October 20, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant Program has opened this week, offering academics and professionals from across industries in Brisbane up to $5,000 to attend international conferences which could be brought to Brisbane in future.

The grant program offers up to $30,000 in total funding and is managed by Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA).

Those applying for a grant should do so with the intention of supporting a bid to bring their target conference to Brisbane in the years ahead.

Since launching in 2017, the Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant has netted six successful conference bids for the city, with an economic impact of $7.5 million. The program is also responsible for bringing in 79 new bid leads with a healthy number still in play, stocking Brisbane’s business events pipeline.

“Conventions and business events are vital pillars of Brisbane’s economy, with more than $113 million in economic impact through bid wins in 2019,” said BEDA CEO Anthony Ryan.

“Business events bring together industry leaders and experts from around the world, providing an incredible opportunity to exchange industry knowledge and expertise.

“Brisbane is the ultimate global business events destination, with world-class hotels and facilities, an enviable outdoor lifestyle and the brightest minds across key industries, all on the doorstep of Australia’s greatest natural wonders,” said Ryan.

The Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF), held last month at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) for 1,500 Australian and international delegates, was the result of one of the first Trailblazer grants, handed out to Tom Allen, founder and CEO of global social impact media agency Impact Boom, who attended the 2018 SEWF in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“Back in 2017, Impact Boom recognised this really strong opportunity to find a catalyst, like the Social Enterprise World Forum, to help us grow the sector in Australia, to develop and to see the business-for-good movement thrive,” Allen said.

“We’ve come a long way in those five years, and it was both a joy and an honour to facilitate an amazing convergence of thought leaders, experts and authentically passionate collaborators from across 90 countries in Brisbane.”

The current round of Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant closes on February 26, 2023.