Queensland’s Convention and Exhibition Centre Economic Recovery Bid Support Program has initiated more than $43 million worth of national business events for the state less than a year after launching.
Kicking off in April 2022, the $7 million dollar funding was a first-time collaboration between the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Queensland’s three state owned venues – Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Cairns Convention Centre and Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The three venues have collectively secured 37 national conferences to date, bringing 24,000 delegates and delivering 80,000 room nights to the three cities.
The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre has secured the first multi-year deal with the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, which is expected to attract more than 1,000 delegates and global experts in 2023 and 2024.
“The opportunity given to us from the state government was huge,” said Stephen Alderman, CEO of Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary.
“The generosity of the grant and the fact that it offers a multi-year incentive has been one of the key decision drivers that has made us to come to the Gold Coast for the next two years.”
Cairns Convention Centre has been successful in attracting a number of conferences for the first time, who will get to experience the Centre’s $176 million expansion.
“The Queensland Government support fund had a major impact on our decision to choose Cairns, because we are a member association, we need to ensure we are providing value to our members and this extra funding will be passed onto them through lower registration fees making it more likely they will come to Cairns,” said Jenna Conroy, conference and events Coordinator at Royal College of General Practitioners.
The first of the newly confirmed conferences heading to Queensland took place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in December 2022, with the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) National Conference, Medicines Management welcoming more than 1,000 delegates for their three-day event.
“At a very unsettled time the bid fund actually gave us the assurance that we could bring our conference to Brisbane and know that our delegates would have the best possible experience, and that for us as an organisation, we had the financial assurance that we could run the successful event we wanted to run,” said Kristin Michaels, chief executive of SHPA.