Sydney speaks up at the IMEX Politicians’ Forum

| May 29, 2012

Business events, as part of an aligned economic development strategy, can be a resource for achieving government objectives, say The Hon Nick Greiner AC, Chairman of Infrastructure NSW, and Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of Business Events Sydney.

Presenting on this topic at the IMEX Politician’s Forum in Frankfurt last week, Ms Lewis-Smith and Mr Greiner addressed approximately 100 business events leaders, including 30 politicians and government officials.

“Business events as part of an aligned development strategy can benefit our economies, industries and communities. To maximise the impact of this, a whole-of-government approach is essential. We all need to be on the same page, focusing on the same goals. This is something we are championing in New South Wales,” says Mr Greiner.

“A great example of this is the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct development worth around $1 billion. To be completed in late 2016, the 20-hectare integrated precinct will provide a meeting place for all – locals and visitors alike – in the heart of Australia’s global city. Overseeing the project, a public-private partnership, Infrastructure NSW is drawing on expertise and collaboration across government and industry to deliver a world-leading convention centre. It will host events that will contribute to both NSW’s knowledge and visitor economies.”

Ms Lewis-Smith said, “We have recent research that shows how business events deliver benefits beyond the tally of tourism receipts. They create opportunities for global networking, trade and investment, information exchange and innovation, all of which can contribute to increased productivity. These far-reaching and long-lasting benefits are valuable for the future growth and development of communities, regions and countries. We need to recognise and measure the impact of these other benefits as much as we need to measure the visitor economy impact.”

Mr Greiner added, “Quality of data and measurement is very important. So is explaining to constituents how major pieces of infrastructure contribute to overall economic growth and the health of the state. We know that NSW attracts almost 50% of business travellers who come to Australia. What’s also important, above and beyond the number of visitors, is the value that they contribute. We need to tell the full story.”

Ms Lewis-Smith agreed saying, “Credibility, measurability and accountability should be three things any leading industry should strive for in the data they gather. Robust information means we can share a deeper understanding of our industry and its commercial context. It also ensures we keep up with emerging trends.”

Ms Lewis Smith added, “Mr Greiner’s participation with me in the Politicians’ Forum was a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the NSW Government’s commitment to cementing Sydney’s position as a world-leading business events destination both now and in the future.”

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