A week-long program of business, arts and free community events took place in March to celebrate the official opening of the Adelaide Convention Centre’s much anticipated West Building, the first stage in the centre’s multi-million dollar expansion.

Thousands of South Australians walked through the doors of the West Building over the course of the week to tour the new building and attend interactive exhibitions such as SciWorld and Made in SA, a major public exhibition showcasing home grown businesses and organisations.

The program also included a number of ticketed events including a concert by Grammy award-winning singer Macy Gray, the Longest Lamington World Record Charity Lunch and a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) afternoon tea.

South Australian premier, Jay Wetherill, hosted a cocktail reception to mark the official opening of the West Building, which features an additional 4300 square metres of multi-purpose convention space, versatile tiered and flat floor seating halls for more than 2000 delegates, 18 breakout rooms, and the stunning 500-seat Panorama Ballroom with views over the River Torrens and Parklands.

Adelaide Convention Centre chief executive, Alec Gilbert, said the week-long program of events offered South Australians an opportunity see the new West Building’s key features and versatility in action.

“The program also acts as a showcase for the many ways the centre works with and supports the SA community whether through business, arts or local charities.

“The new West Building opening reinforces the centre’s ongoing contribution to growing the economic, social and cultural fabric of South Australia.”

The expanded Adelaide Convention Centre will also play host to the Games Village for the 15th Australian Masters Games when the event comes to Adelaide from October 3 – 10, 2015.

The Games Village will incorporate the registration and accreditation centre, games expo help desks, medal engraving and merchandise store. It will also host the games entertainment program including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, which are expected to attract a combined 6500 participants.

Stage Two of the redevelopment, the East Building, is due for completion in 2017 and will replace the existing Plenary Building (Australia’s first convention centre), featuring state-of-the-art technology and versatile seating capacity for up to 3500.

APPEA Conference returns to ACC

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference will return to the Adelaide Convention Centre in 2018 with 2500 delegates from 36 countries.

APPEA 2018 will occupy the entire centre across the East, Central and West Buildings, the largest exhibition in the centre’s history with an expected 230 exhibitors.

The Adelaide Convention Centre led the bid to bring APPEA back to Adelaide with support from the Adelaide Convention Bureau and the South Australian Tourism Commission, a strategically important win for the state where the mining and resources sector is a key economic driver.

The four-day conference is expected to inject nearly $10 million into the South Australian economy.