Adelaide Convention Center CEO Alec Gilbert Talks about $8 Billion Redevelopment (2)

Alex Gilbert Adelaide CB CEO

The Adelaide Convention Centre has secured two new large exhibitions for early 2015 as the first stage of their $350 million expansion opens for business. Adelaide Convention Centre Chief Executive Alec Gilbert said the additional space being created at the Centre is attracting the attention of local and national exhibition organisers.

MICExchange spoke to Mr Alec Gilbert during IMEX 2014 about the Adelaide Centres expansion plans.  “We were the first convention center in Australia and right now i think its a rebirth of the destination. Not only is it [the development happening at] Convention Centre, it’s also the Adelaide Oval, The Casino is being redeveloped, and a whole new Medical Research Precinct … in fact there is $AU8 billion of development happening in Adelaide.”

“While our market is generally domestic … we are getting our fair share of international business, particularly for Europe and increasingly from Asia Pacific.”

“We are clearly operating in a very competitive market … the most competitive market anywhere around is in Australia.”  Increasingly the state is recognising the importance of conferences as a catalyst for economic redevelopment.”

“Exhibitions will now be able to grow with the Centre because previous capacity constraints will be lifted following completion of the expansion,” said Mr Gilbert.

From January 30, 2015, the Adelaide Convention Centre will host a brand new wedding festival called Best Day Ever which is expected to attract up to 7,000 visitors over three days. Best Day Ever plans to break new ground with a colourful and creative event featuring master classes, sound stages and social media engagement.

The new exhibitions will then be closely followed by the Centre’s own multi-award winning annual Cellar Door Wine Festival  during February 2015 which last year attracted 9,000 visitors.

“Over the last few years, we’ve built a strong reputation for hosting successful exhibitions including AVCon – an anime and video game exhibition which attracts 14,000 visitors and Savour Australia – Australia’s inaugural global wine forum. “Also, the creation of our own successful show, the Cellar Door Wine Festival, has enabled us to walk in the shoes of exhibition organisers so we know what they need and understand their commercial imperatives.

“We’ve developed a strong understanding of how to create truly impressive exhibitions, both as a host and a client, and that gives us a distinct competitive advantage.”

As a result, the Adelaide Convention Centre has tailored its exhibition service to help clients to develop, stage and promote their exhibition.  The Centre has adopted a partnership approach to exhibitions and works with the client to maximise attendance.

This includes the Centre having its own public exhibition ticketing system and software, which enables the exhibition organiser to professionally manage online and on-site ticket sales.  For more information on the Centre’s Exhibition Services, contact Adelaide Convention Centre Sales.

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