Adelaide recently welcomed its largest international business event since the Covid-19 pandemic, welcoming 2,300 delegates from 17 countries for the World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education (WIPCE) 2022.
The five-day meeting, which took place in a hybrid format from 26-30 September, is described as the largest and most diverse Indigenous education forum in the world. A vast majority of this year's delegates travelled to Adelaide.
South Australia Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison, who attended the event, said WIPCE 2022 highlights the important value business events play in the state’s ongoing Covid-19 recovery.
“As South Australia’s visitor economy continues to rebound from the impacts of Covid-19, business events will continue to play a pivotal role,” she said.
The conference is expected to generate more than 15,500 bed nights for local hotels and contribute more than AU$11.3 million (US$7.3 million) in economic benefit to the state.
And it’s not just Adelaide that is seeing a return of international meetings.
The Darwin Convention Centre in the Northern Territory welcomed back international business events when it hosted the International Foster Care Conference (IFCO) 2022 with 600 delegates during 23-25 September, 84% who had travelled from overseas and interstate.
General manager of the Darwin Convention Centre, Peter Savoff, is confident of a rise in international conferences with his business development team currently seeing a strong increase in enquiries.
“We are increasingly seeing more and more associations considering Darwin as a host destination for international business events,” he said.
“As Australia’s northernmost capital city, the Darwin Convention Centre is well positioned, allowing easy access to attract delegates from across Australia and Southeast Asia.”
He said regular scheduled flights from Singapore and Indonesia provided international delegates with good connections to the city.
The city of Brisbane and the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) is also seeing growth in national and international business.
The BCEC hosted the 400-pax Don’t Forget The Bubbles paediatric meeting in late August, which included international attendees, and at last count had more than 70 new conventions on the books.
In mid-2023 the BCEC will play host to the World Mining Congress with an anticipated delegate attendance of in excess of 3,000, and it has just confirmed two large US-based conventions for 2024 and 2025 with delegate numbers of more than 8,000 combined.
The meetings are the Convention of Zonta International 2024 and the Baptist World Congress 2025. The events are expected to deliver AU$35 million in economic contribution.
The International Convention Centre Sydney continues to play host to a growing number of national and international meetings.
It was the first Australian convention centre to host an international meeting of significant size since the start of the global pandemic with the 20th International Conference on Soil Mechanics in May. The meeting had 836 in-person attendees and 502 attending virtually.
This conference was followed by the International Meeting on Lithium Batteries 2022 in late June with more than 600 attendees.