February 25, 2022 | By Graeme Kemlo

Adelaide Convention Bureau’s (ACB) major annual business event for business events, Destination South Australia, which wraps up today, has attracted attendance from almost 100 suppliers, buyers and media from the east coast and Canberra who have $78 million in business events up for grabs.

To ACB’s General Manager of Sales and Marketing, Nic Mercer, it was critical that this year’s event went ahead relatively unhindered after COVID-19 caused the cancellation of the 2020 event and withdrawals from Destination SA in 2021.

Mercer said attendees at this year’s event represented a potential 39 events for the city which, if secured, would be worth $78 million in economic benefit. Some were short lead domestic events to be staged later this year, “but most were for 2023 with some out to 2025”.

He explained that a separate marketing event focused on international business, which features an industry showcase would be held in Adelaide in May.

Event organisers at Destination SA 2022 were interested in the proposed sports and entertainment Arena dangled by the sitting government – if it gets reelected this year, although micenet understands the state opposition also supports it – on a site adjacent and connected directly to Adelaide Convention Centre. The Arena promises a 15,000 seat plenary, which would make it one of the largest meeting spaces for major national and international conventions in Australia.

The three-day Destination SA commenced on Wednesday with site inspections of a number of new hotels – some of which were launched during the pandemic – followed by a “buyer meet seller” session in the socially-distanced space of Adelaide Convention Centre, and a gala dinner at Adelaide’s National Wine Centre. It concludes today with a showcase of business events venues and experiences in the city, followed by lunch on Glenelg beach.