Adelaide recently hosted Connect South Australia, the State’s largest business event since pre-Covid.
With South Australia (SA) described as “one of the most Covid-Safe destinations in the world”, business events are again operating in Adelaide.
With an advance Covid-Safe sign off from Health SA, the Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB) organised and delivered Connect SA.
The conference was held at the Adelaide Convention Centre and the event’s main guest panel included Penny Lion from Business Events Australia. The panel spoke on “the value of face to face reconnection and the invaluable knowledge transfer such events provide”.
ACB chief executive, Damien Kitto, said: “Connect SA adds another success for the ACB on behalf of the State because we already bested the nation by achieving an 85% success in postponing booked 2020 business events into 2021 and 2022.”
The ACB’s SAFE end to end Covid-safe promise campaign which was launched in June to attract prospective national clients, is now also attracting more than two dozen events which had previously been booked into the eastern States.
Kitto added: “With the visible success of Connect SA we now intend for more to follow. The success of Connect SA which included food service, the exhibition and the Covid-safe movement of delegates in and out of different rooms was impressive,” he said. “It has given Health SA, and us, the confidence to secure national business events here even before the end of 2020. Restarting these events is critical to the State’s economy, something that has not really been recognised in SA, as it had been in other States and internationally, until recently.”
The ACB’s latest annual report shows that the organisation has secured some AU$208m (US$146m) for the State in the FY 2019/20 even with the advent of Covid and a return on investment to government of some 160%.
Kitto said the ACB set out to win conferences with delegates most aligned to SA’s stated economic pillars including advanced technologies, biomed, agtech, space and defence.
Kitto said that the ACB was now working with its members to ensure they were ready to manage the new Covid-normal and welcome more large events for the State.
Aerial photo of Adelaide provided by Simon Casson.