Sydney’s Change Agenda Empowers Associations to Meet with Purpose

Business Event Sydney (BESydney) and International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) have been leaders in business events for 65 years combined. BESydney has been at the forefront for 55 years, while ICC Sydney has been pioneering for the last 10 years. Their leadership extends beyond just hosting events; it focuses on the broader purpose and impact of business events.

BESydney is building on 10 years of research into the benefits of business events beyond tourism. This includes knowledge transfer, talent attraction, and direct foreign investment. ICC Sydney is also expanding its Legacy Program every year, helping clients deliver meaningful events that consider sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially for First Nations Peoples.

Sydney’s dedication to impactful business events has earned it prestigious rankings. The city secured 25th place in the worldwide ICCA city rankings and ranked 6th (ICCA) and 3rd (CVENT) in the Asia Pacific region. These accolades highlight Sydney’s prominence as a global business event destination.

Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of BESydney, emphasized the global responsibility in delivering business events. She highlighted the role of BESydney and ICC Sydney in facilitating events with purpose, social impact, and knowledge exchange. Their goal is to create a foundation for change that can grow globally, aligning with their “Change Starts Here Agenda.”

Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, reflected on a decade of achievements. He noted that some of their greatest accomplishments include connecting the community to the world, welcoming diverse delegates, and offering world-class services. Their proudest moments involve making a difference to visitors and businesses, sharing Australia’s First Nations story, and prioritizing sustainability through various initiatives.

Together, BESydney and ICC Sydney have established great trust with international organizations. They strive to push boundaries and have challenging conversations about the industry’s future. Business events bring together key stakeholders who can influence legislation and solve significant issues like medical and climate challenges.

Research by ICC Sydney with McCrindle indicates that associations need to evolve as delegates’ requirements change. Social impact outcomes are becoming a standard expectation rather than a nice-to-have feature for delegates.

BESydney also aims to advance the industry globally. In 2023, they partnered with PCMA Foundation to research advancing women in business events. The study aimed to address the discrepancy where 70% of the workforce is powered by women, but only 30% hold leadership positions.

Lewis-Smith challenged the industry to create leadership opportunities that reflect the workforce. She stressed the importance of working together as a global industry to solve significant challenges, emphasizing that real impact is achieved through collaboration.

In 2023, BESydney tested a new framework for impact with the FDI Dental Association during its conference at ICC Sydney. The results were discussed at the IMEX Association Power Hour session. This was one of many events showcasing the significant impact of BESydney and ICC Sydney.

The Sydney WorldPride Human Rights Conference, another event supported by BESydney and ICC Sydney, delivered groundbreaking results. These results continue to influence funding, legislation, and awareness globally.

BESydney and ICC Sydney are tapping into Sydney’s core strengths to use business events as a tool to solve global challenges. BESydney’s Impact Strategy will be released in Q3 2024.

Through ICC Sydney’s strong relationships and international brand equity, they have secured 1,126 events for 4.7 million attendees by 2034. This collaboration with BESydney and other agencies positions them as leaders in purpose-driven business events.

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