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ISSUE 65 / ConfErEnCE & MEEtIngS World / 31Olympicstestament to the more than 5,000 events held annually in the Park," said the Park's Business Events Manager, Danielle Hoare. "During 2010 the Park played host to some 11.7m people and this compared to a visitation of 4.6m during 2000." Of these,it hosted some 2,200 business events with one million delegates visiting annually. Since 2000 these venues have hosted the Rugby World Cup, World Master Games and annual Sydney Royal Easter Show, which claims to be the largest annual event in the southern hemisphere. In January 2011, the Acer Arena and Sydney Showground jointly hosted over 9,000 Amway China delegates on an incentive conference.The Games could have left Sydney with a huge event deficit if its potential had not been acted on. Providing the city with much needed meetings infrastructure and international exposure, the Games enabled to city to unleash its meetings potential. SydnEy'S olyMpIC gradUatIon CaME at thE tUrn of thE 21St CEntUry. So hoW haS thE bUSInESS EvEntS lEgaCy froM thE CIty'S grEatESt EvEr MEEtIng farEd 11 yEarS on?And the winner is.Known as the Games of the New Millennium, the 2000 Sydney Olympics was only the second time the event had been held in the Southern Hemisphere.The city hosted 10,651 athletes covering 300 events and in total, Sydney's Games cost AU$6.6bn (US$6.92bn) with an economic impact of $3bn. Despite this figure New South Wales (NSW), where Sydney is situated, attracted $600m in new business investment and $6bn in post-Games infrastructure and service contracts. Australia also greatly enhanced its business profile with $6.1bn worth of international exposure. "The 2000 Olympics have had a huge impact on international perceptions of Sydney, particularly as an events destination," said the Director of Marketing and Sales at Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Amanda Anker. "Our efforts to market the centre have been boosted enormously by the spectacle associated with the Games."Bid Leader for the Sydney Olympics and Business Events Sydney (BESydney) Ambassador, Rod McGeoch, said the Games highlighted new dimensions of Sydney that many would never have seen or imagined."The Games not only focussed the world's attention but, it proved our ability to deliver events, our infrastructure, technology and our can-do attributes," said Head of Business Events Australia, Penny Lion. "Sydney's Games saw our organisers become our greatest export and an important drawcard in luring international events to our shores."According to the 2010 International Congress and Convention Association rankings, the city hosts more than half of all business events held in Australia. For 2011-17, BESydney has secured 136 business events; business that will generate in excess of $600m in economic impact. "These results are, of course, not solely attributed to the Olympics," said McGeoch. "However, the legacy is one that money cannot buy, and one that no doubt has immeasurable benefits." One such legacy is the investment in meetings infrastructure. McGeoch said: "The Olympics reinvigorated interest in the destination. This was valuable for incentives, where it is all about offering staff once in a lifetime experience."The Olympic Park construction created 10 venues, as well as four hotels. Accor hotels, which operates four in the Park, claims they have some of the highest occupancy rates of any hotels they manage in Australia. "This is a Sydney attracted $6.1bn worth of international games exposure