The NSW Government is not just BESydney’s largest financial contributor, it’s also its biggest champion and this relationship continues to go from strength to strength.
The NSW Government was one of the first governments globally to recognise the broad and far-reaching benefits of hosting business events – their knowledge economy value. Using the results of our two-phase research study on the social benefits of hosting business events, beyond the tally of tourism receipts, BESydney achieved a paradigm shift both locally and globally in the way business events are measured and valued.
In NSW, business events are now viewed as essential drivers of both the visitor and knowledge economy, and are being embraced by the government as part of an aligned, and effective, economic development strategy. They are prized as powerful mediums for boosting trade and investment, profiling our local talent internationally, and facilitating international collaboration, network building and skilled migration.
Further, BESydney’s ability to demonstrate the industry’s contribution to a healthy knowledge economy, significantly influenced the government’s decision to redevelop Sydney’s convention and exhibition facilities, which was completed in December 2016. The International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) was part of a A$3 billion plan to revitalise Sydney’s waterfront at Darling Harbour and ensure the city’s business event industry remains globally competitive well into the future.
Working in partnership with government and industry, BESydney has already secured 23 international conferences, worth more than A$155 million and mostly aligned with the NSW Government’s priority sectors, for the new facilities.
What does this mean? Ultimately, the value of this wider understanding of the benefits of business events to Sydney and NSW is two-fold. Our local governments and industry benefit from the economic and social opportunities events bring, many of which previously went unnoticed, whilst Sydney’s competitive proposition is stronger as we demonstrate a true whole-of-city and whole-of-government approach to delivering on event objectives.
In Sydney, international conferences and professional meetings, particularly those in industries that align with our own competitive strengths, will enjoy enhanced opportunities to engage with government and connect and collaborate with world-leading expertise.
And these local achievements have provided the platform for us to engage with the highest levels of government in Australia to provide added value to events that visit our shores. In her capacity as Australian Association of Convention Bureaux (AACB) President, BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith led negotiations between the AACB and Australian Government, which resulted in an historic new partnership that recognises international business events as an integral part of the government’s economic diplomacy agenda. Attracting Business Events to Australia: Role of Government Agencies provides a framework for closer engagement and collaboration between Sydney and the Australian Government.