Sydney hosts the finals series of the AFC Asian Football Cup in January 2015, and in February the city will also welcome the world’s cricket elite for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

Business Events Sydney (BESydney) CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said the two international events will provide the meetings and events industry with a unique business opportunity.

“I can’t think of a more spectacular way to reward your best staff, or VIPs, than with a premium, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend a globally significant event in one of the world’s favourite cities,” Ms Lewis-Smith said.

“These international events provide great opportunities for Australian and international firms to identify potential business partners. We applaud Austrade, our national trade body, and its extensive business matching and networking program that will run alongside these international events in Australia and throughout the region.

“As Australia’s major event capital, you won’t find a more comprehensive program of sporting, cultural and creative events than Sydney for a truly outstanding delegate experience.”

“In 2013, Sydney was voted the world’s best festival and events city for the third consecutive year – and for good reason! There is always something happening in Sydney and beyond, and the state’s major event calendar provides a plethora of authentic experiences, at little or no cost.”

One-off highlight events are supported by a healthy annual calendar of major sporting, cultural and creative events that take place year round.

“The major event calendar is a huge drawcard for international conferences and incentives of all sizes and includes annual favourites such as Vivid Sydney, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest festival of light, music, and ideas; Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi Beach; Good Food Month; and the largest lunar New Year celebration outside of Asia,” said Ms Lewis-Smith.

“Vivid Sydney, for example, has proven to be very popular among international guests and over the past few years we’ve actively encouraged the business events we’ve secured to align their programs to these landmark events. This allows delegates to enjoy an immersive experience in our city, while also exposing some of the world’s leading professionals and academics to our local intellectual capital.

“Last year, six international events secured by BESydney were held alongside Vivid Sydney and this year an estimated 18,000 delegates from the 105th Rotary International Convention will be just some of the global visitors taking part in the festivities.

“With an expansive array of team-building options, venues and major attractions set against one of the world’s most dynamic and comprehensive calendars of annual festivals and celebrations, there is no limit to what is possible for an incentive program in Sydney.”