A collaborative industry focused on recovery
Despite the devastating effects of COVID-19, the Canberra business events industry has been quick to adapt to the ever-changing landscape, and is looking to the future with a blend of innovative technologies and the flexibility to suit the needs of any event.
“The National Convention Centre Canberra (NCCC) has a tailored approach when working with clients and suppliers in minimising risk around the running of events. We are entrepreneurial in spirit, and highly proactive in driving revenue and building confidence within a COVID-safe event environment. The NCCC spearheaded the trials of brand-new social distancing technology (Smart Badge), with the aim of regaining confidence back into the business events sector. This, coupled with an array of COVID-safe venue practices, measures and wellbeing options, have all been embedded at the NCCC to provide the confidence and reassurance in hosting and attending ‘COVID-creative’ Canberra events with peace of mind.
– Carla Huetter, National Convention Centre Canberra
“We’ve been working really hard with other destinations and airline partners, and we’ve launched a number of new routes, which provide opportunities for people to connect into Canberra with ease. We now have direct flights to Ballina, Port Macquarie, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Hobart. We’re constantly in discussions with the airlines about new routes and new opportunities – it’s all about helping work with the airlines to drive connectivity. We’re also a distribution point for people coming into Canberra, and we like to think we set the tone for the city. In the terminal, we have two new restaurants and a coffee shop, plus the new Capital Brewing bar with a focus on local. There are also plans to open a Canberra providore outlet so you can buy local produce right in the terminal.”
– Michael Thomson, Canberra Airport
“SBX is working hard to reinvigorate the exhibition and events arm of the industry. We have formed working groups in collaboration with other local suppliers to develop public events for 2021. This is an ongoing exercise and will be a part of the push to re-open the Canberra business events industry. More specifically SBX is working on a new food and wine expo to drive destination recovery and revive the tourism industry, and we are also looking at several other shows during the course of 2021.”
– Peter Mercer, SBX Systems Built Exhibitions
“Like all event managers in 2020, we had to quickly find a way to operate in this new world. While most of our 2020 events were rolled over to 2021, we converted one into a completely virtual event in November. Just like we were adapting quickly, we found participants were still finding their feet with how to meet virtually, so we introduced a team of “tech elves’ who were on hand to pose a question if there was a stall in conversation or to keep things moving – almost teaching people how to do it on the go. As much as we can’t wait to get back to completely in-person events, based on demand and given the ever-changing nature of things, we’ve created a way to ensure events can go ahead by offering hybrid in-person and virtual events.”
– Tricia Hopkins, Kaigi Conferencing and Events
“Pialligo Estate is a 55-acre working farm and hospitality destination on the banks of the Molonglo River, with 22 acres of vineyards, orchards, olive groves, and vegetable gardens, providing clients with paddock-to-plate experiences, wide expanses and plenty of open-air space suited to all events. We have seven distinct dining spaces, and when restrictions came in, we were quick to think outside the box and tweak operations to ensure all venues were versatile, adaptable, and interchangeable. We’ve also diversified our offering by adding an additional marquee down by the river. With Executive Chef Mark Glenn at the helm and a team of dedicated and highly awarded events sales and coordination professionals diligently informed on the latest health advice, we have a can-do attitude and are always adapting to ensure we can service every market, with memorable, safe and high-quality events.”
– Scott Taylor, Pialligo Estate
“With many events cancelled during 2020, we turned what was a quiet period into an opportunity to train and upskill, particularly in virtual meeting technologies and live streaming. A couple of years ago it was really hard work to sell the concept of live streaming a meeting to a client, and now it’s a given. With some government departments unable to access certain video streaming services on their network, we developed new solutions using 4G internet technologies to seamlessly facilitate virtual meetings with external stakeholders. It’s also been great to get back to working on in-person events and creating spectacular productions, which is what we do best.”
– Darren Russell, Elite Event Technology