On October 21, 60 event planners met with a host of Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB) operators at the Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) for the annual roadshow Connect South Australia (SA).

The event, which is designed to connect decision-makers with local venues, products and services, was held in a Covid-safe format, with features including one-and-a-half-metre distancing between attendees, contact-less exchange and communication through an event app.

In addition to the exhibition component, Connect SA featured plenary sessions where attendees heard from speakers such as executive general manager events for Tourism Australia Penny Lyon and chief executive officer for the ACB Damien Kitto.

Buyers included planners from the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Avanos Medical and more. As well as the 60 who attended in-person, another 200 tuned in online.

Some of the exhibitors were the ACC, Adelaide Oval, SeaLink, Indigo Hotel, Adelaide Zoo, Weber Grill Academy and All Occasions Group.

Commenting on the event, assistant manager for Weber Grill Academy Jacinda Gregg said: “I had never attended a business events tradeshow before and it opened up my eyes to the variety of industries that book and are involved in events.

“As we have a brand new venue being launched in Adelaide it was beneficial to get the word out, and there was genuine interest from buyers and also other exhibitors for the Grill Academy not only as a venue but also personally for our interactive barbecue experiences.”

Jakki Govan from Clockwise Consulting attended for the second year in a row and commended the efforts of the ACB and ACC in pulling together an “extraordinary” event.

“The communication on the day from the briefing to the exhibitors at 830am in the morning, to the communication to delegates as they arrived, and in the plenary, was really clear and good,” she said.

“The Covid Marshalls were polite but firm in moving people from standing in close groups. There was plenty of space.

“SA Health were there on the day monitoring what a business event looks like.”

We’ll be eager to hear about conferences and events returning to Adelaide in the coming months.