In part three of her series on Adelaide’s events capabilities, Sue Hill explores the opening of a unique event venue in the city; the increased interest in sales and marketing from local suppliers; and the large-scale events that will be going ahead.

By Sue Hill, Foster Hill PR on behalf of Clockwise Consulting

For Adelaide, it’s not just new hotels opening for business in this unprecedented time. Weber Barbecues Australia and New Zealand will open the country’s first Weber Grill Academy in November, a unique alfresco function space with cooking classes for barbecue enthusiasts as well as a sensational meeting and corporate event space.

Adam Mizzi, Weber Grill Academy general manager said: “The project has been in planning for some years and whilst 2020 has seen skyrocketing sales of our barbecues, it was a good time to set up this distinctive space ready for engaging further with our customers and to offer somewhere quite different for businesses looking to host meetings and events.

“Such is the trust and familiarity with our brand, as soon as we put the sign up on the building, we started to receive enquiries.

“This also speaks volumes about people wanting to host events.”

The shift from international marketing

Jakki Govan from Clockwise Consulting said that in pre-Covid times, clients were focused primarily on destination sales and marketing for international products and destinations. Now, the demand from local businesses seeking outsourced expertise in sales and marketing has been higher than she could have imagined.

“In pre-Covid times, many businesses have been either too reliant on international visitation or too reliant on corporate events – they’ve seemed to have placed their eggs in one basket,” she said.

“At Clockwise, we noticed those that traded best during the GFC were those with a balanced market mix, those who were consistently communicating with their customers and were agile.

“With digital marketing and revenue management increasingly taking the lions share from spend on traditional sales methods within hotels in particular, and whilst business is buoyant, there is an increased risk of a lack of truly understanding the customer.

“We have been continually talking to our end clients, the bookers throughout the past months and realising some excellent results for our destination and venue clients.

“These bookers confirm too that those with the agility and ability to maintain a high level of customer communication are and will be the winners.”

Locally the Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB) has been focusing on moving dates and has still been responding to bids. CONNECTSA2020, a local buyer event, was held on October 21, where venues and product had access to South Australian buyers of events in a live Covid-safe format at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

AV exhibition and staging companies have all been affected not just from the lack of business events but from mass participation events. An example is the recent announcement of the 42-year-young City To Bay Fun Run going virtual.

However, Ashley Gabriell from Novatech said: “From initial impact in March, the South Australian events community rallied together to find ways of progressing a rapid recovery. From the ACB’s Covid-safe plan through to major events keeping their planning going, the public health effort of the state government has enabled South Australia to be in the position to plan and deliver events through to 2021.”

While other states are seeing major events cancelled or postponed, South Australia’s position is enabling events to continue. Events still heavily in planning mode with the aim of going ahead include:

  • Adelaide Festival
  • Adelaide Fringe & associated events
  • WOMADelaide
  • Santos Tour Down Under
  • Tasting Australia
  • Christmas Pageant (no longer a street parade but utlising The Adelaide Oval)
  • City of Adelaide NYE celebrations
  • Big Bash League
  • NBL Basketball

Events returning include:

  • State Theatre Company of SA – next week (750 pax per performance in 1500 seat theatre)
  • ASO – returning soon to live performances

Covid Management plans for those looking to host public events in South Australia are being processed promptly and South Australia’s calendar is starting to fill for late 2020 and the organisers of the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and Womad are all committing to hosting their large scale public events in Q1 2021.