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August 26, 2008
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ANALYSIS:Sydney’s A$145m conference windfall




An impressive performance by the Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB) was revealed in its recently released set of annual results, meaning the Australian city will be welcoming 46,210 international conference delegates at events worth almost A$145 million to the local economy over the next six years.

In the year to 30 June 2008, the SCVB won bids for 37 international conferences, incentives and other business events, to be held in Sydney between now and 2014.

The wins include 10 events from the rapidly growing markets of Asia, which contributed A$29.2 million to the SCVB’s annual scorecard. The result is a significant increase on the 30 events secured the previous year, worth just over A$100 million and 24,960 delegates – and it will be interesting to see if the SCVB can maintain this momentum as the global credit crunch bites over the next 12 months.

 


Sydney: an impressive reputation



The strong result reinforces Sydney’s standing as a centre for international events, demonstrated last month when the city welcomed more than 200,000 pilgrims for World Youth Day.

SCVB managing director Jon Hutchison said the bureau had increased its bid success rate to an impressive 71% during 2007-08.

Strength of the brand
“Our success rate is consistently high and demonstrates both the strength of the Sydney brand and the strategic approach we take when securing events for our city,” he commented.

“Sydney undoubtedly remains one of the world’s most desirable cities and this is reflected in surveys around the world,” he continued. “Sydney also remains Australia’s leading conference city and one of the Asia-Pacific region’s most important meeting centres, which was again confirmed in the latest rankings by the International Congress and Convention Association.”

Among SCVB’s wins during 2007-08 are 12 large-scale events for 1,000 delegates or more. The largest is the World Conference on Lung Cancer for 8,000 delegates in 2013, an event worth A$19.2 million.

Other major events include the Asia Pacific Life Insurance Congress (8,000 delegates, worth A$15.6 million), the 2010 Golden Oldies Rugby Festival (6,000, A$11.8 million), the 2007 Bayer Schering Pharmaceutical Annual Conference (2,200, A$13.2 million) and the 2010 Annual World Congress of the Human Proteome Organisation (2,000, A$10.1 million).

Intensified push

The successful year comes as the SCVB mounts an intensified push into key markets in Europe and Asia, while expanding its operations in Sydney. As part of its partnership with Events New South Wales, the SCVB has embarked on a strategy to make Sydney one of the world’s top 10 conference cities and greatly increase the economic contribution of the city’s conference sector.

“Sydney has never before had such strong support for its events industry, created by a new unity among our city’s leaders in both government and industry,” said Hutchison.

He added that the new energy was evident in the SCVB’s strong start to 2008-09, with Sydney winning six bids in July for international meetings collectively valued at more than A$13 million.


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