THOUSANDS OF DELEGATES VISIT CITY FOR CONFERENCES

THOUSANDS OF DELEGATES VISIT CITY FOR CONFERENCES

TWO major international conferences have exceeded guest expectations, with a surge of delegates to visit Brisbane this month.

The RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) World Congress and IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing are expected to attract almost 4000 delegates and exhibitors to the city.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says the number of patrons has eclipsed the combined target of 3000 for both events.

"Both conferences will bring in many international business visitors with the RCOG event attracting participants from 47 countries and a massive 90 per cent of ICASSP's delegates arriving from overseas," Cr Quirk says.

"These conferences will generate a combined economic impact of nearly $12 million for Brisbane, which is great news for our hotels, restaurants, venues and retailers.

"Business events are considered a high-yield sector with delegates spending on average five times more than the average international visitor and 46 per cent of them participating in pre and post event tourism."

Cr Quirk says the Brisbane Convention Bureau worked closely with conference organisers to boost numbers, organise travel discount for delegates and offer in-kind marketing support.

He says it also provides the opportunity to showcase the city's "excellent conference facilities" with Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) hosting both events.

BCEC general manager Bob O'Keefe says conferences of this calibre present a number of economic, knowledge sharing, investment and tourism benefits.

"BCEC works with local experts and organisations such as RANZCOG (Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) and the IEEE Queensland community to win these large bids for Australia and to ensure that it is Brisbane that reaps the benefits," O'Keefe says.

Delegates will also be welcomed through the 'Brisbane Welcomes the World' program, with volunteers providing visitors with a personal insight into the city's culture and attractions.

Picture: ICASSP volunteers get ready to welcome delegates to Brisbane.

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