Destination Gold Coast has successfully concluded its largest ever business showcase event, This is Gold Coast Business Exchange (TIGCBE), and plans to include more international buyers next year.
A record number of participants attended the three-day event which ended on Saturday, profiling 40 venues and suppliers to 68 hosted buyers from Australia, New Zealand and South-east Asia.
â€œThis was our most successful programme yet,” said Anna Case, director of Gold Coast Business Events (GCBE). “Our hosted buyers embraced this fast-paced programme with energy and enthusiasm and all left with a huge smile and great memories of their Gold Coast experience.”
GCBE estimates that leads generated from TIGCBE 2018 will amount to A$19.5 million (US$14.9 million) in economic impact.
But Case said her team has also become more selective with the hosted buyers they invite for the annual showcase.
“(This year) we had 100 registrations and we’ve been very stringent with running them through a qualification policy as we have a responsibility to our clients. We’ve turned away many applicants,” she said.
This year’s event also marks the first time buyers have been hosted from Asia since the first event in 2014.
“In the first year we had a few clients from China and it had its challenges,” shared Case. “We weren’t equipped because we were trying to run a mainstream programme that was designed for the domestic market. So we went into recovery mode… and this time we’re a little bit smarter and have some fantastic clients from Singapore (with a programme) designed just for them”.
Case hopes to host more buyers from South-east Asia next year, as well as making the programme more “China-ready” for hosted buyers from China.