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Brisbane gears up for the G20 Summit

Demetri Hughes, Jane Edwards and Shane Rodgers attend a recent Australian Marketing Institute breakfast about the G20 Summit
Demetri Hughes, Jane Edwards and Shane Rodgers attend a recent Australian Marketing Institute breakfast about the G20 Summit

by Jane Edwards, Chairman and Chief Executive of BBS Communications Group

Brisbane is about to host one of the most significant events in the world, The G20 Summit. I was privileged to be responsible for the worldwide communications program for World Expo 88 twenty-six years go and so I have been watching with interest the public response to the G20 Summit, which will take place here in November.There is no doubt that World Expo 88 was an agent for change in Brisbane, bringing a much loved but sleepy Queensland capital onto the international stage for six celebratory months.

The magic of Expo changed the City for ever. It changed many lives and was the catalyst for the establishment of dozens of new businesses and individual careers.

The G20 Summit is not Expo 88 but, like the Expo, it will focus the world’s attention on Brisbane in a once in a generation opportunity. I have no doubt that the summit itself will be smoothly run and leave a lasting impression of Brisbane as a place which can stage large international events very well.

The lasting benefits will be down to the people of Brisbane, just as they were with Expo 88. The publicity alone will establish Brisbane in the minds of millions of people as a beautiful place to visit and to live.

More importantly, it will provide an opportunity for Brisbane’s entrepreneurial spirit to shine through once again with the Summit creating a backdrop to business and trade discussions, which will benefit Queensland for years to come.

The advance teams for the Summit are already here in Brisbane, staying in our hotels, meeting local chambers of commerce, eating in our restaurants and, just possibly, shopping in Queen Street Mall.

This Summit is going to be wonderful for Brisbane. I hope that, like the year of Expo 88, as a City we throw our arms open and welcome the world to our capable and charming city. Let’s embrace the Summit and look closely to see what the opportunities might be when they present themselves.

At the very least, we are likely to create some new friendships and take pride in the fact that we can stage a huge world event as well as any city in the world.