Business Events Australian: A look into the future

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In a recent conversation at AIME 2024 with Robin Mack, the Executive General Manager of Commercial & Business Events Australia, he shared his insights on the current state and future of business events in Australia.

Rob expressed optimism about the future of business events, highlighting their importance to Tourism Australia’s leisure and business sectors. He noted that business event customers spend significantly, contributing to 74% of the visitor economy.

But the impact of these events goes beyond the economy. Rob emphasized the legacy these events leave behind, such as the medical breakthrough that occurred in 2018 at a congress held in their precinct, leading to the establishment of an education centre space.

Rob also highlighted the innovative spirit of Australia’s business sector. He mentioned that they always look for ways to do things differently, ensuring that incentive groups or business schools are always surprised and delighted.

Australia has consistently excelled in attracting and hosting prestigious international sporting events, a testament to the exceptional skills of our event planners. Their innovative approach, meticulous attention to detail, and unwavering commitment to excellence are evident in every event, setting a global benchmark in sports event management.

A Decade of Sporting Events

Looking ahead, Australia is set to host a series of major sporting events over the next decade:

T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 (completed)
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 (completed)
British and Irish Lions 2025
BMX World Championships 2026
Men’s Rugby World Cup 2027
Netball World Cup 2027
T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2028
Women’s Rugby World Cup 2029
Brisbane Olympics 2032 (and Para Olympic Games)

These events showcase Australia’s capacity to host world-class events and provide opportunities for the business events sector to shine. As the country gears up to welcome athletes and fans from around the world, the business events sector will undoubtedly play a crucial role in ensuring their success.

The focus is not just on winning the business but also on servicing it. This involves embracing global trends mirrored in their sector, such as sustainability and personalization.

When asked about the growth of the event industry in the next two to three years, Rob was confident. He mentioned they are looking forward to exceeding their targets this year, with some markets already showing positive signs.

Anecdotally, the sentiment is very positive. Business centres are busy, and the pipeline for new business is strong. One key measure of this pipeline is their business programme; a venture programme started in 2018 to support the industry in winning bids to get international events to choose Australia.

In terms of inbound business, China was mentioned as a significant contributor. However, Rob quickly pointed out that while China is important, they focus on a mix of 15 markets, including the US and the UK. This diversified approach allows them to tap into the opportunities from each market.

Rob continued our dialogue by elaborating on the significance he attributed to market diversity within the business events industry.

Additionally, Rob covered the subject of air accessibility. He said the recovery of incoming seats to Australia is proceeding rapidly, with some countries having already surpassed pre-pandemic levels. He articulated a sense of optimism regarding the future, stating that we are only a few months away from reaching 101% capacity of seats on May 24 (this figure is used as a global indicator). China schedules indicate that 169 weekly flights from 14 cities will return this month, representing 86% of seat capacity.

When asked about the impact of travel costs on decision-makers in the business events sector, Rob acknowledged the challenges but remained optimistic. He believes that despite the shifting landscape and inflationary pressures, things are moving in the right direction.

Finally, when asked about Melbourne’s success in staging events, Rob praised the city’s ability to host major events. However, he quickly pointed out that the quality of events across the country is high, reflecting the attention and care put into their organization. This quality is something that overseas planners often commend when they host an event in Australia.

In conclusion, Australia’s future of business events looks bright, with a strong focus on innovation, service, and a diversified market approach.


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