Business Events Sydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith
Business Events Sydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith
Business Events Sydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith

Business Events Sydney’s (BESydney) partnerships across the city and state have helped the organisation to secure events that will contribute over AUD$400 million to the New South Wales (NSW) economy up to 2023.

At its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held this week (Oct 22), BESydney reported outstanding results for Sydney and NSW between 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2015, despite challenging times with the convention centre redevelopment at Darling Harbour.

Chairman Col Hughes said the bureau had secured 113 events, worth over $318 million; and delivered 113 events, which had contributed over $251 million to the NSW economy in the period. To date, BESydney has secured a total of over $400 million in business to be delivered in the next eight years, which includes over $200 million in business secured for International Convention Centre Sydney, announced by NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres today.

Hughes acknowledged the role of collaboration and, in particular, BESydney’s ongoing efforts to connect government, business, academia, and the local event tourism sector in the company’s overall success. Highlight events in 2014 and 2015, such as the 105th Rotary International Convention and the 6th IUCN World Parks Congress both achieved higher than forecast numbers with the help of major supporters across the city. While, major wins, such as the Amway China Leadership Seminar 2017 and Sibos 2018, wouldn’t have been possible without the whole city behind the bid.

“We are privileged to be backed by a broad cross-section of Sydney and NSW partners – the NSW Government, City of Sydney and of course numerous private sector supporters – that understand and value our sector, and share our passion for making Sydney one of the world’s greatest places to meet,” Hughes said.

“I commend Lyn and her team for taking a leadership role in the community. They have succeeded in moving the conversation about business events beyond the bounds of the tourism sector and into the realm of social community benefit to harness broad and valuable support for business events in this city.”

BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith added that the company was encouraged by what it had achieved over the past 18 months and would continue to focus on strategies that delivered value for both its clients and partners, and cemented Sydney as a place that was inventing a better tomorrow.

“Business events are critical drivers of social change, scientific discovery, medical advancements, and so much more. Working across sectors, we take our role seriously as advocates for the sector, locally and globally, and will continue to strive for a future that wholeheartedly embraces business events as integral to our economic and social wellbeing,” she said.

“We are proud of the partnerships we’ve fostered over the past few years. This hasn’t happened by accident or good luck. Our industry research, of which we released two new studies in 2014 and 2015, is critical in giving us a solid basis for demonstrating our value beyond the tourism sector and drawing value for our clients from a much richer community of champions and supporters.

“We also released our Sydney Shines brand in May 2014, a departure from traditional approaches to marketing destinations in the business event landscape, and along with it, our magazine that brings Sydney’s stories of ingenuity and imagination to life, uncovering the rich and diverse fabric of the State’s creative, commercial and cultural capital and one of the world’s top 25 places to connect, collaborate, discover and shape the future.”

Confidence in the company’s ability to achieve tangible outcomes for the city is high, as illustrated by last week’s announcement (16 October) that the City of Sydney would fund the company for another three years after achieving a 90 to 1 return on its initial $1.5 million investment during 2014-16.

BESydney also advises that Deanna Varga, Assistant Director Commercial and Visitor Services at the Australian National Maritime Museum, was elected to the available Member Director role at the AGM. Hughes welcomed Varga’s appointment and thanked retiring Member Director, Shelley Roberts, Executive Director Aviation Services for Sydney Airport, for her tenure.