June 22, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio

Missed part one of this story? Read it here.

Kym Guesdon, the new Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) GM, says the centre is working through some busy months as momentum and confidence returns to the market.

BCEC operated through the majority of the pandemic to date, closing for the first nationwide lockdown before becoming one of the earliest convention centres to reopen. The venue is now having a busy mid-year: in May it delivered over 100 events and 16 conferences and in June there are 14 events and five exhibitions on the calendar.

Guesdon talks about the need to get back to a high level of “event fitness”.

“While the BCEC was able to continue operating on a very consistent basis and with capacity restrictions throughout the pandemic, that is quite different to having a busy event season.

“So, this period of normalisation is going to go on for at least the rest of this year.”

Guesdon is very much a “humanist” and likes to see the potential of individuals and focussing on each individual’s potential. She sees the importance of growth and self-improvement.

Those she admires and what she admires comes from everyday life and everyday situations.

“It’s very situational. I admire so many people for so many things on a daily or weekly basis. And I’d like to take the time to appreciate those things as they come along.

“All of us have got our own journey that we’ve travelled or are about to travel.”

Carla Zampatti is one person she admires enormously.

“She’s been a massive trailblazer for women and the fashion industry since she arrived in Australia. People haven’t quite realised the contribution that she’s made not just to her industry but to community and society.

Guesdon also admires those who break through adversity.

“I’ve met a number of people through the stroke community who have just kept living through the most incredible challenges. I admire anybody who’s trying to get healthy and stay healthy or living with some sort of impact that they’ve had to overcome in their life.”

In the stroke community she admires the work of Wendy and Paul Corp whose tireless advocacy for stroke-affected people is inspirational, she says.

There’s a warmth and calm about Guesdon that makes you feel that she has great expertise at solving complex problems. Issues that come up every day in a major venue.

She says running a major facility is not for the faint-hearted and when the day is over, she likes the peace and quiet of home.

“I’m a total homebody. I do go home for peace. I love a good, complex problem to solve at work. Probably one of the things that I love is to bring solutions. But when I go home, it’s to have a bit of a bit of peace, to read and do things I like.

And in Guesdon’s basket of relaxation activities, there’s always balls of yarn or her magnificent cross stitch.

She’s on her third jumper for this winter. And that medieval cross stich which may be finished in a year or two, with close to 6.5 million stitches.

Guesdon’s passion for handmade things says a lot about her. It says a lot about her capacity to stick with things and invest in activities that bring her joy and mental fitness. And that’s something this humanist is into, for herself and those around her.

She’s grateful to the BCEC team that have worked through the tough times of the past few years and is looking forward to leading the team into event fitness again as operations normalise for the future.