of Australia’s top three corporate destinations, the city could overtake Sydney and Melbourne to sit at the top of the tree in years to come.
O’Sullivan cites the government’s Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre’s success in securing a series of international conferences that will bring 6000 leading medical, science and allied health experts from around the world to Queensland in coming years.
“Business events are a very important part of Queensland economy overall and contributed $700 million to the state last year, according to Treasury. These events help to fill up the calendar and help bring business people to the city,” says O’Sullivan.
“Figures show corporate visitors have a 5:1 larger spend (ratio) than leisure tourists, and we also know that visitors who come to the state on a business holiday are much more likely to come back with their families for leisure.”
The six major conferences Brisbane will host in coming years are expected to be worth $18m and the city had to fight off a number of other major international destinations to hook them.
It got bragging rights over Sydney when it beat the NSW capital to secure the 2016 International Water Association World Water Congress and Exhibition, which will attract about 3000 visitors and deliver an economic boost of close to $11 million.
“The city has certainly got the potential to be a leading destination. It has got all the backing and venues there to do that and we can make an aggressive push to target those international association meetings,” says O’Sullivan.
Queensland has a bumper calendar of events in 2012 and on top of the pure economic dividends they pay, they also have valuable marketing and social benefits.
After a tragic year affected by floods, the value of the community spirit generated by events can’t be underestimated.
“We found that after the floods, local communities in Queensland were very keen to see their events go ahead. It was a very symbolic thing, that life was returning to normal and life was going to get better,” says O’Sullivan.
Corporate events play a vital role for Queensland’s tourism industry, attracting people to the state who spend plenty of money at traditionally quiet times of the year. To read the entire Conference Venue & Events Guide 2012, get your copy of the February issue of Brisbane Business News - out now at a newsagent near you.
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