With more destinations than ever chasing high value business events, Auckland is looking at ways to ensure it remains competitive on the world stage.
According the Oxford Economics report, The Global Economic Significance of Business Events, globally business events generated $US621.4 billion of direct GDP and contributed a total GDP impact (global gross domestic product) of $1.5 trillion.
The study found that globally business events generate more than 10.3 million jobs.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) General Manager Destination Steve Armitage says that while it’s no secret that business events deliver significant economic impact not enough is being done to measure the value beyond this.
“Our global competitors are far more sophisticated in not only measuring the economic value of business events but are capturing data to show the long-lasting impacts hosting business events can have on a city,” he says.
“Every delegate is a potential return visitor, an expat bringing their talent across, or connection for local businesses. In Sydney, they are surveying their delegates to a level where they can show that a percentage of those international delegates who attended a conference there then ended up moving to Sydney as a result.”
The New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC), due to open in October 2020, will be the country’s largest purpose-built convention facility and is providing a platform for Auckland to compete for larger scale events.
“The addition of NZICC and other new convention centres opening up around New Zealand means there’s an exciting opportunity ahead to realise the true value of business events, but we need robust data to help measure our success,” says Armitage.
“This will be one of the key focus areas in the months ahead for the Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) and part of the increased data driven approach outlined throughout the Destination AKL 2025 strategy.”
Destination AKL 2025 was launched a year ago, setting a new direction for Auckland’s visitor economy which sees the industry working together to ensure Auckland is better off economically, socially and environmentally.
With this new strategic direction, more energy and resources are being put into pursuing business events, including leveraging the advantages of ACB’s position within an economic development agency to deliver a multi sector approach.
“We are more focused than ever on maximising this valuable sector,” says Armitage.
“We are leveraging the opportunities within ATEED to facilitate and promote targeted industry growth sectors and to help grow the regional economy, but we need to continue to sharpen our focus and be more targeted.
“Our competition is being more systematic about the types of business events they are looking to win for their market. Our story needs to go beyond the quality of our welcome and our manaakitanga to connect delegates to our economic story and how we enrich each other.”