14 February – New Zealand’s biggest and most internationally connected convention and event organiser, The Conference Company, will this month open its first dedicated off-shore office in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.
Managing director and president of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) Jan Tonkin says the Castlereagh St office, headed by Asia Pacific manager Stephen Noble, was a significant investment for the company.

“Face-time with clients and our industry partners is critical to the success of our business, so investing in Sydney bricks and mortar was a logical next step as we continue to develop our international connections,” Tonkin says.

“We are presently experiencing a strong growth phase following the announcement of Auckland’s International Convention Centre, which has put New Zealand on the global conference map, and the investment in Australia represents a major push for new regional and international business,” she adds.

The Conference Company is an accredited member of IAPCO, one of only 21 global companies in the World PCO Alliance and a member of the International Congress and Convention Association. Tonkin is a member of the Professional Convention Management Association and recently addressed their Convening Leaders Conference in Austin, Texas.

The global conference market is a multi-trillion dollar market, although measurement is territory-specific. A 2012 PWC study of the US market for the Convention Industry Council estimated the sector generated US$263 billion in direct spending and US$907 billion in total industry output.

Tonkin says the Australasian market is reaping the benefits of increased investment in the sector, which relies on a multi-agency approach to secure valuable international conferences and events.
“We work closely with potential hosts and industry bodies in both Australia and New Zealand because tendering for international conferences requires significant cross-party cooperation to land a successful bid in a globally competitive market,” she says.

The Conference Company has been operating in Australia since 2008 and establishing a physical presence in Sydney, with its infrastructural advantages, would open up more Australian, Asia-Pacific and other international opportunities.

“Logistics planning is but one part of running successful conferences,” says Tonkin. “Where The Conference Company is adding value is through intelligent development of the strategic elements including the vision, the design and the creation of the environment to achieve the client’s aims.”

“It’s the soft stuff, the intangibles that require significant face-to-face dialogue, consideration and realisation,” she adds.

“That’s why we need a physical permanent presence in Australia.”

For more information, please contact: Jan Tonkin +64 21 977135