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December 2, 2014

Australia Launches Federal Framework to Attract International Events

The Australian Business Events sector, reportedly worth more than $13 billion per year to the nation’s economy, received a major boost last week when the Federal Government entered into a formal partnership to assist the industry during the bidding and event delivery process.

The Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP, announced the historic new framework – Attracting Business Events to Australia: Role of Government Agencies, at the Australian Export Awards in Sydney.

Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP, with President of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux Lyn Lewis-Smith

The framework delivers on the Coalition’s pre-election commitment to support key international business events and strategically aligns the Federal Government, through Austrade and Tourism Australia, to work with Australian convention bureaux and the business events sector to attract world-class events to Australia’s shores.

RELATED: AACB, Deloitte Report on Australia's International Business Event Sector

“This has all come about with AACB partnering with Deloitte Access Economics,” AACB President Lyn Lewis-Smith told IMR. “We produced a document that showed the economic and strategic value proposition of hosting international business events in Australia, and from that, we created a policy platform and an industry action plan to assist the federal government and Austrade collaborate with us in three key areas: acquiring international business events, marketing and also leveraging—maximizing the productivity from the events sector that comes to Australia.” 

AACB President Lyn Lewis-Smith from International Meetings Review on Vimeo.

It is important, Lewis-Smith continued, for all parties to all be on the same page with this new policy development. Documentation from the Minister will go to all Austrade offices globally. “They will know that when the convention bureau office from Australia calls for support...that there is support there.” Letters of support from key governments and ministers are vital, she added, especially given the growth potential of key Asian markets. This support, she previously noted in a statement, will “ensure Australian convention bureaux are in the best-possible position to identify, bid for and win business events that align with the national priority areas and better connect industry, academia, government and the private sector.”

AACB Executive Director Andrew Hiebl noted that AACB member bureaux represent more than 1600 operators across the business events spectrum.

Australia’s business events sector is expected to reach more than $16 billion per year by 2020. High-yielding business events are integral in helping Australia reach tourism 2020 targets. Benefits of winning and hosting international business events are felt long after the last delegate leaves the country, resulting in greater economic prosperity for Australia.

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