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Councillor Angela Vithoulkas Question on Notice



The City of Sydney continues to support Business Events Sydney and business tourists are reported to spend 6.5 times more per day than leisure tourists in Sydney.

What are the major conferences, seminars and workshops to be held in Sydney during 2016?

How many of these are being sponsored or supported by the City?

If business tourists are 6.5 times more valuable than leisure tourists, how are business tourists informed about local businesses, markets and precincts?


23 business events secured by Business Events Sydney are scheduled for 2016, based on currently available figures.

However, as the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour will still be under construction during 2016, there are only two significant events where the delegates are staying in the CBD:

  • Amway Taiwan Leadership Seminar 2016 (incentive group) – arriving 24 March for 4 days staying at The Star. Approximately 1,300 delegates will attend and this group is estimated to have $6.5M economic impact (EI). EI is new money to Sydney and does not include airfares or registration fees to attend the conference.
  • Nu Skin Greater China Success Trip (incentive group) – arriving 1 April for 4 days staying at a range of luxury hotels across the CBD. 8,000 delegates are expected to attend this incentive tour and their EI is estimated to be in excess of $50M.

When the International Convention Centre opens at the end of 2017, there is an increase of conferences scheduled. Major conferences include:

  • Amway China March 2017 – 5,000+ delegates.
  • Institute of Internal Auditors July 2017 – 1,600 delegates, EI $5.3M
  • World Chamber of Commerce September 2017 – 1,000+ delegates
  • International Bar Association October 2017 – 4,000+ delegates, EI $14M+
  • AIPPI Intellectual Property October 2017 – 2,000+ delegates, EI of $6M+

The City does not directly sponsor these major international conferences and incentive groups. Instead, the City supports Business Events Sydney who then support these events. The City of Sydney supports Business Events Sydney with their bids to secure these events through a funding agreement. This agreement has been in place for three years (valued at $1.5million) and is currently being renewed for a further five years, also for a value of $1.5million.

The City may be asked from time to time to provide use of Town Hall for a welcome event or a special gala dinner, with all hard costs covered by the conference organisers.

In addition to the funding agreement, the City offers limited support directly to conference organisers (for profit organisations) through the Commercial Creative and Business Events sponsorship program and the Knowledge Exchange Grant program, which are governed by the City’s Grants and Sponsorship policy and guidelines. Examples of events supported in this way include CeBit (Sydney) 2015 – 2017 and SydStart 2015.

In order to connect business tourists with local businesses, markets and precincts, the City sits on the Business Events Advisory Committee Sydney (BEACS) which meets regularly to assess the pipeline of conferences coming to Sydney. Other members are Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Sydney Airports Corp, Destination NSW and Business Events Sydney.

For the two major conferences with a CBD impact scheduled for 2016, the committee partners are working with the conference organisers to understand delegate needs and identify ways to welcome the groups and provide unique retail-focussed ‘money can’t buy opportunities’.

In addition, information is distributed to the business tourists through a variety of channels including:

  • Inclusion of The Official Sydney Guide in every delegate’s welcome pack. This guide is produced by City of Sydney, Destination NSW and SHFA.
  • Distribution of The Little Book of Sydney Villages guide. This is produced by the City of Sydney to highlight local business and includes maps and stories of places to go.
  • Welcome messages to delegates including CBD street banners, Sydney Airport welcome signs, digital signage within major shopping centres such Westfield Sydney, QVB and David Jones. These shopping centres also brief their tenants about the conference and provide visual references so retailers can proactively welcome guests into their stores.  

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