Australia – At the launch of Business Events Week 2014 during the official media conference yesterday, the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) revealed findings of the Melbourne Convention Delegate Study 2013 which highlighted the significant increase in the value of international conferences to the state’s economy.

CEO Karen Bolinger spoke of a 28-per-cent increase in the expenditure of international conference delegates compared to MCB’s 2010 study, highlighting that the spending habits of international conference delegates make business events “one of the highest yielding sectors in Australia’s visitor economy”.

The study revealed that the majority of international delegates polled were first-time visitors to Australia, and half of them would not have visited the country had they not been attending a conference in Melbourne.

There is also an increase in the percentage of international delegates coming from Asia, which grew from 39 per cent to 49 per cent since the 2010 study. Over half of all delegates polled indicated that they had visited regional Victoria and/or other parts of the country pre- or post-conference, while 28 per cent were accompanied on their visits to Melbourne.

The Melbourne Convention Delegate Study 2013, now in its fourth edition, was commissioned to examine the conference delegate experience in Melbourne and the economic value driven from their attendance to the state’s economy. It covers the period May to December 2013 and contains data gathered from 3846 surveys completed by delegates from 150 countries who have attended five major international conferences in Melbourne.

Business Events Week is a MCB initiative comprising a week-long programme of activities showcasing the value of business events to Australia. The centerpiece of the week is the 22nd Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME), which began today at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre with more than 3800 attendees from 29 countries. This year’s AIME has promised greater value for attendees and exhibitors, with new initiatives including dedicated support for first-time exhibitors and buyers, tour leaders for Chinese hosted buyers, an expanded AIME educational programme, and more.

Read about AIME and Business Events Week in the April-May 2014 edition of micenet ASIA.