Grant to attract lucrative business conferences

A grant to attract global business events to Brisbane and millions in economic benefits has opened today with the return of the Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant program.

An initiative of Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA), the program is designed to support talented and high-performing Brisbane-based professionals to apply for a share of $30,000 to attract new international conferences and conventions to the city.

Nominations open today, with successful applicants granted up to $5,000 to attend an international conference within their industry and network to pave the way for Brisbane to become the host destination for future events. 

The Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant was launched in 2017 and has resulted in six bid wins over three years, generating an economic impact value of $7.5 million, prior to the pandemic. The program has also generated 79 new bid leads and a solid pipeline of future business event opportunities for the city.

Brisbane Economic Development Agency Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ryan said the international convention industry was rebounding strongly after two years of COVID travel restrictions.

“Brisbane is the ultimate global business events destination, with world-class hotels and facilities, an enviable outdoor lifestyle and the brightest minds across key industries, all on the doorstep of Australia’s greatest natural wonders,” Mr Ryan said.

“Conventions and business events are vital pillars of Brisbane’s economy, with more than $113 million in economic impact through bid wins in 2019.

“Business events bring together industry leaders and experts from around the world, providing an incredible opportunity to exchange industry knowledge and expertise.”

The Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF), one of the first bid wins attracted by the grant, took place in Brisbane on 28-29 September 2022.

The event attracted more than 1,500 local and international changemakers and 100 speakers across 55 in-person and online sessions at the world-class Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Inaugural grant recipient Tom Allen, Founder and CEO of global social impact media agency Impact Boom, was instrumental in bringing the international conference to Brisbane after using his grant to attend the 2018 SEWF in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“Back in 2017, Impact Boom recognised this really strong opportunity to find a catalyst, like the Social Enterprise World Forum, to help us grow the sector in Australia, to develop and to see the business-for-good movement thrive,” Mr Allen said.

“We’ve come a long way in those five years, and it was both a joy and an honour to facilitate an amazing convergence of thought leaders, experts and authentically passionate collaborators from across 90 countries in Brisbane.”

Applications for the 2022 Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant close Sunday, 26 February 2023.

Landscape image of corporate people having drinks at the Emporium Hotel South Bank rooftop bar