Media strategy boosts audience to 28 million

International Metropolis Conference 2018

Key facts

Social media reach of 5.3 million

More than 1,800 mentions on social media

70 television and radio interviews

million people reached


When the International Metropolis Conference (IMC) came to Sydney it sought to shed light on and stamp out discrimination and racism by challenging norms and shining a positive light on migration, refugees and asylum seekers.  At this pinnacle event, individuals and organisations active in migration initiatives, cultural diversity and inclusion demonstrated their successes and shared their stories.


A key objective was to share the Conference messages to an international audience. The challenges were finding the appropriate vehicle and dealing with 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 global tensions to do with immigration, highlighted by geopolitical movements such as President Trump’s push for a border wall and other negative ties drawn between immigrants and crime. This negative rhetoric threatened to impact IMC 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.


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.

A real coup was an official media partnership with international broadcaster SBS, which set up an onsite broadcasting hub at IMC 2018. Other key media coverage ensued following strategic drip-feed news dissemination in the lead-up to the Conference. Social media was also a strong focus across several months and continued post-event. Driving engagement online 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. A dedicated marketing person was tasked onsite to monitor social media activity, ensuring any negative or destructive comments did not receive visibility or support.


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

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


quote We worked closely with Arinex to secure an exclusive media partnership with SBS, which included building an onsite media hub to make it easier for the journalists to broadcast from the Conference. This resulted in more than 70 SBS radio interviews in 24 different languages, 4 radio Facebook live crosses and several online articles, ensuring that the Conference content reached a large and diverse audience. This was a key objective for the Local Organising Committee and to achieve this level of reach is something we are very proud of.”


Violet Roumeliotis, Chair of International Metropolis Conference 2018