Queensland is gearing up to host its first major public exhibition since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with Gold Coast Expo set to kick off on 24 July 2020.
Held over three days, the expo showcases the latest in camping, caravaning, 4x4s and boating across a large outdoor space at the Gold Coast Turf Club.
Event director Bob Carroll, of Australian Events, says while COVID-19 is likely to have an impact on attendance numbers, he still expects around 10,000 people to attend over the three days.
With high attendance numbers predicted, the event will be run under strict COVID-safe guidelines, to comply with Queensland Heath regulations.
“For the first time in the history of consumer expos in Australia we will be insisting that all tickets to the event are pre-paid via the website,” says Carroll.
“We have also developed slick technology so that exhibitors, contractors, suppliers and the public will be scanned in when they arrive via their individual barcodes and then scanned out when they leave.”
While it’s not the usual way of operating a large public expo, Carroll says contact tracing is crucial for events like this to go ahead.
“It is a massive leap of faith but necessary if we are serious about contact-free entry and accurate contact tracing on all who visit the event.”
Social distancing measures also will be enforced, while hand sanitisation stations will be available throughout the event precinct.
The event go-ahead follows Tourism and Events Queensland’s (TEQ) recent launch of a new campaign to drive intrastate tourism.
Dubbed Queensland – You’re Good to Go, the campaign is projected to deliver a $1 billion in overnight stays and tap into the almost $10 billion Queenslanders would normally spend holidaying interstate and overseas each year.
We’re Good to Go!
Queensland’s tourism industry today welcomes the state’s border re-opening (except for Victoria, who we look forward to welcoming in future). Travellers need to complete a border pass. Find all the information and pass application here: https://t.co/MO6Gvn2pPP pic.twitter.com/Sl2qmszEpX
— TEQ (@teqld) July 9, 2020
“This is the chance for Queenslanders to experience our own tourism offerings and in turn help an industry which has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said TEQ chief executive Leanne Coddington.
The Gold Coast Expo hopes to attract Queenslanders looking to holiday at home this year, and will be followed a week later with the Queensland Outdoor Adventure and Motoring Expo at the Toowoomba Showgrounds.
While some planners might be hesitant to go ahead with events of this scale, Carroll hopes he can lead the way and inspire other organisers to develop “sensible and workable frameworks for events moving forward”.