South Australia’s capital, Adelaide, is evolving fast as a medical conference capital.
A new Innovation Corridor stretching through the heart of the CBD has attracted the attention of associations and conference organisers.
The Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) sits at the heart of the Innovation Corridor and provides direct connectivity to both the A$3.6bn BioMed City (the largest health and life sciences precinct in the Southern Hemisphere) and the developing Lot Fourteen (Australia’s first innovation neighbourhood).
The ACC actively targets conferences that align with South Australia’s key industry strengths, including health and medical sciences; defence and space; digital; creative industries; AgTech; BioTech and energy. Knowledge transfer also features strongly in the meetings marketing message.
BioMed City embraces 18,000 people, including 2,000 medical researchers and the community is expected to grow further with the addition of a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital along with SAHMRI 2, which will house the Southern Hemisphere’s first proton therapy unit.
Select examples of how the connectivity between BioMed City and the ACC has benefitted clients include:
• For the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, it meant anchoring their national conference in Adelaide for a three-year term to have access to the cardiac researchers next door at SAHMRI.
• For the Australian & New Zealand Endovascular Therapies meeting, it meant being able to work with the Royal Adelaide Hospital for a live cross from surgery to the conference at the ACC.
• For the Australian Dental Congress it meant attracting 1,000 day delegates to their exhibition due to the University of Adelaide Dental School being located directly next to the convention centre.
Future big medical and health-related events coming to the ACC include:
• November 2020: World Congress on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion 2020 (1,000 pax)
• August 2021: CSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting & Australian and New Zealand Endovascular Therapies Meeting (anchored in Adelaide for a three-event term 2019, 2021, 2023) (1,500 pax)
• October 2024: World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (2,500 pax).
Simon Burgess, General Manager, Adelaide Convention Centre tells CMW: “If we could choose our neighbours, BioMed City would have been at the top of our list, particularly for a venue like ours where medical and health related events account for more than one-third of our conference business.”
BioMed City can also provide a ready supply of speakers and delegates for conferences in the city.
Burgess notes the ACC teamed up with SAHMRI’s nutrition and metabolism theme to develop its Honest Goodness menu, with its emphasis on minimal intervention foods and conscious reduction of processed elements.
Professor Steve Wesselingh, SAHMRI Executive Director, adds: “With BioMed City precinct being next door to the Convention Centre means that when there is a cardiovascular conference, for example, the cardiologists from overseas and interstate can wander up, talk to us, visit our labs, visit the hospital.
“People organising conferences talk to us about visiting SAHMRI, the potential for students to be involved in their conference, or for students involved in their conference to come up to SAHMRI and meet our students.”
Yvette van Eenennaam, General Manager, Adelaide BioMed City, adds: “Whenever I am travelling for business, I try to combine the conference I’m attending with some visits to institutions to meet with experts in my area. Adelaide offers an abundance of these opportunities – from our Adelaide BioMed City to Tonsley Innovation District with its focus on hi-tech manufacturing and R&D; and more recently, Lot Fourteen. People around the globe aren’t always aware of the incredible beauty – and innovation – that can be found here.”
Adelaide Convention Bureau’s annual showcase events, targeted at specific sectors are one way of introducing potential buyers to the city’s key assets. Another is familiarisation tours – including to the National Wine Centre and some of the many local wineries.
The World Potato Congress was one major conference secured after its international decision-makers were hosted and experienced all the destination has to offer.
Damien Kitto, Adelaide Convention Bureau CEO says future showcases will expand upon the strongsuit themes in co-operation with the State Government and introduce new focuses including space research, “thanks to the newly formed Australian Space Agency, located in the heart of the CBD”.