18 Oct 2018

Convention bureaux providing export opportunities for Australian SMEs

Convention bureaux are attracting a larger number of highly-engaged international business events to Australia, providing more opportunities to Australian small businesses, on top of those traditionally seen in tourism, according to the latest industry analysis.

The analysis is contained in the latest International Business Events Forward Calendar, which has been produced by the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB).

Since January 2018, there has been an 8 per cent increase in the number of international business events secured for the future by AACB members.

“We’re expecting more than a quarter million international delegates to attend these business events. To put that number into perspective, they would fill more than 530 Qantas A380s,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the AACB, Andrew Hiebl.

“Further, these business events will exceed one billion in direct delegate spend, surpassing previous forward projections.”

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said business events provide significant economic benefits with the average business events visitor spending at least twice as much as a leisure visitor.

“Business events inject millions into the economy and also support local businesses, create more jobs and ultimately enhance Australia as a tourist destination,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Several of these events are supported by Tourism Australia’s recently launched Business Events Bid Fund Program, which is helping to grow the business events industry in Australia. I’d like to congratulate the AACB’s members on the work that they do in attracting business events to Australia.”

International business events offer local businesses a great opportunity to capitalise on the traditional tourism benefits that business events bring to the community as well as other benefits beyond tourism.

“With half of the confirmed international conventions including a trade or exhibition component, Australian businesses are getting a chance to showcase their products to an international audience without having to travel around the world to do so,” Mr Hiebl said.

“Business events not only stimulate trade for those who would otherwise be unable to access these buyers, but they also promote innovation and the knowledge economy, and raise the profile of these Australian small businesses on the global stage.

“This outcome has been driven by the strength of Australia’s industry leaders who lead these bids and financial support put forward by the public and private sector – overlaid by the fact that Australia is a safe and highly desirable destination to hold an international event.”

“While these latest results are encouraging, the global market for business events is still highly competitive,” Mr Hiebl said.

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