Venue closures extended in Melbourne and Brisbane, while QODE goes virtual

Australasia News
Venue closures extended in Melbourne and Brisbane, while QODE goes virtual

Management of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), which closed to the public last month in response to the current COVID-19 outbreak, has taken the decision to extend the closure until the end of June.

MCEC said it took the decision “to provide our customers and employees with clearer timelines so we can all plan accordingly. As always, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust plans accordingly”.

Over at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), management has said the facility will close down for an extended period over the Easter and school holiday break.

Prompted by the Australian Federal Government’s restrictions on public gatherings and events, the BCEC said it would close until 27 April when, the BCEC said, representatives from the Sales, Events and Operational Departments would be back at work.

At the end of March, QODE Brisbane, a future technology conference and festival, streamed live on a YouTube channel and offered virtual exhibitor stands, rather than cancelling the event outright.

The event, which attracted international speakers, was streamed free of charge, and ticket holders were refunded.

Brisbane VR company, Visitor Vision, partnered on the virtual event project, providing the technology that enabled exhibitors to access information about who had virtually visited their stands.

Chief QODE Officer Jackie Taranto said: “One of the key reasons people attend conferences is to visit the exhibitor booths to gain further insight into the products and information available, and for those exhibiting, it’s a really important way to access that market”.

“These extraordinary circumstances call for innovative solutions and what better way to ensure this important global event goes ahead than by embracing the latest technology,” said Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner commenting on the virtual QODE.

Queensland Government Information Minister Kate Jones added that moving the event online had been in the best interests of all Queenslanders.

“No one can think outside the box quite like an entrepreneur or a small business person,” she said. “The organisers of QODE have been clear – the show must go on. Or in this case, go online.”

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World. Write Paul an E-mail

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