The newly opened BCEC on Grey Street, the five level, $140 million expansion of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), has changed the national landscape for meetings and events and is already making an impact on the global business events market, the highest yielding tourism sector in Australia.
Boutique in concept, dramatic in architecture and already successfully attracting an increased share of international and national conference events, BCEC on Grey Street is the latest showpiece of convention infrastructure in Australia.
Delivering a new dimension to the industry’s offering in Australia, BCEC on Grey Street was designed to meet an evolving market for smaller and medium sized meetings with two auditoria for 400 and 600 with accompanying foyer space, speakers’ facilities and private boardrooms, allowing delegates to ‘own’ the floor for their conference.
The newly expanded BCEC which is operated by international venue management group, AEG Ogden, now delivers unprecedented flexibility and more choices for meetings of all sizes from 8 to 8,000 delegates.
The expansion of the Centre’s facilities with 52% increase in convention space, a total of 44 meeting rooms and the only Centre in Australia with three stand alone tiered auditoria clearly establishes it as Australia’s most flexible meetings venue.
Built on a site adjacent to the existing Centre in the South Bank Convention and Cultural Precinct and interconnecting at the Centre’s Plaza Level, BCEC on Grey Street is designed by specialist convention centre architects, Cox Rayner.
Among the very first events to be held in the new venue are:
- Australian Society for Antimicrobials Annual Scientific meeting “Antimicrobials 2012”
- Conference of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association
- IWA LET – Leading Edge Technology Conference 2012
- 34th Annual Meeting of The Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS)
- International Conference on the Science and Application of Nanotubes
- 8th Australasian Redesigning Healthcare Summit 2012
- Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
BCEC has been profitable every year since opening in 1995 and in the last financial year recorded its highest ever revenue. With BCEC on Grey Street the key driver of the Centre’s continued outstanding performance, 2012 is forecast to record even stronger growth with the hosting of 131 conventions with 73,000 delegates, creating 255,000 room nights in the city’s hotels.
With the completion of the 25,000 square metre expansion, BCEC is equal in size to Australia’s largest convention centre. In acknowledgement of its strong performance and innovation in a fiercely competitive industry the Centre has been officially ranked among the world’s top three convention centres on three separate occasions by the International Association of Congress Centres.
The Centre has also been the recipient of 118 industry performance and achievement awards including 56 major catering awards, with two of its chefs representing Australia in the 2011 famous Bocuse D’Or international cooking competition in France competing at an elite international level.
BCEC works closely with Events Queensland, Brisbane Marketing and major research institutions and universities in promoting Brisbane’s scientific and academic wealth and its profile as a Centre of excellence helping to drive increased conferences to Brisbane
Industry commits support to BCEC on Grey Street
Penny Lion, Head of Business Events Australia, Tourism Australia
“It’s fantastic to see a new venue come on line in Brisbane. With its flexible and well designed spaces, BCEC on Grey is a welcome addition to Australia’s business event offering and I expect it to be very well received internationally. Clients are always looking for new venues in Australia and BCEC on Grey Street will meet these needs.”
Events Queensland CEO John O’Sullivan
“BCEC’s expansion could not have come at a better time. In 2011 we saw a 21 per cent increase in the number of delegates attending conferences in Brisbane (a total of 139,419 delegates), generating an estimated $211,520,664 for the local economy,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
“That’s an increase of more than 10 per cent on the previous year. There’s no denying, the business of events is big business.
“That is why the Queensland Government, through Events Queensland, is investing in business events, which for Brisbane, includes the 34th International Geological Congress, Sigma Theta Tau International Research Conference, World Conference on Design and Health, Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, International Marine Conservation Congress and the International Water Association World Water Congress and Exhibition.”
John Aitken, CEO, Brisbane Marketing
“BCEC on Grey Street makes one of the world’s best convention centres even better, the new facilities enhance Brisbane’s capability to provide a fully integrated conference and meetings experience for national and international delegates.”
Joyce DiMascio, General Manager, Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia
“With the opening of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on Grey Street, Australia has a new portfolio of flexible business events infrastructure located within the heartbeat of Brisbane city. Its proximity to the river and South Bank and its interesting design will give the city a new landmark that captures the spirit of this modern city.
“Australia’s competitiveness as a business events destination requires the ongoing investment in world class facilities. We have in this $140m boutique expansion an outstanding light-filled venue that will appeal to national and international event organisers. Its flexible, smart design will be welcomed by those who create and deliver events.
“On behalf of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia congratulations to Bob O’Keeffe, BCEC General Manager and Harvey Lister, Chairman and CEO of AEG Ogden and the Queensland Government on delivering an important new facility for Brisbane and Australia.”
BCEC on Grey Street Key points
- Five event levels
- 20 meeting rooms incorporating:
- 14 meeting/function spaces – including boutique ballroom and intimate gala venue with views of the city skyline
- 2 executive boardrooms
- 2 speakers’ presentation centres
- 2 tiered auditoria of 400 and 600 capacity
- 52% increase in convention space
- BCEC on Grey Street main entry directly interfaces with the South Bank cultural precinct
- Designed by specialist convention architects, Cox Rayner
- Dramatic facade which is 85% glass
- Five storey sky lit atrium