Feature Tiles Large APR 19 Web24

One of the most anticipated events on the BCEC calendar, the Brisbane Truck Show, held 16-19 May was a blockbuster event with the very latest in trucks, trailers, tankers and transport technology turning the Centre into truckie heaven.

More than 36,000 visitors from around Australia and overseas descend on Brisbane and the Centre for this year’s Brisbane Truck Show, with millions of dollars worth of product in a dazzling showcase featuring 300 of some of the biggest names in international transport today.

The Brisbane Truck Show, organised by the Heavy Vehicle Industry Association of Australia (HVIA), is the largest automotive show in Australia. With its rich history starting with the first show being held in 1968, the show has grown exponentially over the years and was held for the 5th time at its home here at BCEC.

This year’s show saw Mercedes-Benz unveil a world exclusive, a new-generation truck which deploys aerodynamic cameras connected to two large screens in the cabin instead of traditional side mirrors. This new innovation is said to dramatically boost driver vision and improve fuel efficiency and will be rolled out in Europe later in the year.

This year also saw the launch of Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry Week – a week about expressing pride in the trucking industry, starting a conversation with the broader community about innovation, local manufacturing and sustainability, road safety, and even careers.

Trucks were on show throughout South Bank and parts of Brisbane City extending the experience and enjoyment of the popular Brisbane Truck Show for its many followers.

The Truck Show, in a class of its own with regard to size and scale, is one of the largest events held at the Centre. This year’s event saw more than 1,100 truck movements during the event bump-in and out, with 30 forklifts, eight elevated platforms, three boom lifts onsite and 1.5 km of rigging from the roof of the Exhibition Halls.

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David Pugh BCEC

Leading Australian Chef and acclaimed culinary mastermind, David Pugh, has taken on the role of Executive Chef at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC).

David, who has spent more than two decades at the forefront of Australian contemporary cuisine, brings his extensive restaurant experience and an impeccable reputation in fine dining to the Centre.

Recipient of numerous Chefs’ Hats associated with his own Restaurant Two in Brisbane and a former Queensland Ambassador Chef, David joined the Centre two years ago to oversee the successful establishment of the Centre’s dedicated Dietary Kitchen – a first for an Australian Convention Centre.

David, now in the hot seat, is setting about designing world-class menus that also cover multiple dietary needs, reducing the number of dietary requests for events by around 50% and our event organisers are loving it!

All good chefs have a story to tell and with his unabating passion for local produce, David interprets his as Edible Queensland.  Queensland has long been the food bowl of Australia and David has spent a lifetime highlighting the many varieties of our local produce.

With the release of the Centre’s new Menus only weeks away, David is set to delight and surprise clients ensuring their events will remain at the leading edge of contemporary and inspired cuisine.

Listen to more from David and his vision for 2019 in this video.


The Centre was proud to host the 2019 Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) National Conference whose 700 delegates set a brand new benchmark with a 94% approval rating of the event.  Brisbane turned on a vibrant show for the visitors who took advantage of the perfect weather, experiencing beautiful Brisbane at its best.

The Centre set its own benchmark at the glittering finale for the conference, hosting the National Awards night dinner and proudly taking out the major venue award, winning the Meeting, Exhibition or Event Venue – Capacity more than 500, to be named Australia’s best, and also being highly commended for banquet and catering.

BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe said the Centre was extremely proud to have won the award against such strong competition from fellow convention centres and venues around Australia.

He paid tribute to the Centre’s ‘passionate and professional’ team both front and back of house, responsible for the day to day operations of delivering more than 1,100 events a year for the Centre’s many valued clients.

“The award is indicative of BCEC’s performance and professionalism and its continuing commitment to the industry. To be recognised nationally among the very top level of the industry is a credit to the great BCEC Team and a true reflection of the Centre’s strong customer experience focus as we continue to deliver world-class events.”

CONF best year ever BCEC

An impressive line-up of international conferences heading to Brisbane and Queensland – the result of a strong performance by BCEC and its convention partners in recent months – will see some of the world’s leading experts in key research and scientific sectors contributing to our local knowledge economy.

Some of the world’s most respected scientists and foremost experts in the fields of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, the environment, head and neck cancer, orthoptics, and world disaster management and risk reduction will meet in Brisbane, shining the spotlight on Queensland’s research and industry skills.

Leading the way is the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2021, heading to Brisbane for the very first time with an expected 2,500 delegates.

Another first for Brisbane and Queensland is the 2020 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, also expected to attract more than 2,000 delegates and jointly organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Commonwealth Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in collaboration with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority. The conference will bring leaders from across the Asia Pacific to share the common challenges faced in building disaster resilience in our communities and showcase the breadth of expertise and experience that Australia has to offer while providing an opportunity to learn from others in our region.

These world leading meetings offer unique opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing, and lasting impact and legacies into the future for the host city.

While BCEC is enjoying its best year, hosting a record 166 conventions, future growth is assured with 1,508 future bookings through to 2026 including 428 conventions.

women in AV BCEC

To mark this year’s International Women’s Day, the Centre celebrated the many achievements of BCEC’s own Tech Women working in key technical positions across all Audio Visual areas – Audio, Lighting, Vision and Project Management.

The Centre has long championed women in leadership positions and across the board in the traditionally male dominated AV and Technology sectors.

Among those is Senior AV Project Manager, Rebecca Bell, who is the first woman at BCEC to hold that position and has been in the role now for five years. Rebecca was an integral part of the project management and delivery of the AV component of the much lauded 2014 G20 Leaders Summit.

As the Centre’s Audio Production Manager, Bec Smith leads a team of audio professionals and is a passionate and long-time advocate for women in technology. Bec just happens to be a talented musician and composer as well as being a mentor to aspiring Tech Women in the field, fostering new talent whenever the opportunity arises.

Up and coming – Peta Lakeman, AV Projects Assistant and Amanda Nissen (pictured), AV Production Assistant – are very talented young professionals who have brought a great deal of enthusiasm and a new dynamic to the Centre’s AV family. A further 15 professional women are in casual employment across all disciplines of AV at BCEC.

Hear more from these powerful women in this video.

At BCEC we are enjoying our best year ever, surpassing the success of the 2014 G20 year. Taking advantage of this current growth environment we are making some changes around the house to maximise the strong talents and experience of our team.

We have created a new department of Technology & Innovation incorporating the areas of Audio Visual, Information Technology and Event Management Systems led by Michael Duckworth, formerly our AV & Production Services Manager, who will enhance our culture of innovation and new ideas, leveraging technology and knowledge to ensure continued growth and development.

Ian Chalmers, formerly the Centre’s Facilities Manager, has returned to the Centre in the role of Facilities Director looking after our Building Services and the increasingly important areas of Safety, Security and Sustainability. Ian will spearhead an increased focus on the Centre’s sustainability commitment, ensuring sustainability remains mainstream at BCEC.

green at BCEC

BCEC has retained its EarthCheck Gold certification following a rigorous annual audit process and is on track to receive Platinum Certification within the next 12 months.

This achievement represents continuous operational best practice and sustainability excellence as part of the EarthCheck program since 2010.

The Centre is now working hard towards receiving the Holy Grail of Platinum Certification under the EarthCheck banner, considered the world’s most recognised environmental benchmarking and certification platform.

The Centre is raising the bar in regard to its sustainable practices, preparing to roll out a number of significant initiatives in energy efficiencies, adopting a more collaborative approach with clients to achieve mutually aligned sustainability goals and working in partnership with our local community to achieve great outcomes.