Conferences: Catalysts for Thriving Economies

This research by Business Events Sydney (BESydney) demonstrates that business events offer delegates unrestricted exposure to innovative ideas and opportunities to develop new knowledge and skills.

Part of the Beyond Tourism Benefits series, the new study by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) – Conferences: Catalysts for Thriving Economies – provides further evidence showing that these face-to-face networking opportunities can spark global collaboration, which in turn can lead to global talent transfer, new business opportunities and collaborations, and opening further doors to international trade and investment.

This case study is the culmination of 10 years’ of research. Throughout this period, a range of research methods have been used to uncover new insights. Results from this study revealed that business events mobilise interactions and collaborations that form the foundation of innovation, economic development and societal change – all catalysts for a thriving economy and a prosperous community.

Business events assist delegates to translate their knowledge into best practice, as well as influence policy change. Such international conferences are the lifeblood of industry innovation both locally and globally in the various sectors they represent. Face-to-face interactions at these events are key to building transformative social networks, which have trust, friendship and camaraderie as their foundation.

The findings support previous studies that have found that some of the most significant social outcomes from international conferences have culminated years, even decades, after the event was held, and have significant positive impacts on associations, government and communities.

Key findings:

  • 91% of those surveyed agreed that conferences immediately exposed delegates to new and innovative ideas
  • 76% agreed that conferences supported the development of global research and collaboration
  • 68% said conferences developed knowledge and capabilities of current practitioners and those of the future
  • 83% of those agreed that the conference enabled the local sector to showcase its expertise to a global audience
  • 41% would like to live and work/study in Sydney as a result of attending the conference
  • 7% have applied for a position to work or study in Sydney, enhancing the local expertise on a permanent or semi-permanent basis.

These outcomes enable value co-creation that drives innovation and business transformation, increases sales and networks, and provides local communities with practitioners who have enhanced learnings and technology to use in their professions. As such business events have revitalised industry sectors in Sydney and the greater New South Wales (NSW) area.

The full academic research report below has been prepared as part of the Joint Meetings Industry Council’s legacy Case Study Program, and adheres to a strict academic criterion – that it is research-based, includes valid measurable data, and has been approved by JMIC’s international academic review panel. Infographics and a summary project report of Conferences: Catalysts for Thriving Economies report are also available.

Conferences: Catalysts for Thriving Economies (full report)

Conferences: Catalysts for Thriving Economies (infographics)

Conferences: Catalysts for Thriving Economies (BESydney project report)

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