This year marked 10 years since we changed our name to BESydney, having spent the previous 40 years as the Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau.
At the time, changing our name was a bold move. It challenged what we felt were outdated preconceptions about our industry, which was still seen primarily as a source of tourism and a way to fill a city’s hotels and attractions.
By rebranding and moving away from the language of tourism and conventions, we wanted to shift the focus onto the wider social, cultural and economic benefits that we knew global meetings delivered.
From service provider to strategic partner
Purpose guided us. Changing our name was just the first step on a journey that has seen us evolve over the last decade from a traditional convention bureau into a strategic bidding organisation and trusted independent advisor to our clients.
We started by doing our research.
Our ground-breaking Beyond Tourism Benefits research partnership with the University of Technology, provided the benchmarks we needed to illustrate the wider benefits of global meetings – including talent attraction, knowledge transfer and increasing a city’s global brand. And in turn, helped us move our conversations with clients to another level – beyond Bid Request compliancy and into impact and legacy they want to achieve with their meetings.
Looking to the future, day to day we are moving towards a digital-first approach to ensure that we are engaging with global decision-makers and influencers utilising their preferred platforms and formats.
The Asian markets on our doorstep continue to challenge every marketing convention. Skyrocketing smartphone adoption rates across our APAC region mean we’re seeing consumers turning to their mobile devices throughout the purchasing journey.
How long will it be before Bid Requests move onto social platforms like Weibo and WeChat? I suspect sooner than we ever thought was possible.
To position BESydney for the future, we also realigned our talent attraction focus to grow a team of dedicated sector experts in fields and industries where Australia, and specifically NSW, has the strongest capabilities and expertise to share with global audiences. We put a laser focus on identifying global meetings where this remarkable city and its people provide the environment needed to generate genuine progress.
And we enlisted a league of extraordinary Australians who not only opened their global networks to us, but continue to open our eyes to new and bigger ideas. The power of connections never ceases to amaze me, and our BESydney Global Ambassadors’ generosity of spirit is humbling.
A brand fit for the future
This year, as we prepared for our 50th anniversary year in 2019, we have taken another step forward, dropping the word events from our lexicon. BESydney doesn’t organise events – we partner with Australia’s best to do that: airlines, hotels, tourism operators, venues and an expert Professional Conference Organiser community that deliver memorable meetings.
We bid. We connect. We partner. We inspire.
The Journey Continues
In tourism terms alone, direct expenditure by business delegates attending events secured for New South Wales by BESydney has injected a conservative A$1 billion into the State’s economy in the past five years. This is a great endorsement for our strategy choices to date.
The last 10 years have been an exciting and challenging journey, and I have no doubt that the next 10 will be equally rewarding.
Don’t get me wrong, challenging the status quo can be uncomfortable. But when you do it with purpose, without bias, and with a clear view of the outcome, the momentum can carry you through.