UPDATE FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER
Having been fortunate enough to re-open the Centre in August 2020, we have welcomed more than 500,000 people through the doors since that time at all types of events, some returning for the second time since COVID. BCEC is now supporting the COVID-19 vaccine rollout by Queensland Health, acting as a mass vaccination hub.
The BCEC Team strongly supports the vaccination program, with all senior management being vaccinated and with 98% of full-time staff and 75% of our casual staff having commenced or completed the vaccination process.
To date, the vaccine hub, located in one of the Centre’s Exhibition Halls has seen more than 190,000 Queenslanders vaccinated at our venue.
We are tracking well on our road to recovery, but lockdowns and restrictions are disruptors. I believe expediting the vaccine rollout is the pathway back to business and I am confident we will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever, doing what we do best, delivering great conference and event experiences.
Our team continues to ensure future business for the Centre securing 15 international conferences so far this year, expected to generate $66.6 million in direct expenditure to the Queensland economy.
We are honoured and humbled to have been recognised by our industry taking home three awards at the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) National Awards: Event Venue – capacity more than 1500, Banqueting & Catering and Event Legacy and thank MEA for their determination and resilience in presenting the awards.
It is also pleasing to see that we have maintained our position at the top of world ratings as part of the AIPC Apex independent biennial survey.
We would like to acknowledge and thank our many loyal clients and colleagues who continue to support us as we navigate an ever-changing landscape on our road to recovery.
Robert O’Keeffe (AM)
General Manager, BCEC
Brisbane is basking in the international spotlight having been announced as the host city for the Brisbane 2032 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, with BCEC named as an Olympic venue for up to eight events.
And the good news kept coming with BCEC listed at the top of world rankings for excellence in convention centre management.
Having been voted the World’s Best Convention Centre for 2016-2018 in the prestigious International Association of Convention Centres biennial survey, BCEC has followed up by taking out the number two spot, named runner-up in the latest survey results for 2020-2022.
Based entirely on client evaluations, the latest survey found that BCEC performed above the industry average for all key touch points.
The impact of the Olympic announcement combined with BCEC’s stellar international ratings puts Brisbane in a prime position to attract future international meetings.
Organisers of the world’s pre-eminent global surveying conference, FIG Working Week, to be held at BCEC in 2025, bringing 1,700 delegates to Brisbane, said both the city and the Centre were viewed very positively by the deciding committee, with the Olympic announcement an influencing factor.
The Centre has achieved EarthCheck Platinum Certification, joining an elite group of worldwide venues operating at the highest international environmental standards.
It follows 10 years of rigorously audited best practice in sustainability by one of the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification groups and is recognition of the Centre’s strong leadership and innovation in several key areas of social and environmental actions.
EarthCheck CEO and Founder, Stewart Moore said achieving Platinum Certification places BCEC within a unique network of convention centres in the world that can demonstrate and quantify corporate social responsibility and sustainability.
An early adopter of environmental practices, the Centre was an inaugural member of Australia’s Greenhouse Challenge back in 2001, making a long-term commitment to stage sustainable events from the outset.
Describing sustainability as essential for success in today’s meetings and events industry, BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe AM said receiving Platinum Certification was a pivotal milestone in the Centre’s future operational success and an integral part of offering our clients and guests a world class experience. View our Sustainability Achievements.
Multi-hatted Maestro Executive Chef, David Pugh’s buy local, eat local agenda is the main influence behind the Centre’s newly released Menu, with the main ingredient – Queensland’s fabulous fresh produce.
The menu is a celebration of our farmers and fishers from across the state.
Pugh’s passion and advocacy of Queensland’s finest produce stems from a career devoted to local sustainable produce, which says something about why he is one of the state’s #eatqld champions.
The mission of Pugh and his team of experienced and talented young chefs is to create a menu driven by ethical and regional values, that delights the senses and delivers guests a uniquely authentic taste of local cuisine.
For this menu he has combed the length and the breadth of the state in search of the finest produce and has reached out to emerging artisan producers to complement and expand the Centre’s current supply chain.
The Centre’s menus are engineered to provide the flexibility required for events during this time incorporating COVID Safe principles into Food Safety Management Systems.
Chef David Pugh recently swapped his usual role as Executive Chef in the state-of-the-art kitchens of the Centre for an outdoor kitchen in a field at Tommerup’s picturesque sixth-generation dairy farm, producers of artisan dairy products, at Kerry in Queensland’s Scenic Rim.
The lunch was part of a campaign promoting local produce and encouraging the community to eat local, stay healthy and support the state’s agricultural sector.
Hosted by Queensland Farmer’s Federation in collaboration with the #eatqld campaign, it was a chance to recognise producers who are integral to the state’s strong agricultural sector, which in recent times has battled droughts, floods and now challenges as a result of COVID-19.
As optimism grows about a return to normal business conditions, it has been pleasing to see such a positive vibe among those attending recent events.
The Centre has been buzzing with end of season footy celebrations including the Brisbane Lions finishing off the 2021 season in style at the Club Championship Dinner in the Centre’s Great Hall and the Annual Broncos Ball; both attracting 500 guests, along with the return of the popular Yalari Dinner, supporting education for Indigenous children, in the Centre’s Plaza Ballroom.
We were proud to welcome the Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayor’s Forum, hosted by the Brisbane City Council. Adopting a hybrid format for the first time, the event attracted more than 700 physical and virtual delegates representing 74 cities from the Asia Pacific and beyond to discuss urban challenges and opportunities facing cities as they recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We were thrilled to see one of our favourite events, the Churchie Rugby luncheon and their 900 guests in the Centre’s Great Hall and look forward to the legendary Churchie Cricket Lunch on December 7 – which are among the largest corporate sporting lunches in Queensland.
Two exhibitions, which were the first to be held at BCEC following the Centre’s re-opening in August 2020, were back for their 2021 events. The successful Care Expo, and the Spring Home Show, attracted more than 12,000 attendees between them. Jane Ford, Home Show Managing Director, makes the following statement, “I am grateful and proud to be running my first Show in six months. A huge call out goes to my team, our suppliers and the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre for helping us make this happen.”
The Centre is looking forward to hosting a further 270 events through to the end of the year including Supanova and Source Kids Disability Expo.
A popular fixture on the BCEC calendar, the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Induction Dinner 2021 will return on October 28 for what will no doubt be a packed audience in the Centre’s Plaza Ballroom.
Also returning in November for its second post COVID event is the World of Drones & Robotics Congress, again as a hybrid event for those who can attend in person and virtual options for those who cannot. The largest drone congress in the Asia-Pacific Region, the event brings together global leaders in the drones and robotic space. Register here.