By Graeme Kemlo

Fresh off last weekend’s public event for 7000 guests mingling among 128 exhibitors around six metre-wide aisles, Simon Burgess, general manager of Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) is very bullish about the future. Later this week ACC has a breakfast for 1000, then an expo for 3000.

Currently hosting Destination South Australia (DSA), he says anyone walking around would see it as a normal event, no masks, no QR codes, but plenty of sanitiser stations, and food served to you unlike the old buffet.

“We’re operating close to normal (one per two sqm) and masks appear only when we get close to 75 per cent capacity,” he said.

“A lot of what we do now are local events, but we need the national market back and we need a consistent approach to COVID conditions in all seven states. Meeting organisers tell us they want to run live events, rather than hybrid, which can be a backup.”

Simon expects his first national convention at ACC since COVID struck will be an environmental conference for 1000 in May.

“Organisers tell us they have a plan, but do want to hold it in Adelaide,” he said.

“We’ll come out of this a different city than we went in,” he continued, commenting on the five new hotels and two more to come that will help fill the centre.