Brisbane – Australia’s New World City

9th May, 2019

During HQ’s visit to AIME 2019, we indulged in coffee and tasty brownies as Juliet Alabaster (General Manager, Business Events at Brisbane Marketing) updated us on Brisbane’s success story, latest developments and wins.

Jesús Guerrero Chacón reports

Juliet AlabasterHow does Brisbane, a desirable tourism and meetings destination, collaborate with its stakeholders, business clusters and scientific community to attract more international events?

As Brisbane’s Economic Development Board, Brisbane Marketing works collaboratively with Team Brisbane partners including the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) to attract international association conferences. BCEC has been internationally recognised as the World’s Best Convention Centre 2016-2018 by the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC). Back in April, during the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) Evolve 2019 National Conference, BCEC was awarded two accolades, the industry’s top accolade for venues, winning the Meeting, Exhibition or Event Venue – Capacity more than 500, and a ‘Highly Commended’ in the Banqueting & Catering category.

This partnership is backed by key strategies which have further strengthened the city’s reputation for conferences in the medical, education, technological and scientific fields.

The first key strategy is already running as part of the Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan, which recognises business events as an important contributor to Brisbane’s economy. The Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant is a program for local talent who work and live in Brisbane and are interested in attending international conferences. The successful applicants of these grants, coming mainly from universities and research institutions, can then become local hosts and help attract the same international conference to Brisbane. This strategy has already proven to be a success with Brisbane landing a congress following the first round of the grant 2018. Brisbane Marketing and BCEC worked with two grant recipients to bid for the International Peptide Symposium 2021, which will attract over 650 national and international delegates to Brisbane.

In celebration of this year’s Global Meetings Industry Day on April 4, we announced seven more researchers who will share in AUS$30,000 funding as part of the 2019 grant program. These deserving recipients of the grant will help to attract new association conferences to Brisbane for the first time.

The second key strategy is the Advocates Partnership Program run by BCEC, which celebrates the expertise of local researchers and leaders, who are top of their respective fields. The remarkable advocacy and achievements of these local experts help grow international relationships and attract international conferences to the city. A good example is the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) Annual Meeting in 2021. It will be the first time this American association will bring its event outside of North America, attracting over 1,000 scientists to Brisbane.

Juliet, can you let our readers know more about the 2022 New World City Action Plan?

The New World City Action Plan was launched in 2015 as a blueprint for the Brisbane’s economic growth toward 2022 and beyond. The Plan outlines a range of priorities to drive this growth, including recommendations to build our business events industry.

One of the recommended actions is to achieve a consistent ranking in the top 50 global ICCA rankings by 2022 as a result of hosting at least 40 international association meetings per year. This will push our ranking by showcasing to the world Brisbane’s expertise and key strengths. Another recommendation is to attract 600,000 delegates days a year by 2022.

What are some of the biggest upcoming events to Brisbane this year?

2019 will be a big year for Brisbane in terms of business events. Together with our partners, we secured 70 conferences for the city, which will attract around 34,800 delegates. Some of the events taking place this year includes:

  • 38th Annual Meeting of the Intl. Association for Impact Assessment 2019

  • SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques

  • International Air Transport Association Slot Conference 2019

  • Australasian Sonographers Association Annual International Conference 2019

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Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.