Ballarat is one of the most successful event cities in regional Australia. There are approximately 300 events held in the city every year directly delivered, supported or funded by Council, helping generate $51m in visitor expenditure.
The Ballarat Events Strategy vision is: Ballarat is a compelling destination for world class events.
Council has a dynamic events team that bids for, develops, supports and delivers events all year round. The team pitches for events and are also the main contacts for all manner of event enquiries.
Council directly delivers the Ballarat Begonia Festival, Heritage Weekend, Summer Sundays and the Winter Festival.
The City is a delivery partner for White Night, Spilt Milk, AFL and Cycling Road Nationals and supports through funding Winter Wonderlights, Plate Up Ballarat, Royal South Street Eisteddfod, Ballarat Gift, Rockabilly and many others large and small.
Council has consistently recorded a 90% satisfaction rate for major event delivery.
Council has contributed the following amounts: $6m to Morshead Park, $5m to Ballarat Sports and Events Centre, plus – Eastern Oval $1.5m – City Oval $1.6m – CE Brown $1.6m Indoor 50 metre pool $ 12m – Rowing Course $2.5m plus annual maintenance
Council has strategic partnerships with Cycling Australia, Rowing Victoria, Western Bulldogs, and Basketball Ballarat that includes in part commitments for events to be staged in Ballarat. – these agreements are commercial in confidence. The partnerships are based on a contracted arrangement and often include logistics, promotional, permit and other support.
The Sport & Active Living team remain in constant contact with sporting bodies to stay abreast of opportunities and to manage programming challenges and access to the City’s major sporting assets. Most events are seasonally based for example – the AFL fixture is completed in Oct/Nov each year – discussions with the AFL would normally commence in June/July each year.
Council also offers a Tourism Grants Program that is designed to attract and retain high quality sporting events in the City all year round to drive overnight visitor expenditure. Successful applicants have been Golfing Pro- Ams, car rallies, badminton and tennis tournaments.
From a broader perspective, the City of Ballarat Events team can be working on bidding for events three years out from the actual event date. We are focussed on attracting and growing the right events for our city.
The City is guided by a 10- year event strategy and Council has been fully responsible for event delivery for a very long time. A core objective is to work harder to ensure home grown events flourish.
As well as the Sport and Active Living Strategy. This provides guidance on where Councils efforts are placed both from an event development and infrastructure development perspective. The aim is to not only deliver world class events, but to ensure that the maximum benefit is extracted for the Ballarat Community and economy.
The 10 Year Event Strategy has confirmed that Sporting events are important from a social and economic perspective for our city. They add to our vibrancy, contribute to local tourism and hospitality businesses, provide elite pathways for locals and support community pride.
There are two streams of sport event activations – National elite level sporting activity – AFL/Rugby Union/ A League Soccer and then the second stream whereby major tournament activity such as the National Under 14 basketball event.
A National event coming up is the National Under 15 boys Cricket Championships
WBBL Stars V Renegades Nov 23 at Eastern Oval
National Women’s basketball announced this week.
Currently negotiations for an International Super rugby match are being held
National Polocrosse event at Airport
State Rowing Championships 2020 – Lake Wendouree
Nitro Circus – Mars Stadium 2020
Benefits of hosting major sporting events include:
- Increased promotion of active lifestyles
- Promoting high performance sporting opportunities
- Activating major stadiums – Mars Stadium, B.SEC Regional Soccer facility and Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre
- Promotion of women in sport – Ballarat’s Active Women and Girls Strategy – several related events specific target women
- Profiling Ballarat to national and international audiences
- Providing pride and inspiration through access to the best of the best
- Infrastructure upgrades to ageing sporting facilities
Every event in Ballarat is important to deliver a sustainable event calendar. Council strives to have a solid mix to spread the benefits around the community and ensure maximum utilisation of assets.
All major events; sporting, cultural and tourism contribute to the brand profile of Ballarat. It all helps to make Ballarat a highly desirable location to visit and as a base for a high-quality lifestyle.
Council considers social, environmental and economic benefits when evaluating the value of an event as well as the event mix to ensure there is a balance in the offering.
Council measures the economic benefits of its events by monitoring and measuring visitation, tourism and local expenditure, media exposure, tracking successful funding applications and by reviewing community satisfaction at individual events and overall through the annual customer satisfaction survey.