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Conference Monitor unveils Australia’s most popular MICE destinations

The reopening of the International Convention Centre (ICC Sydney) continues to be a significant drawcard for national conferences.

Sydney has pushed well ahead of Melbourne and Brisbane as the most popular destination for professional association conferences for the 2017/18 financial year, according to new aggregated data from conference sales platform, Conference Monitor.

Of the conferences tracked by Conference Monitor from July 2017 to the end of June this year, 433 conferences were held in NSW up by around 22% from the previous financial year. This equated to about 214,000 delegates attending conferences in NSW in the last financial year, or about a third of the total number of delegates (624,000) who attended all conferences tracked by Conference Monitor.

Conference Monitor director, Matt Baxter said the reopening of the International Convention Centre (ICC Sydney) continues to be a significant drawcard for national conferences and the refurbishment works on some key venues is also adding appeal to the harbour city.

β€œIt will be interesting to see if Sydney continues to be the darling city for associations in the coming years,” Baxter said.

β€œI expect that when refurbishment programs on venues in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Melbourne finish, more conferences will be drawn away from Sydney. Further venue investments in regional cities, along with marketing would also lift the profile of these destinations for conference organisers that traditionally host events in the capitals.”

For the 2018 financial year, 329 professional association conferences were held in Victoria and 322 in Queensland.

New Zealand is popular for medical conferences

As well as being the most popular overseas destination for Australian professional association to host conferences, New Zealand was also the most popular off-shore country for healthcare and medical association conferences.

The country hosted 26 of the 39 conferences tracked by Conference Monitor that were held overseas during the last financial year and 15 were healthcare medical sector events, the largest being the RANZCP 2018 Congress by the Australasian Musculoskeletal Imaging Group (AMSIG) attracting 1,400 industry professionals to the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre.

The healthcare and medical sector generated the most professional association conferences in Australia, with 416 taking place in 2018, according to CM data. The advertising/marketing sectors and the education sector are the second and third biggest generators of conferences in Australia.