Two recently confirmed large-scale, US based conventions to be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) will attract more than 8,000 delegates.
Brisbane has been announced as the host city for the Convention of Zonta International 2024 and Baptist World Congress 2025.
Combined, these events are expected to deliver $35 million in economic contribution to the Queensland economy and 58,000 room nights that will boost Brisbane’s hotel and accommodation sector.
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre partnered with Tourism Australia, Tourism & Events Queensland and the Brisbane Economic Development Agency, to secure these first-time events for Brisbane and Queensland.
Zonta International 2024 follows on from the successful hosting of the Australia & New Zealand Zonta Centennial Convention at BCEC in 2021, which attracted 900 delegates from across the region.
Zonta International has more than 1,100 clubs with over 27,000 members in 64 countries. Renowned for its strong advocacy of women’s rights, and more recently climate change, Zonta’s core campaign messaging of NO to violence against women, YES to gender equality and NOW to climate change, resonates with current issues both in Australia and around the world.
Chair of the 2024 Convention and former Zonta International Board Member, Judy Gorton hopes the 2024 Conference will provide a global platform to amplify these issues.
Zonta has never deviated from its human rights mission of empowering women, particularly so through COVID, supporting girls and young women in third world countries with education, clothing and basic health and hygiene products. Currently they are helping Ukrainian refugees through the country’s three Zonta Clubs and their European network.
Brisbane’s reputation as a safe and welcoming destination, combined with BCEC’s appeal at the top of world venue rankings, accessibility and variety of accommodation options, were all factors in the selection of Brisbane as the host city, according to Judy Gorton.
Both the Convention of Zonta International and Baptist World Congress share a tradition of significant numbers of accompanying partners at events, and it is anticipated there will be strong demand for tours and visits to regional Queensland and other parts of Australia.
Organisers of the Baptist World Congress are expecting more than 6,000 delegates to attend the Brisbane event, with more than 5,000 of those coming from overseas.
BCEC General Manager Bob O’Keeffe AM said securing two such high-profile, first-time international events for Brisbane was further indication of a strong Queensland’s economic recovery.
“These are but two of 77 conventions confirmed for BCEC during 2021, ensuring a strong pipeline of Business Events into the future for Brisbane and Queensland and boosting the city’s appeal as a destination leading into the Brisbane 2032 Olympics.
“The team at BCEC looks forward to welcoming Zontians and members of the Baptist Ministries as well as their partners and families to Brisbane and Queensland.”
Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said Tourism Australia is excited to be supporting the Convention of Zonta International 2024 and Baptist World Congress 2025 through its Business Events Bid Fund Program.
“We congratulate Brisbane on its successful bids to host these two large-scale, US based conventions, which have the potential to deliver significant benefits for Australia,” Ms Harrison said.
“Attracting these events plays a key role in helping to generate global attention for Australia’s world-class business events offering whilst also delivering short and long term benefits to our tourism industry and economy more broadly.”
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said securing the international conferences is a testament to the city’s world-class business events credentials.
“With a host of new hotels and world-class venues, a $15 billion infrastructure pipeline, stunning natural assets on its doorstep, and a subtropical climate, Brisbane is an unparalleled destination for business events,” he said.
The Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland’s Business Events Acquisition and Leveraging Fund, is proud to support international business events like this which are vital to Queensland’s tourism industry – attracting visitors, supporting local jobs and promoting our destinations.