Business events bring million-dollar boost to Brisbane

New infrastructure and industry-leading grant programme contribute to record-breaking event wins.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has announced the city will receive an economic boost of more than AU$112 million (US$79 million) through new business events set to take place in the coming years.

The forecast boost is an annual record achieved by the city’s economic development board, Brisbane Marketing, with partners including the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC).

“In the year to July, Brisbane Marketing and partners secured 91 business events for Brisbane – a jump of almost 20 per cent compared to a year ago,” Schrinner says.

“Brisbane is becoming an increasingly sought-after destination for major events and conferences, as more people recognise our world-class infrastructure, venues, accommodation, leisure offerings and leading industry sectors.”

Brisbane Marketing’s record-breaking year was due to several factors.

“Through the Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant Program, we are enlisting emerging research and industry leaders to help advocate for conferences to consider Brisbane for the first time,” Schrinner explains.

“A wave of new tourism-related infrastructure has also supported Brisbane’s strategy to secure more lucrative incentive travel business, with more than AU$13m worth of incentive wins over the past year.”

New infrastructure includes the vibrant Howard Smith Wharves lifestyle, entertainment and events precinct, new 4 and 5-star hotels, the upcoming Brisbane Airport second runway, and Brisbane Queen’s Wharf integrated resort development.

BCEC general manager, Bob O’Keeffe, says a collaborative and united ‘Team Brisbane’ approach delivered an outstanding result for the city, offering many opportunities for investment, and research and development in Queensland’s key sector industries.

“BCEC has experienced its best year ever, hosting a record number of conventions contributing some AU$300 million, as a result of convention business, to the Brisbane and Queensland economies,” O’Keefe says.

Secured events include:

  • Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) Meeting Place 2019 – 350 delegates over three days.
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA) Slot Conference 2019 – 1,000 delegates over four days.
  • The International Peptide Symposium 2021 – 650 delegates over five days.
  • AG Bell Global Listening and Spoken Language Symposium 2021 – 500 delegates over three days.
  • World Congress of the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies 2026 – 2,000 delegates over four days.