thumbsup1It could be considered surprising that Australia climbed up the ICCA world rankings in 2014 for hosting international meetings when the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre closed down at the end of 2013. Australia went from a ranking in 2013 of 16, hosting 231 meetings, to 13 in 2014 with 260 meetings. Not bad Team Australia!


thumbsdown1The ICCA rankings outlined above are put together by the International Congress and Convention Association and have very specific parameters for meetings that are included in the results. Meetings must be held on a regular basis, have at least 50 delegates, and rotate between at least three countries. While Australia has clearly moved up the rankings, it should be noted that we are seeing a significant growth in Asian incentive business which, while they may have a meeting component, are not necessarily included by ICCA. In recent times companies including Amway, Tupperware, and Perfect China – all out of Asia – have held events in Australia with significant economic results. And there are definitely more on the way.


thumbsup1A number of convention bureaux around the country are mixing their general marketing activity with some more strategic programs focusing on specific industry sectors, and the Adelaide Convention Bureau is the latest to do so, hosting recently its inaugural Health and Medical Convenor’s Showcase (see pages 4-6). This was a great initiative and event. We can only hope that funding for medical and scientific research is maintained and hopefully increased in coming years to ensure that Australia is at the forefront of the sector. If that’s the case then we have no doubt that more business events will come Down Under.


thumbsdown1From one of our more experienced corporate meeting planners comes a rant about the price rises of a newly branded hotel’s in-house AV…

“I understand that when a new hotel company takes over, costs associated with re-branding and refurbishment does mean prices will go up. But by three times the previous rate it was just 12 months ago? A very well-appointed Sydney hotel should be careful with the prices its in-house AV supplier is quoting. And it seems to be a common trend at newly-refurbished hotels around Australia. Is it time to name and shame?”

Maybe it is dear reader!


thumbsup1We love a milestone and we love hearing about a birthday party, so it’s hats off to Tracy Wood whose company Funktionality celebrates 15 years in 2015 (see page 30). With a love for the events industry, a house heavily mortgaged, and high hopes, Tracy set about running her own show and creating a viable business and she’s certainly done that. Congratulations Tracy and the team!


Sydney-based Funktionality marks its 15th year in 2015 of creating award-winning corporate and special events.

Sydney-based Funktionality marks its 15th year in 2015 of creating award-winning corporate and special events.