Sunshine Coast to host best of business – Association of Australian Convention Bureaux

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The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) will hold their annual conference on the Sunshine Coast in August 2018, reinforcing the increasing importance to the region's economy, as one of the fastest growing business event destinations in the country.

The successful bid by Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) was announced today at the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"We are excited to be working with Business Events Sunshine Coast and keen to experience their hospitality as they host the 29th AACB Annual Conference", said Andrew Hiebl, CEO of the AACB.

"The AACB is proud to showcase its regional members, with the Annual Conference being held in regional Australia six times over the past decade. The Conference offers a unique opportunity for competing destinations to network, share ideas and work collaboratively to grow the overall business events market within Australia."

It is anticipated that up to 120 people will attend the Conference to be held for the first time on the Sunshine Coast from 12-14 August 2018. This includes representatives from city and regional business events destinations from around the country. The conference and associated functions will be held in Mooloolaba at host venues including Mantra Mooloolaba Beach.

Commenting on the successful bid, Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) CEO, Simon Latchford, said that hosting the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux was timely as the Sunshine Coast has gone from strength to strength as a popular destination for business events and incentive experiences.

"With business events estimated to be worth $40.8 million to the Sunshine Coast region, showcasing what our region can offer and collaborating with the best in the business makes good sense. Hosting a prestigious industry event such as the AACB Conference attracts high profile industry speakers and experts, providing a unique opportunity for knowledge exchange.

"Business events are the highest yielding sector of the Australian tourism industry with these visitors typically spending up to six times more than any other type of visitor. Accommodation choice tends to be 4-5 star and travel can be held year-round, mid-week or off-peak. In addition to stimulating further investment in the region, the conference or event often includes accompanying partner programs and it is estimated up to 40 percent of corporate visitors will return for a holiday.

"While we welcome future plans for a convention centre, in the interim we have proven not to be constrained by our location and facilities to host more high yielding 'briefcase & boardies style' business events. As a regional destination competing against the capital cities, we can offer the same level of service and innovation, but with the added benefits of the breath-taking landscapes and accompanying activities that you don't come across in a big city."

The conference win follows a string of successful bids by BESC including the Let's Talk about PTSD – A Community Conversation to be held in August 2018, United Nations and Overseas Policing Association of Australia Conference in October 2019 and the Australian Event Awards and Symposium to be held for the third year on the Sunshine Coast in September 2018.

About Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC)
BESC is the convention bureaux for the Sunshine Coast. It sits as a dedicated unit within Visit Sunshine Coast, the regional tourism organisation for the Sunshine Coast. BESC is a not-for-profit, membership based organisation and their role is to promote the Sunshine Coast as a viable destination for conferences, meetings and incentive programs.

About the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux
The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) is the peak Australian business events network driving economic prosperity for Australia. The Association brings together Australia's most influential city and regional bureaux, dedicated to marketing their specific region as premier business events destinations to domestic and international markets. AACB and its members represent more than 1600 tourism and events industry operators.

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