Adelaide Convention Centre’s new West Building has marked its first year of operation by hosting 560 events over the 12 months, including 76 conferences which took over all or most of the entire Centre.
The new West Building began operating as the Centre’s original plenary building, which dates back to 1987, was demolished to make way for construction of the new East Building – set to open in 2017.
The staged approach to the Centre’s $400 million expansion has ensured that it can continue to operate throughout construction to provide continuity for clients and to maximise the benefits to the South Australian economy.
Adelaide Convention Centre Chief Executive Alec Gilbert said the West Building’s flexibility and seamless integration into the existing Central building have proved to be key drawcards for event and conference organisers.
“Larger events using only the West Building have their own dedicated entrance so there’s little or no crossover with other events being held in other parts of the Centre,” said Mr Gilbert.
“In addition, we’ve been able to host more events simultaneously, which is vital in an era where events and conferences are becoming smaller but more frequent.
“The Centre is now also offering a richer experience for delegates with new technologies, innovative event set-ups and an emphasis on serving top grade local produce.”
The Centre’s location at the heart of Adelaide’s revitalised Riverbank precinct, and in particular the neighbouring BioMed City, the largest of its kind in the Southern hemisphere, are key assets in attracting events.
Twenty-six percent (128 events) hosted at the Centre in the last 12 months had a medical or health focus. The Centre has also been successful in attracting events from other sectors important to South Australia’s economy including mining, finance and education.
Notwithstanding the success of the West Building, the real benefits of the Centre’s expansion will be realised next year when the East Building opens to create more than 4,000 sqm of event and conference space across the Centre.
Completion of the East Building is being planned ahead of the 68th International Astronautical Congress (September 25-29, 2017), which will bring 3,000 delegates from around the world to Adelaide.