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The Perth Convention Bureau has secured 88 new business events for Western Australia worth an estimated US$66.6 million to the local economy.

Achieved against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, the US$66.6 million, end-of-financial-year result saw the bureau exceed its 2008/09 delegate expenditure target by US$2 million.

The events, which consist of national and international conferences, corporate meetings, and incentive groups, are expected to attract an estimated 35,500 delegates to Western Australia over the next four years.

Bureau managing director Christine McLean described the result as a “fantastic achievement” in what has been an extremely difficult global economic environment.

“This result demonstrates the resilience of the business events sector and why the state government has committed increased funding to attract high-yield visitors,” Ms. McLean said.

“In the short term, the global economic crisis is impacting on our business with reduced delegate numbers at conferences and fewer corporate reward programs being booked, but the long-term prospects for the business events sector look extremely buoyant.                                                                                                             DOT_Scenery_09_Perth_Australia

“In spite of all the global communication options available these days, people still prefer to meet face to face.”

A string of significant medical conferences contributed to this year’s healthy scorecard of conference bid wins.

Among these include the Royal Australian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Conference in May 2010 (2,800 delegates); the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Annual Scientific Meeting in May 2012 (2,000 delegates); National Alcoholics Anonymous Convention in April 2011 (1,550 delegates); and the 11th National Rural Health Conference in March
2011 (1,200 delegates).

Ms. McLean said that the events will further Perth’s reputation as a leading center of medical research excellence.

“Perth’s reputation for, and expertise in, hosting major medical and science meetings is growing internationally and will help to position Perth over rival international destinations in the future.”

Given that the bureau’s new business events target has increased to US$81 million this year, it will be critical to position Perth and Western Australia front and center in the minds of event decision-makers around the world.

The expansion of the PCB’s Convention Scholarship Program and the creation of the new Business Events Brand for Western Australia are expected to lead to both an increase in opportunities and exposure for the destination.

“The scholarship program, which has already been hugely successful in unearthing local conference hosts and bidding opportunities through partnerships with Perth universities and the city of Perth, will be expanded to run in conjunction with Perth hospitals.

“Since the program’s inception, an estimated US$46.33 million worth of meetings has been generated on disciplines ranging from environment and education to engineering and resources. By including Perth’s top hospitals in the initiative, we aim to further profile the state’s expertise in the areas of medical research and health sciences.

“Add to this the launch of the business events brand for Perth and Western Australia, which we expect will attract unprecedented international and national exposure as a business events destination, and we are in a strong position to achieve our 2009/10 target.”

The bureau has been responsible for marketing Western Australia as a destination for business events since 1972. The business events industry is the highest-yielding sector of the tourism industry, with international delegates spending six times that of the leisure tourist.

Source  :  www.eturbonews.com

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A team of Google engineers from Australia has unveiled a prototype replacement for standard email that abandons the reliance on the chronological sorting and stacking of messages which has been the hallmark of one of the internet’s first and still most popular applications.

Christened Google Wave, the new feature was given its first public viewing in San Francisco earlier this morning Australian time at Google’s annual developers’ conference.

“I think you will see a form of interaction that you would not have previously imagined,” Google co-found Sergey Brin told a post-launch press conference.

Wave – which began life as a project codenamed Walkabout – is a combination of email and instant messaging and document-, maps- image- and video-sharing all housed under one roof.

Much like a conference call, it also allows for conversations between more than two people to happen simultaneous.

And because it all happens inside a web browser, there is no special software to download or plug-in – which means it can be used from any computer or internet-enabled mobile phone.

“Our communication space is very fragmented today. We have a million different tools for different things with lots of different kinds of overlaps,” said Lars Rassmussen, a senior software engineer with Google Australia

“The most natural way to try and solve that problem is to take all those different tools and try to make them smaller and fit into a single package and maybe integrate them across the boundaries.”

Wave is being released so that the developers – independent software creators – can help iron out the remaining bugs and cook-up a swag of new uses for the service and the platform upon which it is based ahead of a public release later this year.

But Wave is more than just another of Google’s ubiquitous free web services. It’s also a protocol – meaning that it is going after email’s mantle as the predominant internet communications tool.

And despite the recent growth of web-based email services like Hotmail and Gmail, most of the world’s email runs through Microsoft’s Outlook client.

And to encourage organisations to catch the Wave, Google is offering it up as an open source protocol, meaning that anyone – even a competitor – can box it up and host it on their servers.

Wave is the creation of Danish brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen, who together with Australian Noel Gordon and Stephen Ma – founded and later sold what became known as Google Maps to Google for an undisclosed sum in 2005.

Lars has worked for Google and lived in Australia since the sale and enticed Jens to leave Google’s headquarters near join him in 2007.

The pair and the Wave team – who have been given the full backing of Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page – have been working on the project out of Google’s offices in Sydney.

Stephen Hutcheon is attending the San Francisco conference as a guest of Google.

Source: www.watoday.com.au

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Job creation and capital works projects will form the cornerstone of this year’s state budget, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says. 

The WA government on Thursday will deliver its first budget since elected last year.

“It will be responsible and I think you will see it supports maintaining  jobs and supports the future development of this state,” Mr Barnett said on Wednesday.

“And you will see not only that, but a number of measures designed to maintain jobs, particularly in the small- to medium-size business sector.”

The government is under pressure to maintain a surplus after Mr Barnett’s commitment to deliver surpluses in the next two budgets.

While seeking to maintain the state’s AAA credit rating, the government is also facing demands from WA’s peak business lobby to deliver on an election promise to cut taxes by $250 million.

Mr Barnett said the state’s budget and finances would need some “rejigging” to match a $263 million federal government commitment in Wednesday’s federal budget to put the Perth rail line and bus station underground.

“Yes, we will have to have some rejigging of the state budget and finances because we originally sought 50/50 funding just to sink the rail line,” Mr Barnett said.

“The commonwealth’s taken up the point. It was an issue I discussed with the prime minister in Perth about three weeks ago and I just made the point to him quite informally that if we’re going to sink the rail line it would actually be commonsense to sink the bus station too …

“He’s obviously taken it on board so we’re going to make sure that happens.”

The federal government also pledged $339 million for a deepwater port at Oakajee, in the state’s midwest, which will boost iron ore exports in the region.

The WA government had already spent about $20 million on Oakajee and private proponents were now spending $100 million on the design of the deepwater port and rail line, he said. Continued…

www.watoday.com.au

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