The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) officially opened Business Events Week 2015 - a week-long showcase of the business events industry across conferences and meetings, exhibitions and incentive reward travel - with a media conference strongly supported by its industry leaders.

Now in its third year, Business Events Week 2015 is building on its past success and broadening this year's focus to a national perspective; delivering a platform to profile the Australian national business events industry.

MCB's Chief Executive Officer, Karen Bolinger, said that whilst the significance of business events to Victoria was clearly demonstrated in 2014 with the World Cardiology Congress, the 20th International AIDS Conference and the World Cancer Congress - delivering almost 30,000 delegates to the city and an estimated economic contribution of more than $179 million - it was important that the Bureau supported the industry in raising the profile of business events on a national scale.

In breaking news at the media conference Matthew Hingerty, Chairman of Business Events Council of Australia (BECA), launched the first report in a decade on the Australian business events sector; presenting research demonstrating that the business events sector is a major driver of the national economy.

The study titled, The Value of Business Events to Australia was commissioned by BECA, conducted by the global research firm EY and co-funded by the Australian Government under the T-QUAL Grants program and the business events industry.

"A key finding of the research reveals the huge number of people participating in business events compared to other major public events," said Matthew Hingerty.
"The significance of our sector is evident when the numbers show that 37 million people attended more than 412,000 business events held across Australia in 2013-2014 and provided 179,357 jobs."

Ms Bolinger concluded, "Business events is a quiet achiever but this new report from BECA, with support from the business events industry, presents a very strong business case to government and industry stakeholders to continue to increase its support and investment in the sector."

Business Events Week, an MCB initiative, is a week-long program of activities showcasing the value of business events to Australia in driving economic development, creating jobs, opening up trade and investment opportunities and fostering knowledge exchange.

For further information on Business Events Week or to conduct an interview with Karen Bolinger please contact Nicole Beasley, or for an interview with Matthew Hingerty contact Felicity Zadro.