MEI leads 30-strong Delegation to Gold Coast

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From the 27th of April to 1st May of this year, MEI lead a multi-sector delegation of suppliers to the Gold Coast Australia focused on finding local partners with a view to seeking out business opportunities for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. MEI members present on the mission included Atkins, Arc International, Design Security, EventServ, Ninjahub, IndigoVision, Quadratica, Rapiscan, Selex ES, Sportsworld and Zaun.

In August 2014 at the end of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, MEI were asked by the Queensland Government to host the visiting Minister for Major Events Jann Stuckey and CEO of Gold Coast 2018 Mark Peters for a seminar and series of roundtable discussions. The success of this initiative demonstrated a huge interest in the Australian sports market, and at the request of the Minister MEI set plans in motion to take a delegation to the Gold Coast and source first-hand business opportunities.

With over 50 expressions of interest in joining the visit and support from Trade & Investment Queensland, UKTI and ADS the final 30-strong delegation arrived in the sunny Gold Coast on Monday 27th April with the majority making the long 27 hour trip from the UK. That evening the delegation gathered at the Sky Point bar at Q1, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere offering sweeping views over the spectacular Gold Coast. The evening served as a good ice-breaker for delegates to meet in an informal environment.

The first full day of the programme began on 28th April, hosted by Griffith University Business Schoollocated within the new Health and Knowledge Precinct adjacent to what will be the 2018 Athletes’ Village. It was a morning of briefings, with Ian O’Connor the Vice Chancellor of Griffith University taking time out of his busy schedule to welcome delegates. The morning followed with a series of scene-setting presentations from Trade & Investment Queensland, UK Trade & Investment, Ernst & Young, Peters Linnette Lawyers and the Office of Commonwealth Games Delivery. Delegates received expert briefings on the business environment in Australia, areas of opportunity and how to navigate the procurement, legal and taxation systems.

That afternoon the delegation was guided on site visits of the Athletes’ Village, Aquatic Centre and Gold Coast Convention Centre by Mark Culter, Head of Event Overlay at GOLDOC. Mark explained plans for each venue during games time and fielded questions from the highly experienced delegation. The site visits were followed by an evening networking reception at the Sofitel Hotel, generously sponsored by MEI Member Atkins. We were fortunate to be joined by Mark Peters, CEO of GOLDOC and his team who took the time to speak to each delegate. The Deputy British Consul General Scott Strain was also in attendance to reinforce the good sporting relations between the UK and Australia.

The next day delegates were privileged to hear a series of briefings from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation on their master plans, security and event overlay aspects of the upcoming Games. This session was followed by workshops with Functional Area Heads to share best practice and lessons learned from previous major sporting events, with a large proportion of the delegation having worked on the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. That evening delegates enjoyed an informal dinner at local restaurant the Fisherman’s Wharf Tavern.IMG 6971

On Thursday 30th April delegates participated in two ‘business matchmaking’ sessions in Gold Coast and Brisbane, holding roundtable discussions grouped by sector focus. These sessions were very well received both from visiting delegates and local companies who benefitted from shared experience and business synergies with a view to partner up for Games-related opportunities. That afternoon the delegation met with Defence Industries Queensland and the Assistant Police Commissioner who briefed out on Queensland Police’s plans for securing the games and areas of opportunity.  Battling the wet weather in Brisbane, delegates were transported by ConXion coach transfer to Arup’s offices for a sporting-themed networking reception hosted by the leading design and engineering firm.

The last day of the mission focused on next steps action planning and debriefs with the MEI team and Organising Committee.

The feedback received both from delegates and key stakeholders on the initiative has been very positive and MEI are planning to return to the Gold Coast with another delegation before the end of 2015 to follow up on this visit.

If you are interested in finding out more about this initiative or would like to register your interest to join our next visit to Gold Coast, please contact RichaGhai This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +44 (0) 207 073 2661.

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