This special article explores how the Brisbane Convention Bureau is utilising the city’s major events to help conference and incentive organisers create unforgettable delegate experiences.
If you were in Brisbane last month, chances are you witnessed the city in celebration of science and the arts. From 22-26 March, World Science Festival Brisbane delivered inspiring discussions and entertainment on everything from artificial intelligence to renewable energy and medical breakthroughs.
Held annually in New York city since 2008, the World Science Festival first came to Brisbane in 2016, with the city holding exclusive rights as its Asia-Pacific headquarters. That inaugural year attracted more than 120,300 attendees and injected more than $5 million into the Queensland economy.
As a strategic partner of the festival, the city’s economic development board – Brisbane Marketing – is encouraging conference, meeting and incentive organisers to consider the benefits of aligning with major events of this calibre.
“World Science Festival Brisbane is quickly becoming a favourite on the Brisbane event calendar, and is befitting of our city’s reputation as an Asia-Pacific hub for expertise in the fields of science, technology and medical research,” said Juliet Alabaster, Acting General Manager of Brisbane Marketing’s Convention Bureau.
“This year’s five-day program featured 138 scientists and more than 115 events, from in-depth panel discussions to interactive experiments, musical performances, and even live turtle-hatching.
“Scheduling a science or arts-themed conference to take place in Brisbane during the festival can provide many value-adds, not least the opportunity to access thought leaders and keynote speakers.
“Providing discounted tickets or VIP meet-and-greet opportunities can also drive delegate attendance and create an unforgettable experience. Our Convention Bureau team can assist with all of these opportunities.”
To demonstrate this, the Convention Bureau hosted a group of Australian and international associations, event planners and academics on a five-day familiarisation during this year’s World Science Festival Brisbane.
The group attended highlight events including the festival’s opening night screening of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, with score performed live by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra with the Australian Voices choir.
“When they weren’t attending festival events, the science theme continued with an educational tour of one of Australia’s most successful medical research institutes, QIMR Berghofer, and a visit to one of the world’s largest digital interactive learning and display spaces, The Cube, located at the Queensland University of Technology,” Ms Alabaster said.
“The group was also familiarised with our city’s world-class conference and events spaces, hatted restaurants, and year-round cultural attractions and outdoor activities – all the elements that make Brisbane a competitive business event destination.”
One month prior to World Science Festival Brisbane, the Convention Bureau ran a familiarisation designed around a major event of a different kind – the inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens.
Partnering with Business Events Australia, the team hosted eight New Zealand meeting and incentive buyers during the inaugural tournament, which featured two days of fierce competition between all 10 Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby clubs and four elite international teams.
The group attended a star-studded Brisbane Global Rugby Tens gala dinner and revelled in the electric atmosphere of an all-New Zealand grand final at Suncorp Stadium.
“These exciting events showcased how the tournament can be leveraged to engage key delegates and sponsors, or reward high-performing employees,” Ms Alabaster said.
“We were delighted but certainly not surprised when our post-famil survey revealed that all buyers were more likely to consider Brisbane as a destination for a future incentive or corporate meeting.”
With Brisbane’s event calendar bursting with major events covering science to sport, music, food and the performing arts, Ms Alabaster said there were countless opportunities to align with something spectacular.
“Brisbane is a city where there is always something happening,” she said.
“Aligning with a major event, whether it’s a science festival, a sporting tournament or a museum exhibition, can create that unforgettable delegate experience that we know is so critical to the overall success of a conference or business event.”
To learn more about aligning your conference, business meeting or incentive program with a major event in Brisbane, contact the Brisbane Convention Bureau today.