How one group of convention centres is dealing with the skills shortage

convention centres
Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre benefitted from the ASM Global APAC network to alleviate staffing issues.

Staffing shortages are probably the number one issue in every aspect of the events supply chain, with convention centres also facing a critical skills crunch.

The long awaited and very busy opening period for Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre in New Zealand brought its own staffing issues for general manager Ross Steele who was struggling with a skills gap in the Audio Visual/Technical area.

As part of ASM Global Asia Pacific (APAC), the venue was able to draw on its regional network to help out.

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) CEO Bob O’Keeffe, along with general manager Kym Guesdon, and Brisbane Entertainment Centre (BEC) general manager Trish McNamara answered the call within hours.

Days later BCEC’s Audio Visual Systems Manager Dion Amato and BEC’s Technical Coordinator Graham Ironside boarded planes for Christchurch for short term engagements to help out the Te Pae Christchurch team.

convention centres
Te Pae’s general manager Ross Steele put out the call for AV team members to help with its busy opening.

Harvey Lister, Chairman and CEO of ASM Global APAC, said it was one of the strengths of the group.

“When one of our venues requires assistance, there is the opportunity to send experienced professionals from other venues,” he said.

“These opportunities are highly regarded by ASM Global employees and provide a different perspective from their everyday roles in their home venues, but it can also inspire them to think outside the square and the broader experience can be of great actual benefit to their long-term career growth.”

Steele said having the support of the global network was reassuring.

“In this current environment it is an enormous help and also heartening to have the backing of the global team to assist, not only with resourcing issues, but to discuss the challenges that currently affect us all, and sharing ideas to find resolutions to the problem,” he said.