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The Business Events Assistance Program was launched in late 2017 and is already paying off for the Sunshine Coast, attracting two significant conferences for 2018/2019.

Facilitated by Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council; the support funding has assisted in securing ‘Let’s Talk About PTSD – A Community Conversation’ to be held in August 2018 and the ‘United Nations and Overseas Policing Association of Australia Conference’, October 2019.

Thanks to the vision and support from Sunshine Coast Council, we have been able to roll out the funding program allowing Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) to become more competitive in the business events space.

It is so encouraging to already see results from the program in a relatively short period of time. This confirms the system works and it is not just about winning the business but selecting the most appropriate events to raise the region’s profile; both as a place to do business but also as a leisure destination with 40 percent of corporate visitors returning for a holiday.

With applications for funding support to boost conferences, meetings and exhibitions until 2021, due to close on 1 March 2018; it is anticipated to attract keen interest from business event planners at this year’s Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) to be held from today at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Attended by our BESC team, selling the region as a premium incentive and conference destination, they will be joined by stand partners Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Novotel Twin Waters Resort, The Events Centre Caloundra and destination management experts, Beyond Experiences.

In other great news, these recent wins were further bolstered by the exciting industry announcement this week, the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) will hold their 2018 conference on the Sunshine Coast in August.

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.

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.

Simon Latchford is the CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast.

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