Embracing opportunity in Brisbane

Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) general manager of tourism, business and major events, Lorelle Chittick, shares how Brisbane is thriving and what that means for business events.

As one of Australia’s fastest-growing capital cities, we’re seeing incredible opportunity for business events to be part of this momentum. 

Lorelle Chittick.

Constantly evolving

Brisbane has really transformed over the past decade and as a business events destination, we’re seeing our offering of venues, accommodation and delegate experiences also evolve with new and exciting developments.

With major infrastructure projects nearing completion, a host of exciting events and conferences secured, and several new precincts with new hotels and hospitality openings, the city has never looked better for business events – there is this energy that can be felt across the city, with something new for delegates to experience each visit.

New developments

There’s a $14 billion infrastructure pipeline transforming Brisbane and strengthening the region’s business events capabilities. These include Queen’s Wharf, Brisbane Metro, Cross River Rail, and the Victoria Park redevelopment, not to mention Brisbane Airport’s new parallel runway enhancing air access.

The $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf integrated resort development will contribute new and diverse product for business events when it opens next year. It will elevate our offering, with more than 1,000 premium hotel rooms, a 2,000-square-metre ballroom catering for up to 1,900 (cocktail), over 50 new dining experiences and 7.5 hectares of public space.

This city-shaping infrastructure will be a major drawcard for securing national and international business events for our city.

Forging a path towards 2032

Our selection as Host City for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games also recognises Brisbane’s trajectory, while acknowledging our capacity to deliver the world’s largest sporting event in a way that is both sustainable and leaves a lasting positive legacy.

We expect to see business events in our key industry sectors accelerate in the lead-up to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as an increasing global spotlight shines on Brisbane.

Brisbane is a hub of health and medical research, pioneering a number of world firsts. The MedTech sector has gained a global reputation for world-changing innovation with a growing number of companies achieving excellence in their field, and we expect to see this sector continue to flourish over coming years. Recognition as the Host City certainly contributes to our international profile and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attract more business events to Brisbane than ever before, particularly in advanced manufacturing, education, business services, logistics, tourism, property, and construction.

Dynamic convention precinct

Brisbane’s convention precinct has evolved and really come of age as one of Australia’s most idyllic locations to host a business event. Set amongst 17 hectares of riverfront parklands with tranquil rainforest walks and swimming lagoons, delegates can enjoy an energetic dining scene, with both new and well-established bars, cafés and restaurants. We continue to hear just how much delegates love this inner-city oasis, which is home to Australia’s most awarded convention centre – Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre – Australia’s largest Gallery of Modern Art, and the city’s performing arts centre and museums.

We also often hear that delegates are pleasantly surprised to experience just how easy it is to get around this precinct and explore the city more widely, as it’s walkable and extremely well connected. Delegates can embrace our outdoor lifestyle and easily access Brisbane’s many buzzing entertainment and dining precincts nestled along the river via the waterfront walking tracks and pedestrian bridges.

Sustainability leads

As a destination, we’re committed to proactively encouraging sustainable business events. Brisbane has been recognised as one of the world’s greenest cities and we’re leading the way in sustainability. In the 2022 Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDSI), we’re proud to have achieved an 8.4 percent increase since entering the index in 2019, with BEDA achieving significant improvement in the destination management organisation category.

Brisbane was also recently awarded a silver certification in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Cities Program, which lists 17 aims for the world’s cities to strive for, including empowering women and girls, providing affordable and clean energy, and ensuring responsible consumption and production. Brisbane is now one of seven cities in the world to be accredited by the United Nations, and the first in Australia.

We’re one of Australia’s top three clean air cities, with more Green Star-rated buildings than any other Australian city, and our council is the largest carbon neutral government organisation in Australia, demonstrating just how committed we are to sustainable business practices.

The future looks bright for Brisbane

We’re looking forward to harnessing the opportunities this growth trajectory brings to our city and we’re feeling very confident and optimistic for the future. Pent up demand is driving solid pipeline activity and the welcome return of delegates since last year.

At BEDA, we’re securing major international and national business events for future years and in partnership with the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, have already secured many significant events to reinforce our position as a global event city. These include the IAS Conference on HIV Science 2023, World Conference on Timber Engineering 2025, IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 2025, International Federation of Surveyors Working Week 2025, and International Population Conference 2025.

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