LYN Lewis-Smith, chief executive officer Business Events Sydney
Building the nation through global meetings
BESydney is unique.
Not only in our name — having left behind the Convention Bureau title 10 years ago.
Not only in how we work — we only focus on attracting international meetings to Sydney, and position ourselves clearly for the expertise we bring as a strategic bidding services organisation.
But particularly in our perspective — the nature of the global meetings sector is strategic and future-focussed. BESydney and our global peers often find ourselves researching events years, and sometimes decades, ahead. The event owners — our clients — want to transform their industries. They are global industry and trade associations, and they want progress. So there is a real art to how we partner with them to show how Australia, and for us, specifically Sydney, can help them do that.
BESydney’s first research piece with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2010 explored the social legacies of international meetings, beyond the immediate boost to the local economy. Beyond Tourism Benefits focused on the ability these meetings have to develop a city’s prosperity and enhance its reputation. At the time, this Aussie research drove a whole new conversation in our sector globally.
Looking to shift the conversation again, we delved further into the elements that make meetings so valuable to the host city and country. Our research (now an entire series) has given impetus to a higher-level conversation around the long tail effects of meetings — their capacity to stimulate local industry and investment opportunities, to benefit professional development, and to grow our talent base and attract new talent from overseas. We are communicating to the world that international meetings are a country’s soft power asset in their own right.
In Australia we are blessed with an incredibly diverse tourism landscape that is on everyone’s wishlist, and the quality of our venues, event staff and suppliers is second to none. The tourism industry is our bedrock — stories of refurbishments, new products, travel options and unique experiences. It’s what attracts visitors to our beautiful city, and is key to servicing and accommodating the world’s leaders, policy makers and influencers who come to Sydney to meet. And, we have world-recognised industries and experts that conference attendees want to see and learn more from.
To BESydney, it’s a matter of getting the right combination of work and play, i.e. intellectual leadership and cultural assets. We are ambitious for Australia. We bring tourism, industry, government and academia together – collaborating so we can compete on the world stage, and win events that cement Australia’s place in the world.