The NSW Regional Conferencing sector is a key part of the broader NSW Visitor Economy, and has the potential to bring significant economic and employment benefits to regional NSW. The business events sector generates $290 million in delegate expenditure, additional visitor expenditure of $11.6 million from pre and post conference touring and the employment of more than 2,300 people.1
However, in the last decade the number of visitor nights generated for regional NSW by business events has declined. Regional NSW’s market share of the eastern seaboard (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) has been in decline, down from 13.1% in year end March 2007 to 11.5% in year end March 2017.2
The NSW Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan identified that for regional conferencing to grow and to prosper, a strategic approach and funded program was needed.
The NSW Government responded with the NSW Regional Conferencing Strategy and Action Plan 2017 – 2021 and the establishment of the Regional Conferencing Unit, within Destination NSW.
The NSW Government’s four-year plan will address the challenges facing the NSW regional conferencing market and maximise the growth opportunities. The Strategy and Action Plan 2017-2021 aims to build capability, improve NSW’s competitive position, stimulate demand and return the sector to growth.
The Regional Conferencing Unit will lead the implementation of the strategy, and support regional NSW to target opportunities, identify capability and undertake promotional activities to grow the market. Programs will be supported by NSW Government funding and assisted by additional co-operative investment from industry.
For the strategy to be successful, a collaborative effort is required between industry and local and State Governments. To that end, industry will be asked to support and jointly fund the marketing initiatives developed by the Regional Conferencing Unit, facilitate skills development and training, invest in product and infrastructure development and develop high quality conferences and events that will help build the reputation of Regional NSW as a preferred conferencing destination.
1 AEC Group, Regional Business Events Economic Assessment 2013
2 Source: IVS and NVS Y/E March 2017
Download the Strategy and Action Plan (PDF 1.9 MB)