As part of CEI Asia's inaugural Editors' Choice industry excellence report, here we celebrate the best cities for meetings and events across Australia: 

Sydney

A globally recognised business hub with an array of world-class lifestyle benefits ranging from high culture draws to gorgeous city beaches, Sydney enjoys some enviable stats. The biggest city in Australia has long used its physical and infrastructural attributes as a way of attracting incentive groups and 2016 was another significant year for the sector.

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Over the course of the last 12 months the city played host to a number of big foreign groups. In April, Nu Skin, a global direct-selling company organised an elaborate trip to Sydney for its business partners in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Two years of preparation went into bringing the largest single-wave company incentive trip in Sydney’s history to Australian shores. Highlights were many and included a spectacular welcome party at the city’s iconic Darling Harbour, tall ship sailing on Sydney Harbour and a gala dinner at Sydney Town Hall.


In March, meanwhile, delegates from Amway Taiwan broke all previous world records for the largest corporate incentive to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge in one day, with over 1,200 climbers ascending the famous landmark.

And this ability to offer such once-in-a-lifetime thrills, say experts, gives Sydney a special edge in the eyes of incentive trip organisers.

“Sydney is an incredibly well-rounded city,” comments Sinead Yeo, regional director Asia for Business Events Sydney. “It is home to the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge and tops most people’s list of dream destinations. It offers a wide range of unique and unforgettable experiences for clients and their delegates from team-building activities to gala dinners, sightseeing and shopping.”


The coming year looks like being another hugely successful one for the city. The new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) opened at the close of 2016, bringing online the largest ballroom in Australia and 35,000 sqm of exhibition space.

Other new developments, meanwhile, include Doltone House’s Jones Bay Wharf, a heritage venue situated on a restored finger wharf, and the Australian National Maritime Museum Conference Centre, a new harbour-side meeting and conference space at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

“Sydney has something for everyone,” says Yeo. “The city is ever changing and encourages new and exciting experiences.”

Melbourne

Cosmopolitan, welcoming and user-friendly, Melbourne continues to position itself as a world-class destination for business events. When delegates pour into the Victorian capital in 2017 for a range of events including leading industry trade show AIME, they will be arriving in a city named the ‘World’s Most Liveable’ (EIU) for the sixth consecutive year.


Equipped with a vast array of hotels and a centrally located convention centre, the city is also home to a range of award-winning restaurants and draws for incentives groups, notably big sporting events such as the Australian Open tennis and the Melbourne Cup horse racing.