April 23 2021 | By Joyce DiMascio

Things are looking much brighter in Western Australia with the biggest business events venue reporting its first profitable month in over a year.

Nigel Keen, General Manager of Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) and a Board Director of Business Events Perth said the city had worked hard to bring events back to Western Australia.

He told micenet that the return of national conferences and exhibitions events had led to the positive results for March and it is expected that May and June will also deliver profits.

Keen said the market was still uncertain about whether events could be run safely, but that challenge has been overcome and this would help boost confidence.

“There was a lot of uncertainty around running COVIDSafe events but that challenge has been met by the venue and organisers doing their due diligence especially in relation to health protocols,” he said.

He said there had been major concerns that the cost implications of running COVIDSafe events would be much greater. But the venues had worked on four or five key health-related principles with the West Australian Health Department and these costs had not been as high as originally thought.

The Centre has hosted major events in recent months – including AusIMM’s Underground Operators Conference which was delivered to an in-person and online audience. Over 1,400 attendees from 13 countries joined the event to discuss the future of underground mining. The exhibition included around 120 exhibitors across several halls of PCEC.

Keen said many more major events would be delivered in the coming months including the AusMine Conference, the 2021 APPEA Conference and Exhibition and Supanova Aus Comic Con and Gaming.

The state’s capacity to attract more national events is a major focus of Business Events Perth which has expanded its business development team on the east coast of Australia.

Last week the bureau announced the appointment Carla Teixeira as its Senior Business Development Manager based in Sydney. This is in addition to new sales team members based in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Carla Teixeira experiences The Ozone at Optus Stadium in Perth as part of her recent visit | Photo: The Ozone, Optus Stadium Perth

Teixeira left ICC Sydney to take up her new role.

“I’m beyond excited to have started working with Business Events Perth,” she said.

She recently visited Perth on her own familiarisation tour of Perth’s business events venues.

“I’m fortunate to be representing such an extraordinary destination and to be part of such a dynamic team,” she said.

News of the appointment follows the release of the Western Australian government’s additional incentive program to attract new business events to the state.

Business Events Perth is offering up to $25,000 to help secure keynote speakers for national events in 2021, no matter where the event is happening in Australia.

Business Events Perth has stipulated that those who take up the offer must book a new national or international business event for Western Australia within 12 months of their 2021 event, with the newly secured event to be delivered before the end of December 2024.

This incentive is designed to keep business events in WA and attract repeat events.

The keynote speaker incentive is open to business events taking place before 31 December 2021, that have a duration of three days or more 200 in-person delegates.

This new funding is independent of other generous subvention funding offered by Business Events Perth for business events held in Western Australia.

The positive financial results for the PCEC combined with the appointment of new business development staff in the eastern states and the imaginative incentive program combine to show that Western Australia in back in business. Let’s hope the trajectory continues.