May 17, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) has just wrapped what is believed to be the largest indoor event to take place in Australia since COVID-19 restrictions were imposed on gatherings 15 months ago.

The Brisbane Truck Show – the largest automotive event in the southern hemisphere – saw a crowd of more than 30,000 over four days to Sunday visit the centre and surrounding precincts, with an estimated economic impact of $72 million for the Queensland economy.

BCEC has seen 1,100 truck movements through its doors, with the exhibition featuring over 300 exhibitors occupying all three levels of the venue. In addition, the South Bank Truck Festival took over much of the parklands nearby the Centre, running in conjunction with the Truck Show.

There were 19 associated events held at BCEC during the Show, including seminars, breakfasts and dinners for between 10 and 370 attendees.

BCEC General Manager Bob O’Keeffe said the success of the Brisbane Truck Show was a strong display of confidence for both the industry and for the city of Brisbane.

“Despite the absence of regular industry visitors from overseas, the show exceeded its expectations and attendances were similar to previous shows. The crowds came out in their thousands to celebrate what was the largest indoor event in Australia in 15 months and I congratulate the Heavy Vehicle Industry of Australia (HVIA) for their determination and perseverance in staging the event.”

HVIA CEO Todd Hacking said attendance surpassed their expectations.

“There was strong support from the industry, Australia-wide with exhibitors reporting record sales with strong future business prospects.”

Before the event, O’Keeffe said the return of the Brisbane Truck Show was both a boost for the events industry and a celebration and recognition of the role the truck industry played in keeping Australia going and supply chains open during COVID.

“It is another positive indication of a strong post COVID recovery for Brisbane with substantial impact on the economy from the direct expenditure of thousands of expected attendees, with the event delivering 70,000 room nights for the city’s hotels.”

O’Keeffe also flagged the economic impact from the multiplier effect of the involvement of suppliers and others working on the show including 3,000 contractors.

It was also a boon for local food producers, with the venue sourcing 650kg of Queensland beef, 1,050kg of Queensland chicken and 450kg of local salad vegetables for the event. Pre-event BCEC was expecting to serve 12,000 plated meals and 50,000 food items.