Gold Coast secures 2022 ISER Biennial Meeting as confidence rises

The International Society for Eye Research (ISER) has chosen the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) as the location of the 2022 ISER Biennial Meeting.

Supported by TA’s Business Events Bid Fund Program and TEQ’s Business Events Acquisition and Leveraging Fund, the ISER scientific meeting will take place in September 2022.

“This is a great win for the Gold Coast, securing events such as this will inject much needed revenue back into local economies and help provide a boost for businesses,” said Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham.

“The long lead time involved in securing these large scale conferences means that now is the time to remind global event decision makers to continue to look to Australia as their choice destination in the years to come.”

Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said business events were an important component of the state’s tourism strategy.

“Queensland’s tourism industry is enduring an incredibly difficult time at the moment and while our focus is on the here and now, we must also keep an eye on the future and continue to secure events that will support our economy,” she said.

“The International Society for Eye Research Biennial Meeting in 2022 will see us welcome 1200 delegates to the Gold Coast, including 500 international attendees. These visitors will generate 3800 visitor nights, worth $2.4 million to the state’s economy.”

GCCEC general manager Adrienne Readings said that they welcomed the opportunity for the Queensland community of eye researchers to network, present and learn on a global platform.

“The ISER meeting provides a unique opportunity for academics, researchers and students within the international industry to learn and collaborate with their peers and mentors,” she said.

“The Gold Coast will be the centre of focus for eye research and innovation in the lead up and during this meeting.”

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista said the decision was a testament to the Gold Coast’s appeal as a global conferencing and events destination.

“At a time of unprecedented challenges for the global business events sector, the Gold Coast continues to offer decision-makers certainty as a future host city for world-class international conferences, beyond Covid-19,” Battista said.

The latest bid win is a sign of emerging confidence for GCCEC, with up to 90 per cent of this year’s bookings having re-signed to appear next year, including the Australian Cotton Conference and the international Eco Summit.

Speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin, GCCEC sales and marketing director Michelle Mann said conference organisers have been flexible.

“If we can’t get the exact date they have been flexible enough just to move into the gaps we do have in the calendar and it’s been like playing Tetris to be honest,” she said.

But some organisers were unsure of being able to hold their conferences at all, with Mann describing the situation as a “moving target”.

“We have had some international conferences that have cancelled and can’t see a date for international borders opening,” she said.

The continued closure of the Queensland border was also adding another layer of uncertainty for organisers of domestic meetings.

“We have events coming towards the end of the year but we are just waiting to reopen,” she told the Bulletin.

“There are clients just hanging in there, particularly in September. They are waiting for the borders to open and then they are ready to go.”