How can Australia’s events industry fulfill its potential?Posted on April 18th, 2018 in Industry Insight
Australia is growing in popularity every year as an international destination for events of all kinds.
In the latest ICCA Country and City Rankings, Australia rose to 14th place worldwide as a destination for business events and 10th in Asia-Pacific. In the city stakes, Sydney rose from 41st to 26th due to the greater number of international events held last year and the satisfaction ratings of delegates.
Australia has plenty to offer visitors attending business, cultural and music events, but there are still significant barriers that are causing some event decision makers to look elsewhere.
What do event organisers think about Australia?
Tourism Australia recently interviewed 550 senior company managers in 10 major overseas source markets to get their opinions on how Australia fares as an event destination.
Perception of the country was high across the board. Compared to 45 competitor destinations worldwide, Australia placed first in the areas of:
- safety and security
- quality accommodation
- food and wine
- clean cities
- friendly event staff and citizens
- ease of visa process
- climate, attractions and world-class beauty
It took second place for business event facilities, exclusive experiences and proven performance after the USA and was second in value for money after China.
While Australia is popular with decision makers the world over, it has the highest approval among respondents based in China, India, Indonesia, New Zealand and Singapore, who are more likely to have attended Australian events due to their closer proximity.
What are the barriers?
While Australia is certainly well-equipped to host international events of all sizes, Tourism Australia surveys have also identified the major obstacles that are holding the local events industry back from reaching its full potential.
The two major barriers to entry are:
- Distance – Australia’s isolation in the southern hemisphere offers exotic appeal, but the cost and time involved in travel are the biggest deterrents for eventgoers. Those who do make the journey tend to extend their stay beyond the conference.
- Knowledge gaps – while many Australian industries are highly regarded internationally (such as the healthcare sciences), there is also a perception that the nation doesn’t produce or attract world-class business leaders. International delegates were also often unaware of specific corporate events taking place in Australia.
How can these barriers be broken?
While distance will always be a factor for attendees outside the Asia-Pacific region, the events industry and intermediary agents are expected to increase promotional activities to help close the knowledge gap.
The corporate events industry has also received a financial boost through the creation of a national bid fund that offers $12 million over the next three years to support local association and exhibition events. This will see the number of events increase and should raise Australia’s profile even further on the global stage.
Learn from the events industry experts
A new two-day conference coming to Sydney in 2019 is gathering event managers from across the industries to hear the latest developments and inspiring talks from internationally acclaimed keynote speakers.
The Business of Events takes place from 7–8 February 2019 at Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park. The event will also include activity workshops and highly-targeted networking opportunities.