South Australia special

Executive PA Media sat down with some of the leading business figures in South Australia to find out the secrets behind its recent success. Here is one of the interviews:

The business events expert weighs in
A convention bureau is a free service that can be utilised by a business looking to organise an event in the region represented by the bureau. Typically, it can help with sourcing venues and suppliers and, if your event is large enough or in a field of interest, help with items like signage, organise an official welcome and in some cases, even provide funding to assist with your event.

Although three quarters of all business events are from the corporate world, only a small portion of EAs are aware of convention bureaux. Adelaide Convention Bureau CEO, Damien Kitto is enthusiastic about what South Australia and his organisation can offer EAs.

“Adelaide has moved on from the city it was ten years ago” Mr Kitto says. He cites improved infrastructure, the new casino, the riverbank development, walkability of the city and the convention centre upgrade as just some of the reasons to run a business event in the city.

“Over 80% of Adelaide’s business events is national and 20% comes from international organisations,” he says. “Naturally we want more international business but our remit is to attract more events to Adelaide and South Australia and that includes interstate business.”

I ask Mr Kitto about the State Bidding Fund, which is used as an incentive to attract events to South Australia and can be utilised by the recipient to offset some of their event costs.

“The event needs to fulfil certain criteria,” he says neutrally, which indicates that he and his team would prefer one to one conversations on the matter of funding rather than public announcements.

However, the bottom line is, if you are an office manager of an association or EA of an organisation outside of Australia and considering Australia for a conference or incentive event, then the Adelaide Convention Bureau should be on your list to call. Even if you are an Australia based EA with a large interstate event, your organisation could be eligible as a funding recipient.

Funding or no funding, Mr Kitto points out that 50 per cent of the bids made by the bureau result in an event taking place in South Australia, but when a potential client sees the city and state in action for themselves, the conversion rate rises to 75 per cent, which says a lot about South Australia suitability for business events.

Get the full inside story on why your business needs to know about South Australia and the organisations that supported this feature in this issue of CoS, which is out now and contains exclusive interviews with several South Australian key figures including, Premier Steven Marshall and the Trade & Tourism Minister David Ridgway.