Sydney is the economic powerhouse of Australia, the gateway between Australia and Asia. An intellectual capital, it has perhaps more depth than you think: its tourist offerings are known around the globe – who hasn’t heard about Darling Harbour, Bondi Beach or the great outdoor lifestyle? – but its leisure brand, in a way, outshone for many years its many other attributes, such as its competitive business environment, seriousness for trade, world-class universities and attractiveness to international associations.
Its key areas of expertise lie in the health sector, manufacturing, aerospace and defence, science technology, agribusiness, engineering and mathematics. The city is also at the forefront of professional and financial services and leads the tech sector. Its start-up culture is very vibrant, as is its academic world.
Global meeting organizers that host meetings in Sydney will therefore benefit from access to this world-leading knowledge and these high-value sectors – as well as dedicated support from BESydney, the city convention bureau that acts as a one-stop shop offering impartial advice to planners, promoting Sydney as the pre-eminent Asia Pacific business visitor destination and, more broadly, bringing meetings to Australia that deliver economic and social impact for Sydney, New South Wales and global communities.
All About the People
But what makes Sydney perhaps really special is its people. You can really connect with the world in Sydney: the city is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse destinations on the planet – with almost 50 percent of residents born overseas and more than 35 percent speaking a language other than English – and an Asia Pacific hub, which means delegates can connect with people from different backgrounds with diverse perspectives and ideas.
BESydney Global Ambassador Professor Veena Sahajwalla might well be the epitome of Sydney’s forward-looking spirit. An internationally recognized materials scientist, engineer and inventor, she has revolutionized recycling science and green manufacturing in general. The founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at the University of New South Wales, she is renowned for pioneering the high temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of green materials, including green steel.
Taking environmental sustainability to the next level, Professor Sahajwalla is the living proof that through collaboration – and conferences – great things can happen. In 2006, she and her team held the first International Sustainability Symposium, and Sydney was the perfect location to attract both research and industry, a companionship Sahajwalla is a firm believer in. The aim of the event? To create a platform for green manufacturing and advocate for standard practice globally, which is precisely what happened.
“It was a natural thing to hold the symposium right here in Sydney. Sydney is the place where the research and development was actually happening, where new technologies were being born. At that time we were also looking at commercializing the technologies in Sydney, and we really wanted to showcase Sydney in its full glory,” she says in an interview published on the BESydney website.
Now held on a regular basis, these symposiums have seen further connections and greater global networks emerge and develop each year. Professor Sahajwalla strongly believes the heart of Sydney and its many charms have everything to do with it. In fact, it’s Sydney’s future focus and self belief that appeals. “Sydney has a lot of people who are very forward thinking, who want to make a difference, but who equally, and importantly, want to showcase what we can do,” she says.
As Lyn Lewis-Smith, Chief Executive Officer of BESydney, concludes: “innovation is in our DNA. We have the privilege of working in one of the most exciting destinations in the business events industry. Sydney sits at the crossroads of business, education, research and knowledge communities and our team is plugged in to each of those sectors to amplify the message that Sydney has a strong knowledge economy and working with them to build connections with our clients.”
For more information on Sydney as a business events destination, visit www.besydney.com.au