How many cities put up their hand to host Dreamtime?
Tourism Australia follows a formal Request for Proposal process for events such as Dreamtime. Submissions are assessed against a set criteria by a panel, and we usually have around three to four submissions per event.
What are you looking for?
For Dreamtime, Tourism Australia is looking to demonstrate to international buyers that there is nothing like Australia for business events because our job is to increase the consideration of Australia. The host destination has to deliver on that brand promise and to do so they have to put forward a really enticing program for Dreamtime. [Dreamtime 2015 host city] Adelaide did this really well and demonstrated a strong incentive offering to international buyers, some of whom are quite traditional in their incentive program choices in Australia. We also carefully considered how Adelaide could be messaged for the incentive customer, and the positioning which we delivered for that event, ‘Welcome to my home’ helped get our audience to think differently about South Australia and Adelaide in particular. Tourism Australia created a holistic marketing campaign for Dreamtime 2015, just like any good high-end event, and we’ll deliver something unique for Brisbane in 2017 as well, to drive consideration and get our customer to think about Australian destinations more often.
What are the challenges?
We need to bring a destination to life and challenge perceptions constantly, whether it’s time/distance/cost as the barrier to choosing Australia, or lack of awareness, or established ideas about a place. For example Brisbane has an outstanding reputation as an association or corporate conference destination, but has yet to become well-known internationally in the incentive space. Adelaide faced a similar challenge and what was really nice to see was their business events industry rallying together to have a whole of city buy in. It meant the event wasn’t just in one venue or with some operators, delegates felt welcomed by the whole city and it really brought the positioning, ‘Welcome to my Home’ to life. Brisbane has the advantage of connectivity to very well-known locations nearby [Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays, Cairns] that get a large share of the incentive business, and they can leverage their air access, their proven creativity in delivering events, and of course the fantastic weather which lends itself to outdoor events and a very ‘Aussie’ experience for delegates. Our messaging for Brisbane for Dreamtime 2017 is to highlight these attributes and put it on the radar for incentives, so our audience understands there is so much more to the Brisbane offer than just association or corporate conference venues.
How does BEA work with the host city?
Tourism Australia is responsible for the overall event delivery, style and messaging at Dreamtime, so although each partner delivers different components of the two-day city program our delegates get a seamless experience.
And that’s done through a collaborative approach. For example, Tourism Australia will deliver the business to business sessions and final night dinner but the first night’s Welcome Event will be delivered by the Brisbane Convention Bureau. The host city showcase, where delegates discover Brisbane’s incentive offering, is managed by Brisbane as that is their area of expertise.
But of course TA’s area of expertise is in international marketing. We understand what the international incentive planner is looking for so we’ll work closely with the Brisbane Convention Bureau to ensure the showcase meets the needs and expectations of these buyers. Knowing that different regions around the world have different requirements for their incentives we want to find the balance and make sure we keep the customer front of mind and get them experiencing products that are going to be relevant to the and not just show as much product as possible. And one of the things I really love about the Australian industry is that we have very open and honest conversations with each other on what works and what doesn’t because we all have the same objective – to promote Australia and make sure we’re in the consideration mix more often so Australia wins more business.
What is your favourite thing about Dreamtime?
It’s always one of those events that generates good buzz and interest. We [Tourism Australia] run around 40 events a year, but Dreamtime is one that is very close to my heart and it provides such as strong return for industry. We are still hearing about leads generated from Dreamtime 2015 and as of today, Australia has secured 73 pieces of business worth $42 million. Our aim is to make sure Dreamtime keeps delivering for our industry.
This article has been updated on October 26 to include further detail from Business Events Australia.