NAME: Kim Roberts

BUSINESS NAME: Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre (GECC)

POSITION: Manager, Events and Entertainment

What are you working on right now in anticipation of a return of events?

In addition to working on ensuring that our patrons, staff and community are safe through our stringent COVID safe planning, we are working on making every experience we present to business delegates, theatre patrons, and guests of all types a memorable and exceptional one. Our hospitality and customer service, our offering of expertise, facilities and equipment and our passion to see every event succeed, whether it be in person, virtual or blended delivery, will set us up for success in our return to doing what we love.

We are working hard on business innovation, attraction and creative programming to make sure we do our part to re-ignite the events and live performance industries.

What’s one lesson you have learnt during the COVID-19 lockdown period?

Innovation is critical. Humans are inherently innovative and find a way to adapt to any situation, no matter how unprecedented. We can be connected even when we are apart and GECC has adapted this into our everyday business moving forward, taking the opportunity to upgrade our systems, up-skill our team and integrate virtual/digital delivery into our core business.

How do you think events will change in the future?

The approach to and delivery of events may see permanent change in the future, however, the driving force behind events, the goal of ‘connecting people’ will not. Event organisers, stakeholders, venues and presenters will need to be flexible, adaptable, innovative and resilient. We will be required to think outside the box, provide more customised options, remain relevant in terms of technology and delivery methods and be more educated on trends and data around how people want to connect.

Why are events important?

Not only do events play a vital role in increasing visitation, supporting positive destination profile and stimulating the local economy, they create a true community connectedness, pride and appreciation for things that are uniquely ‘Gladstone’. The Gladstone Region is lucky to be well positioned to host major events, cultural performances, conferences and festivals and our businesses, our people and our community welcome the opportunity to showcase our region through exceptional event delivery.