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Mice Asia Net : October 2008
business events australia Column by Joyce DiMascio Head of business events australia tourism australia cSrstrategies Corporate SoCial reSponSibility is crucial in business events. Qantas Destination SA’s official luncheon took place at the Adelaide Convention Centre on the final day, with delegates and exhibitors joined by government officials and key industry stakeholders. South Australia’s Minister for Tourism and Education, Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, gave an enthusiastic address to guests, drawing particular attention to South Australia’s green credentials with regard to hosting major business events. Indeed, the Adelaide Convention Centre places significant emphasis on its own green credentials. The centre actively backs the ‘trees for life’ campaign and has implemented a native tree growing project that offsets its environmental footprint creating healthy, functioning ecosystems. This is supported by a number of other proactive initiatives, including a worm farm designed to ‘self compost’ the centre’s food waste. Centre CEO Alec Gilbert, commented on how such initiatives make South Australia such an attractive option for convention organisers. “The Adelaide Convention Centre is proud to sponsor the venue for such a worthwhile event for South Australia. Promoting a green convention centre in a green city is a powerful combination, further establishing Adelaide’s reputation as Australia’s convention city,” he said. The 2007/8 was another successful year for ACTA, with the organisation confirming 41 future conventions this financial year with more than 25 per cent international in nature. These events will bring a projected 110,000 bed nights to the state with an estimated economic impact of $90 million. In terms of estimated economic impact this figure represents a growth of almost 80 per cent in comparison to the level of business secured three years ago. ACTA continues to perform strongly in relation to competing bureaux, and to this end were delighted to be recognised by Meetings and Events Australia (MEA), as the most efficient and successful marketing organisation/bureau in its sector for 2007/8. ABOVE: Dorothy Hu (Wyeth Pharmaceutical Shanghai); Priscilla Sun (Astra Zeneca Shanghai); Sidd Ketkar (ACTA); Valerie Yee (Dynasty Travel Singapore), Vaiva Kubilius (ACTA); Felicia Teng (The Meetings Lab Singapore). successful business events, it is encouraging to see the Australian business events sector delivering on both fronts. At Business Events Australia’s recent global team and industry meeting, a chorus of reports from the Asian, European and North American markets stressed the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices to the business events sector. US clients are demanding creative, socially responsible ‘green’ experiences, while in Europe a raft of new environmental and social initiatives is pushing the CSR envelope. According to Conference & Incentive Travel Magazine’s Agency Survey in February, more than three quarters of conference and incentive agencies in Britain now have a formal CSR policy in place. Across the Asian markets, ‘green’ issues are slowly but surely becoming a major focus. Asian companies are seeking out CSR-based experiences, recognising the unique environmental heritage that Australia offers. There are many well-known natural drawcards in Australia for business events. Increasingly these experiences are being developed to meet accredited standards of eco best practice. Tourism Australia is one of the first national tourism offices in the world to embrace this opportunity by conducting a national CSR audit of Australia’s business events sector. The aim is to identify Australia’s growing portfolio of ‘responsible’ product and operators. Business Events Australia has also released details of billions of dollars of new infrastructure. The business events sector is set for a huge boost as A$3.7bn worth of new infrastructure comes to market. Turn to page 46 for further details. This new and expanding portfolio of product will continue to provide our clients across Asia with more reasons to keep considering Australia for your next business tourism event. And each time you choose Australia, we will aim to deliver an authentic premium event which will inspire and reward delegates. W miceAsia.net 13 ith the success of the Beijing Olympics, environmental issues and event infrastructure are squarely in the international spotlight. As critically important issues to