‘Media strategy boosts audience to 28 million’

International Metropolis Conference 2018


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2018 International Metropolis Conference,   SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

2018 International Metropolis Conference, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA



When The International Metropolis Conference came to Sydney it sought to shine a positive light on migration, refugees and asylum seekers by challenging norms and stamping out discrimination. At this pinnacle event individuals and organisations active in migration initiatives, cultural diversity and inclusion demonstrated their successes and shared their stories.



The International Metropolis Project is the largest international network of researchers, policy makers, and community groups engaged in identifying, understanding, and responding to developments in migration and diversity.

Their events have been effective in connecting researchers, key decision-makers, and practitioners around the globe, facilitating the production and effective communication of policy-relevant knowledge amongst different stakeholders since the mid-1990s. Their network has steadily developed to include partners in North America, Europe, and Australia, with a growing presence in Africa, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region.


2018 International Metropolis Conference,   SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

2018 International Metropolis Conference, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA



A key objective was to disseminate the Conference messages to a large, international audience. The challenges were to find the appropriate vehicle and how best to overcome negative and discriminatory public perceptions.

As recognised in the 2018 theme Global Migration in Turbulent Times, the Conference took place at a time of heightened tensions across the world to do with immigration, highlighted by geopolitical movements such as President Trump’s push for a border wall, the lead-up to Brexit and negative ties drawn between immigrants and crime. Negative rhetoric threatened to impact Metropolis 2018, with reports of a planned anti-immigration protest outside the host venue, ICC Sydney. The Organisers needed to override the negatives whilst building digital and international presence.

To add to this, across its 20-year history, the International Metropolis Conference had failed to secure corporate sponsorship. Another key challenge was thus not only meeting sponsorship targets, but to open new sponsorship sources.

2018 International Metropolis Conference,   SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

2018 International Metropolis Conference, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA



01. Collaborating with the Local Organising Committe

Intrinsic in achieving all of the Conference objectives and ensuring successful outcomes, was a strong partnership between the PCO Arinex and the Local Organising Committee.  This teamwork-led approach was essential in identifying sponsor opportunities, including new markets.

02. Sponsorship Negotiations

This was followed with ongoing consultations with prospective and signed sponsors, which identified sponsor objectives and allowed tailoring of solutions to attract maximum investment whilst delivering ROI for the sponsor. A real coup was an official media partnership with international broadcaster SBS, which set up an onsite broadcasting hub at Metropolis 2018. Other key media coverage ensued following strategic drip-feed news dissemination in the lead-up to the Conference.

03. Social Media Strategies

Social media was a strong focus over several months and continued post-event. Driving engagement was key, with heavy promotion of the official Conference hashtag and a live social feed onsite. To tackle any negative community reactions both in person and online, risk assessments were conducted and contingency plans were put in place. Local police were informed of key dignitary attendees and the possibility of protests outside the Conference, in order to ensure a greater police presence around ICC Sydney during the Conference.

A dedicated marketing person was tasked onsite to monitor social media activity, ensuring any negative or destructive comments did not receive any visibility or support.

2018 International Metropolis Conference,   SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

2018 International Metropolis Conference, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA



The solutions achieved the desired outcomes, with positive delegate feedback and the international host committee recognising Metropolis 2018 as “overwhelmingly successful by any measure”.

The Conference generated a huge amount of international coverage in many languages and across multiple platforms. The community and discriminatory risk was mitigated by close surveillance of online social chatter and liaison with local law enforcement, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted delivery of Metropolis 2018. 

To add to this success, for the first time in the Metropolis Conference history corporate sponsors were successfully secured, contributing to 35% of overall sponsorship revenue (with the remainder made up of government sponsorship, 36%, and NGOs, 29%). Major corporate sponsors to take part were Qantas, AFL, SBS and Commonwealth Bank, which made the biggest sponsor investment in its community banking history. 

The new corporate sponsorship model has been lauded as a benchmark for the International Metropolis Conference series.


“The objectives of Metropolis were to have people think about the issues of migration in ways that are outside the square; to feel really inspired and creative, to network and to leave here feeling they could make a difference and feel motivated in the areas they work in. It went very smoothly and well beyond my expectations.”

– Violet Roumeliotis, Chair of International Metropolis Conference 2018

2018 International Metropolis Conference,   SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

2018 International Metropolis Conference, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA




Arinex Pty Ltd is an Australian-owned company founded in 1973 by Managing Director Roslyn McLeod OAM. Fuelled by the ethos of enabling its staff to deliver effective solutions in a highly creative and professional way, Arinex is a trend setter delivering the combination of care and capability in collaborative partnerships.

With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, Arinex has a sound understanding of the Australian marketplace, cultural differences and years of international experience.  Dedicated to moving with the times, Arinex recognises that the approach to positive congress outcomes is a result of reshaping approaches to achieve client goals in a rapidly changing marketplace.  Arinex values the INCON Partnership as a vital tool in its global network.

Congress, event and partial services management are the broad spectrum that make up the Arinex portfolio of services with a particular emphasis on technology the backbone of modern congress management.

Find out more: ARINEX →



INCON is a global partnership of trusted conference and association management companies, whose unique collaboration results in the design and delivery of innovative and impactful client events. INCON Partners operate in over 170 destinations from over 81 global offices with a staff of 3,500 employees spread throughout the world.