Expert Insights: Competing On An International Stage

What’s holding Australia back?

We know Australia has a lot to offer in terms of being an event destination – our unique assets, our world-class infrastructure and our highly evolved procedures and protocols. However, having conducted in-depth research into other markets like Europe and America over the past five years, we’ve found Australia is still behind the eight-ball when it comes to technology and digital asset integration at major events.

Other countries (including developing countries) have entire cities blanketed by a free Wi-Fi network, and they have stadiums installed with extremely high-speed internet for use by spectators and media attending events. I feel they have a greater understanding of how important that is and how that integrates into an effective event experience. Australia is really behind on that.

As I have written in a previous article What we’ve got that the rest of the world doesn’t, Australia is attracting events because of its high level of standards and delivery. Equally, that can be stifling and restrictive for event organisers, and we find there are situations where there is too much red tape and too many rules and regulations. International organisers often look at Australia and think it’s not viable to grow their event here.

Sold Out Events actually spent about a year and a half working with an international event that operates successfully in 10 different countries around the world. We worked with this organiser to review and understand their event before building a business case around bringing it to Sydney. Our results found it was not viable for that event to be delivered here in Australia because of regulations and stringent protocols. The cost for organisers can be greater than the outcome, so I think in those instances Australia is losing out.

Thomas B. Staunton