Adelaide Convention Bureau readies for ‘big year’ of events

The bureau chief wants organisers to know 'we are open for business and you can trust us'.

South Australia’s business events industry looking forward to once again welcoming groups from the east coast, following a short-lived COVID-19 shutdown last week.

Over the weekend, South Australia’s ‘Stay at Home’ order was revoked early after it was discovered suspected COVID-19 cases were fewer than first thought.

Hospitality venues have gone back to allowing 100 people within a venue and 50-person gatherings are permitted at licensed venues, both subject to one person per four square metres.

Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB) chief executive Damien Kitto said the region is looking forward to hosting more events and welcoming more interstate delegates.

“We have been hosting large controlled and highly successful business events for some months now, such as those at the Adelaide Showgrounds and the Adelaide Convention Centre, so it will be fantastic to see the eastern states able to re-join us,” he said.

ACB hosted its own COVID-safe event recently, with more than 150 delegates and 45 exhibitors.

“Adelaide has shown that a Covid-safe event with a well-rehearsed plan was entirely doable for larger and larger events,” said Kitto.

“Good hygiene throughout, social distancing and exceptional logistics for people movement and seating totally succeed.

“We also displayed the capability to provide high quality ‘boxed’ food at scale. It worked for exhibitors as well as delegates, guest speakers and panellists.”

Looking ahead

Kitto remains positive about the year ahead and believes the business events industry will continue to rebuild.

“2021 looks to be a big year for the ACB after we managed to secure an 85 per cent postponement rate of our 2020 business events into the New Year,” he said.

ACB is also continuing to work with organisers of postponed international events to assure them South Australia can successfully host safe events.

“International clients are already expressing keenness for a low-density destination with an end-to-end COVID safety ethos,” he said.

“We have that with Adelaide. It’s the perfect destination to host a post-COVID business event. The message we are ensuring is heard is that we are open for business and you can trust us, not only to ensure a successful business event, but a COVID-safe one.”

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