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Perth Convention Bureau

Cashed up Perth Bureau poised to take on the world

The Perth Convention Bureau is overhauling its structure and operations in the wake of the State Government’s substantially increased funding commitment to marketing WA as a business tourism destination. The Government has…

The Perth Convention Bureau is overhauling its structure and operations in the wake of the State Government’s substantially increased funding commitment to marketing WA as a business tourism destination. The Government has committed an additional $11.9 million over five years to attract the larger, high yielding 900-plus delegate conferences, to be matched by an industry contribution of $2.2 million over the same period.

This has effectively seen the Bureau’s annual Government-private sector funding increase by 58 per cent from $2.6 million to $4.5 million in the 2007-08 financial year.

And the Bureau’s Executive Chairman Graham Muir is understandably upbeat about the future and the new opportunities that the increased funding will present.

“At long last, the Bureau will now have the financial resources to more effectively position Perth and Western Australia in the international marketplace,” he added.

“We will use the additional funding primarily to target larger business events which will be suitable for our major venues such as the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, Burswood Entertainment Complex and the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle. At the same time it will help us to secure conferences that can be accommodated in other venues both in Perth and in the regions.”

A raft of initiatives are planned to ensure that the Bureau is structurally equipped to maximise to State’s increased investment in business tourism.

These include the development of a ‘business events’ brand for Western Australia to co-incide with a major destination marketing campaign.

Mr Muir said: “Now that we have adequate funding to mount a significant destination marketing campaign both nationally and internationally, it’s important that we have a recognisable brand. We also plan to be more visible in the marketplace, attending some seven national and international trade shows, so it’s important that we present a consistent message to meeting planners.”

Another key initiative is the appointment of a senior business development executive to focus primarily on securing major international conventions for Perth. A global search is currently under way to recruit the sales supremo.

A new sales manager will be appointed to the Western Australian Agent General’s office in London. The Bureau’s current Business Development Manager, Corporate and Incentives Marina McKeague will to take up the London posting in September.

In market sales agents will also to be appointed in both Europe and Asia.

While there will be an increased focus on the traditional markets of the UK/Europe and Asia, the Bureau will also be exploring the opportunities available in North America.

There will also be extra sales and research support within the Perth office to ensure that the business development executives have more time to convert sales leads.

Mr Muir said another exciting initiative involved an alliance with convention bureaux representing cities that were at the forefront of the energy industry globally.

“The initiative to establish the Energy Cities Alliance has come from the Perth Convention Bureau and we have had an excellent response from those leading bureaux we have invited to join the alliance,” he said.

“They have enthusiastically embraced the concept so we are extremely confident this will lead to a collaborative and productive relationship for the partners. We expect to finalise the arrangement in the next couple of months when we will announce the other partners and more details about the strategic marketing alliance.”

On another level, the Bureau has entered into a strategic marketing arrangement with the year-old Sarawak Convention Bureau to share information, provide sales support and exchange leads.

“We believe this will benefit both our organisations and from our perspective we see it as a way of providing more business opportunities out of Malaysia,” Mr Muir said.

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