January 28, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The realities of the pandemic and lead times are continuing to bite for the events industry as high case numbers prompt business events to go virtual, weeks in advance, even without government restrictions.

This week, PCO Think Business Events announced its first two major conferences of the year set to be held in Queensland in late February have both shifted to fully virtual formats because of Omicron.

The two events were the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) Annual Scientific Congress and the Australian Institute of Project Managers’ (AIPM) National Conference which were to be held in Brisbane and the Gold Coast respectively.

“The health and safety of all those involved in our conferences is of the utmost importance, and although this decision was not an easy one to make, we are confident that our recent experience managing and executing virtual events puts us in the best position possible to continue delivering high quality content and value for delegates, whether it be in-person or online,” said Director at Think Business Events Denise Broeren.

In a statement, the PCO said both clients had wanted to proceed with in-person or hybrid events but time was running out to make the call.

Also in Queensland, the Destination Food conference for those involved in culinary tourism has also gone virtual, after being postponed twice in 2021.

The event was due to be held in Bundaberg on February 22 and 23 and will be held live online on February 23.

A virtual ticket also includes the option of a Bundaberg Tasting Box which will be sent to delegates’ home or workplace in time for the event, showcasing the culinary chops of what was to be the host destination.