‘A great start’ as Destination South Australia signals a return of confidence

Adelaide Convention Centre GM Simon Burgess with Adelaide Convention Bureau's Nic Mercer at DSA.

February saw both Get Local and Destination South Australia (DSA) host national in-person events and with the Asia Pacific Incentives & Meetings Event only a few weeks away, 2022 is shaping up to be the year of recovery the sector has been longing for.

Destination South Australia wrapped at the end of last week after a successful three days that saw around 30 interstate event organisers meet with South Australian suppliers marking another major milestone in the event sector’s recovery.

“It’s been a long time coming to get to DSA,” said Adelaide Convention Bureau general manager of sales and marketing Nic Mercer.

“It was only a few weeks ago we were evaluating whether we could put this event on with Omicron.

“This is a great start, for those that went to Get Local last week and now we have international borders opening up we have a little bit of momentum here.”

The event was held at Adelaide Convention Centre, with general manager Simon Burgess saying DSA was a celebration of the commitment shown by the business events industry in restoring face-to-face events after the disruption of Omicron.

“We continue to be encouraged by the response of meeting organisers who remain committed to hosting live events, and are just as excited about our city’s transformation and new infrastructure,” said Burgess.

“While January didn’t provide the best start to the year, now that restrictions are relaxing and borders are opening, we certainly have cause for more optimism.”

That optimism is helped by the number of events on the Centre’s books, starting with a 1000 delegate national conference to be held later this month, signalling the return of domestic events.

“In April, we’re set to host a range of events including another 1000 delegate conference, while in May we will host eight national conferences. If we have the right conditions, we could certainly see a quick recovery,” said Burgess.

For the remainder of 2022, Adelaide Convention Centre is set to host 81 conferences and events.

“We have two years of layered business on the books, and indeed a full events calendar for the second half of this year. This business comprises a mix of both rescheduled and new events,” said Burgess.

“Our international bid activity hasn’t ceased throughout the whole pandemic and we have continued to secure new, valuable international business events for as early as 2023.”

Out of the 81 conferences to be held this year at the Centre, eight of them are international.

“In 2023 we have another five international conferences confirmed. By that time, we expect we will start to see an increase in international delegate and sponsor attendance.”