World conference rankings, new branding, new studies, and expansion plans… it was all happening in the business events industry in May.

CCA releases world rankings

Good and bad news for Australia and its key cities in the International Congress and Convention Association world rankings for 2014, with news that the country has moved into 13th place overall, hosting 260 meetings.

This is a move up the leaderboard from 16th place in 2013 when it hosted 231 meetings.

Sydney continues to be at the top in Australia but drops five places from 20th to 25th. Around the country results were as follows:

  • Sydney – 25th place (82 meetings)
  • Melbourne – 37th (61 meetings)
  • Brisbane – 67th (37 meetings)
  • Gold Coast / Adelaide – 152nd (16 meetings)
  • Cairns – 190th (13 meetings)
  • Canberra – 222nd (10 meetings)
  • Perth – 240th (nine meetings)
  • Hobart – 354th (five meetings)

Happy with the result was the Gold Coast Convention Bureau’s Anna Case who said the city had doubled the number of meetings in 2014 compared to 2013.

Top five countries were: USA, Germany, Spain, France and UK. Top five cities were: Paris, Vienna, Madrid, Berlin and Barcelona.

Asian incentives spend big

A study released by Business Events Sydney has revealed Asian incentive delegates are Sydney’s highest yielding delegate, outspending holiday visitors by an average of 6.5 times, and up to as much as 9.4 times.

The study – Asian incentive events in New South Wales: expenditure and retail impact –  follows BESydney’s 2014  investigation into measuring the accurate value of ‘new money’ to destinations that host conferences and is the latest in a series of research studies aimed at fostering credibility, transparency and accountability within the global business events industry.

Developed in collaboration with the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), the study analyses the corporate incentive market, with a focus on Asia.

To date, Sydney has welcomed 7600 delegates for corporate incentive events, worth a combined $36.9 million to New South Wales in 2015.

Melbourne centre expansion

The Victorian Government has allocated up to $210m to expand the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC).

The 2015-16 Victorian Budget includes provision for Stage Two of the MCEC which is expected to cost between $190-210 million and will create hundreds of jobs. The significant expansion will ensure Victoria will still boast Australia’s largest convention and exhibition space.

The project will add thousands of square metres of new exhibition space, more multi-purpose space, and links to the existing Melbourne Exhibition Centre and Melbourne Convention Centre.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, said upgrading the MCEC means more floor space, more corporate conventions, more overseas visitors and more jobs for Victoria.