Contact Adelaide Convention Bureau
Australia Delivers for IAC 2017
The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is the world’s leading space advocacy body.
Australia rocketed firmly into the multi-billion-dollar space industry with the hosting of the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide in September 2017.
The largest conference to be held in Adelaide to date, exceeding delegate attendance by 67 per cent, and the first to be held at the then newly expanded Adelaide Convention Centre.
- Event: International Astronautical Congress 2017 (IAC2017)
- Where: Adelaide, Australia
- Flight connection: Adelaide Airport services 10 international airlines, including direct flights from Dubai, Doha, Singapore and Hong Kong.
- Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre
- When: September 2017
- Who: Adelaide Convention Bureau; International Astronautical Federation; Space Industry Association of Australia; All Occasions Management (PCO)
- Attendees: 5,000 from more than 60 countries
- Theme: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security.
International Astronautical Congress
The annual conference of the world’s ‘space family’ is the largest gathering of the space industry in the world. Each year, the IAC changes country, theme and local organiser. The Adelaide Convention Bureau, in conjunction with the Space Industry Association of Australia, commenced researching and pursuing this congress almost ten years ago. In 2014 the announcement was made that Adelaide was to host IAC2017, defeating Germany, Turkey and the United States.
Winning the bid
The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is the world’s leading space advocacy body whose members include all key space agencies, companies, societies, associations and institutes across 66 countries. Held annually, the IAC brings together the world’s ‘space family’ and is the largest gathering of the space industry in the world. With an annual rotation of host country, theme and local organiser the event first got on the radar for the Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB) more than a decade ago. It was finally secured for Australia by the ACB in conjunction with the Space Industry Association of Australia, defeating bids by Germany, Turkey and the United States.
The program featured many highlights, including an announcement by the Australian Federal government that it would establish a national space agency. A real stand out for both delegates and international media however was the presentation by SpaceX founder Elon Musk on ‘Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species’. Musk told the audience at IAC that he hopes to start building a space vehicle by early 2018, with the goal to land manned missions to Mars by 2024. Lockheed Martin also unveiled updates to their plans for human exploration of Mars in the 2020s and many new business opportunities were forged during the week-long event, such as Italy’s largest privately-owned space company SITAEL signing a letter of intent with local start up Inovar to jointly establish a multi-million-dollar company in South Australia.
Brett Biddington, CEO of the 68th International Astronautical Congress 2017 noted Adelaide's seamless and connected approach to hosting the event. "Adelaide has been a splendid host city for IAC 2017. Its collaborative approach from the City Council, Library and Museum through to the Convention Centre and Convention Bureau have simply been exemplary. Our delegate numbers have by far exceeded our expectations proving that delegates will travel from long distances if the content of the conference is right and for the amazing experiences that Australia offers. This conference has set the benchmark for IAC events and Adelaide, and Australia should be justifiably proud of the legacies it will leave.”