Australia84 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 65Australia is a pioneer in terms of its ambassador programmesceo of fast future research, rohit talwarin Australia. "There is no single driver for Australia's growing success and increasing prominence. Relative isolation and fierce internal competition have driven innovation and a remarkably strategic approach to industry development. At the same time there is strong collaboration in the industry."He added Australia was the first country globally to undertake a rigorous nationwide study of the benefits of BE 'beyond tourism'. This work has demonstrated the true long-term economic benefits of bringing in events from the knowledge-based industries.Key players in Australia have also demonstrated a strong commitment to learning from and sharing with the global industry. "Australia typically sends significant delegations to key industry events such as the ICCA Congress and leaders from Australia play a prominent role in leading associations, for example, Leigh Harry, the former CEO of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre was the chair of ICCA and is currently chair of the Joint Meetings Industry Council," he added. Despite the impact of major global events in the first two quarters of 2011 such as natural disasters in Queensland, the New Zealand earthquake, Chilean volcanic ash cloud and economic downturns in the US and Europe, Australia has seen a strengthening of its dollar and an upturn in BE arrivals. With a more whole-industry approach to attracting those lucrative association and corporate events and the necessary infrastructure, Australia shows it is a meetings powerhouse down under. Lion said: "Australian destinations are putting hard work into signing and servicing business from international markets and the results are showing." New South WalesConvention bureau BESydney has announced a $7bn infrastructure development programme for the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Star City Casino and waterfront greening project, Barangaroo.The $550m redevelopment of the Sydney Entertainment Centre (SEC) at Darling Harbour includes the new Sydney Multifunctional Convention and Entertainment Centre. The SEC will be demolished for the new facility, which will increase space to 40,000sqm and add an auditorium for 12,000 delegates. The project is expected to be completed by 2015. VictoriaThe Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau claims its recently-released Melbourne Convention Delegate Study 2010 reinforces the city's reputation as Australia's Business Events capital.The study looked into the spending and travelling habits of 3,270 delegates from 87 countries, attending eight conferences. It found international delegates spent an average of $4,134 during their stay in Melbourne, $2,205 in regional Victoria and $3,618 in other parts of Australia. Australian Capital TerritoryPlans for a new $328m convention centre in Canberra have been approved. Canberra Convention Bureau's Chief Executive, Robyn Hendry, said: "The local BE market brings in almost one billion dollars each year."The Australia Forum complex will have a capacity for 3,000 delegates, a 1,500-seat ballroom as well as an onsite hotel. Land on the shore of the Australian capital's Lake Burley Griffin, beside the West Basin at Acton, has been earmarked for the site.State updatesSouth AustraliaThe Adelaide Convention Centre's $350m expansion plans are expected to generate a further $1.92bn in economic impact over the next 25 years. The first stage, extending the facility westwards will be completed in time to host the World Aquaculture Conference in May 2014. Stage Two will replace the existing Plenary Building with a multipurpose facility with capacity of 3,500 delegates and is scheduled for completion in June, 2017.QueenslandThe Government has announced a $6.3m capital injection for the Cairns Convention Centre. The makeover will include new AV and communication equipment, upgraded WiFi and sustainable features.A $40m expansion of the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre is due for completion in late 2011. It will provide 19 new meeting rooms and two speaker preparation centres, two dedicated conference floors and two tiered auditoriums. It has also established a dedicated BE unit in Events Queensland to support international bids. Northern TerritoryThe Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB) has rolled out a new strategic programme to maximise business opportunities arising from the NT's strong business and industry connections in such fields as Oil and Gas, Renewable Energy and Health. As part of this the NTCB has formed partnerships with cross government departments to jointly attract new business to the area such as participating in trade missions with the Department of Resources to China.
TAKE YOUR THINKINGTO AWHOLE NEW PLACE. There's just something about Australia that changes the way you think. At fi rst glance you might think it's the stunning natural settings likethe Swan River or its unique meeting locations. But organise an event here and you'll soon discover it's something far deeper. A rich history of cultural freedom and innovation has helped Australians think differently for over 40,000 years. More recently, our fresh and imaginative approach has ensured the success of world-class corporate and association meetings, rewarding incentives and unrivalled global events.So if you're after an event that will inspire new ideas, deliver real business results and return on investment, look no further than Australia. To get your clients thinking differently visit businessevents.australia.com