Early last month the 13th annual Brisbane Pop-Up brought together more than 200 business events exhibitors and clients, indicating rising confidence in the sector.

This year’s event took place at Sofitel Brisbane Central, and was one of the first face-to-face networking events in Queensland since the onset of Covid-19. The event attracted 67 exhibitors and 137 potential clients, spread out over three timed sessions throughout the day in accordance with Covid-safe guidelines.

Juliet Alabaster, general manager of tourism, business & major events at Brisbane EDA, said this year’s event was as much about networking as it was about highlighting Covid-safe initiatives and innovations, and educating clients about how their events can be run safely in Brisbane.

“This year’s Pop-Up was about restoring confidence in event planners, connecting them with suppliers who are ready for business and operating in line with Covid guidelines, and letting them know we’re here when they’re ready,” she said.

“After almost a year of virtual conferences and Zoom calls, clients and exhibitors alike were thrilled to get out from behind their screens and attend an event in real life. As an event like Pop-Up proves, nothing will ever replace the value of meeting face to face.”

Ms Alabaster said it was clear that many exhibitors had spent their downtime this year developing new products and services, and refurbishing their premises – and it was now time to put them to use.

“With restrictions easing, Brisbane’s event industry is ready to restart,” she said.

“Pop-Up was filled with such a sense of positivity and optimism, and the love for Brisbane was so strong – it was very evident that our industry needed this, and we’re proud to have been able to deliver a face-to-face event to facilitate that reconnection.”

Exhibitors reported quality business leads for the duration of 2020 coming out of the event, including Christmas parties and end-of-year team celebrations, workshops and meetings, as well as strong leads on events to be held next year.