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Bendigo NEXT brings together tourism and marketing gurus

Media release

The region's biggest tourism conference, Bendigo NEXT, returns for the 4th time to The Capital on Monday November 6 with an exciting program tailored to support local and regional tourism businesses to grow in 2024.

Bendigo NEXT is a single day event featuring experts from several industries, including tech, marketing and tourism sector leaders exploring the latest and emerging trends, and providing their invaluable insights and learnings.

The event is presented in partnership by the City of Greater Bendigo and the Bendigo Tourism Board, with support from State Government, Bendigo Regional Tourism Tourism marketing guru Adrian Bryt returns as MC to facilitate proceedings.

Bendigo NEXT is about Networking, Emerging trends, eXperiences and Technology.

City Manager Tourism and Major Events Terry Karamaloudis said Bendigo NEXT was a must-attend event for anyone involved in tourism.

"This is an essential opportunity for all businesses, both local and further afield, who are involved in tourism, customer service, accommodation and events to capture new and best-practice information from inspiring speakers," Mr Karamaloudis said.

"There will be an abundance of expertise to provide guidance on emerging trends, what's next for the industry and what businesses need to do to move forward effectively.

“It’s also a great way for local operators to connect with each other and explore new partnerships.”

This year’s conference boasts an impressive lineup featuring trendsetters and luminaries from the tourism industry, including:

  • James Fitzgerald for SMK Marketing is the keynote speaker sharing his expertise in building your digital audience share.
  • Jack Trainor from Booking.com will provide insights on industry travel trends
  • VTIC – Felicia Mariani and Fiona Sweetman will give an update on the latest developments they are advocating for our industry, including TYPSY, a new online training program.
  • A discussion with Rodney Carter, Kyrun Kerr and Sarah Lowe from First Nations organisation Djaara and Dumawul on their exciting tourism initiatives. 
  • Terry Karamaloudis will share tips on giving yourself the best chance to secure grant funds.
  • A 2024 panel that includes Mark Orlandi who will talk about the upcoming Paris: Impressions of Life 1880–1925 Bendigo Art Gallery's international exhibition opening March 2024, James Reade will provide exclusive insights into tram building projects, and Ben Devanny will discuss the Bendigo Airport expansion.

The afternoon will include breakout sessions, with a digital marketing masterclass hosted by James Fitzgerald (SMK Marketing), a PR discussion on how to leverage campaigns hosted by Kath Bolitho (Tough Cookie Marketing), Glenn Harvey (the City of Greater Bendigo Marketing Manager, Tourism and Major Events) and Leanne Tyrrell (Tyrrell Publicity).

A new training program will also be launched: SustainAbility Plus: Empowering Businesses for Inclusive and Sustainable Excellence. This session covers sustainable and accessible tourism.

To conclude the day, Bendigo Regional Tourism will launch a UNESCO Bendigo and Region of Gastronomy toolkit for businesses to use.

Greater Bendigo