Brisbane continues to set a strong pace in the business event sector, with recent events further cementing its reputation.
With Brisbane Marketing continuing to host corporate and association meeting planners on educationals of the city and surrounding area, more growth in the accommodation sector, and a greater focus on business events generally, Queensland’s capital is clearly on an upward curve.
The latest country and city rankings for 2012 from the International Congress and Convention Association confirm that Brisbane is clearly doing plenty of things right, with a jump from 87th place on the world stage in 2011 to 56th in 2012, hosting 16 additional international association meetings last year.
Much of the credit must go to the hardworking team at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre whose advocates program is clearly helping the city grow its share of the business events pie (see story pages 8-10).
And it’s not just in the meetings space that the BCEC is working effectively. Exhibitions also play an important role in the mix, and clearly the BCEC is one venue that is a key player.
Most recently the BCEC played host to the Brisbane Truck Show, described as the fifth largest transport equipment show in the world.
Held in May this year organisers expected more than 35,000 visitors across the four days of the event, and an injection of $58 million into the local economy.
This year’s event coincided with two of the biggest names in the sector celebrating significant milestones. Mack Trucks celebrates 50 years of local production and Western Star Trucks Australia celebrates 30 years of doing business in Australia.
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre general manager, Bob O’Keeffe said just prior to publication that the centre was building up for a fantastic event.
“This is one of the biggest and most exciting events we host and the atmosphere during the event is electrifying. It also ably demonstrates the diversity and capability of the centre. We are proud to host such a popular event that attracts visitors from all over Australia and overseas,” he said.
A new face in the Brisbane business event landscape is The Royal International Convention Centre which opened its doors for business in February this year and apparently hasn’t stopped since.
In April the venue hosted 30 events during the month and at the time of going to press were preparing for a PWC Budget Breakfast for more than 2000 people.
Executive chef Sean Cummings was appointed in March and has assembled a talented team to service a growing list of events. And to keep on top of the high level of enquiries, the sales, events and operations teams have also grown.
RNA chief executive, Brendan Christou, said the success to date has really been a team effort.
“You know you’re doing something right when events rebook and that’s what we’re seeing,” he said.
Local and national events have been held at the convention centre since opening, from major conferences to large corporate events, festivals and smaller private meetings.
“We [even] had an event recently where a game of cricket was played on the Main Arena followed that evening with a gala presentation dinner event,” said general manager of venue sales and marketing, Sue Hockey.
“We have a very special venue and people are starting to see its potential,” she said. m
PCOs get insiders’ tour of Brisbane
Brisbane Marketing’s two-day “Grow” Famil in April 2013 gave 14 professional conferences organisers a first-hand look at some of Brisbane’s leading hotels and conference venues. Brisbane Marketing runs regular famils to the city.
For details and to register your interest in participating in an upcoming famil visit www.meetinbrisbane.com.au/pages/How-we-can-help/Join-a-famil.