Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre forges new partnerships on the road to 2032

The South Bank, home of BCEC, and Queen's Wharf will be connected by the new pedestrian bridge.

Partnerships have been pivotal in Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre’s (BCEC) journey not just in terms of the venue’s ongoing evolution but also that of the city itself.

BCEC has played an ongoing role in Brisbane’s transformation, hosting 60 per cent of business events held in the city since it opened.

Forging a reputation as one of the world’s leading venues, BCEC is consistently voted at the top of convention centre ratings globally. The venue’s evolution continues as it embarks on a growth strategy as part of its journey towards the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and remains committed to boosting Brisbane’s growth through targeted business events.

“As part of our roadmap to 2032, we have embarked on a growth strategy which recognises the importance of opportunity and legacy created by Brisbane’s Olympic city status and aimed at escalating the progress of Brisbane’s business events sector,” says Kym Guesdon, BCEC’s general manager.

Underpinning that strategy is BCEC’s Advocates Partnership program which includes luminaries such as Professor Good, an international leader in immunology of infectious diseases and vaccine research among its ambassadors. Professor Good, alongside Associate Professor Manisha Pandey, were instrumental in bringing The Lancefield International Symposium on Streptococci and Streptococcal Diseases (LISSSD) to Brisbane in 2025. This important Symposium is one of more than 150 conferences secured for Brisbane by the program since its inception, delivering an estimated $208.3 million in economic impact.

BCEC is one of the nation’s most flexible meetings and events venue with 44 meeting spaces on offer including three tiered auditoria.

Brisbane is home to four leading universities and the largest medical research institute in Australia, providing a depth of intellectual capital and R&D expertise that underpins the city’s success in attracting key sector conferences and meetings.

Partnerships of another kind are about to realised, with BCEC and The Star Brisbane joining forces to bring together the best of Brisbane, creating a unique delegate and organiser experience when the Queen’s Wharf integrated resort development opens in August.

The newly developed pedestrian Neville Bonner Bridge connects the South Bank precinct, which is home to BCEC, and The Star Brisbane’s 12-hectare precinct filled with purpose-built event spaces, luxury hotels, entertainment and dining options, riverfront parklands and much more, offering new experiences for event organisers and delegates to explore.

The bridge itself offers possibilities for event organisers to create unforgettable delegate experiences from lighting up the bridge to reflect company colours, having fireworks or staging events or performances on the bridge itself.

BCEC’s strategic location in the heart of the South Bank cultural and lifestyle precinct delivers a unique experience for delegates and organisers.

Within walking distance of BCEC are wide-ranging accommodation options, inner-city riverfront parkland packed with cafes, bars and restaurants, and city’s major art, cultural and entertainment attractions, allowing delegates to immerse themselves in the dynamic atmosphere of the destination.

BCEC has also expanded its relationship with the South Bank precinct, developing networking hubs and working with local bars and restaurants, offering delegates and organisers a bespoke taste of the QAGOMA experience, or connecting with students, sharing and showcasing the elements of science and research through Queensland’s State Library’s school outreach facility.

Brisbane’s connectivity is being transformed by new bridges.

Pedestrian bridges, crisscrossing the river offering delegates the opportunity to explore the city’s riverfront precincts, while the popular CityCat Ferries and free Kitty Kat Ferries take visitors directly to popular dining precincts across the city.

The pedestrian friendly nature of these now connected precincts ties into BCEC’s and the city’s sustainability ambitions, which were integral to Brisbane’s succesful bid to host the 2032 Olympics. That holistic approach to city wide sustainability is mirrored in BCEC’s operations, having achieved Platinum EarthCheck certification after 12 continuous years of rigorous recertification audits.

BCEC’s ‘green’ principles are applied across its entire operations, from energy and water conservation to responsible procurement, food distribution, promotion of recycling activity and partnering with clients, suppliers and stakeholders, helping to reduce the environmental impact on events.

A recently appointed a Sustainability & Community Engagement Advisor is also furthering BCEC’s journey by embedding the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into the venue’s business strategy.

While accolades stack up for Brisbane, the only Australian city named in the New York Times Magazine’s list of the World Greatest Places to Visit in 2024, on top of being named in Time Magazine’s list for the same in 2023, BCEC is playing its part in elevating the city’s status by delivering events that exceed delegate expectations and building legacies fit for an Olympic city.