A one of a kind convention centre, currently under construction at the RNA Showgrounds in Brisbane, has been officially launched to the industry during the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo in Melbourne today.
RNA Chief Executive Jonathan Tunny was joined by Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau Director Annabel Sullivan to unveil Brisbane’s newest convention centre, which is projected to attract more than 220 events and 30,000 visitors annually.
“The RNA is proud to announce the world-class $59 million Royal International Convention Centre (RICC) will open in March 2013 and bookings are being taken now,” he said.
“It is the only convention and exhibition centre currently under construction in Australia with work set to be completed by December.
“The RICC is part of stage one of our exciting $2.9 billion 15 year RNA Showgrounds Regeneration Project, which will transform the site into a vibrant year-round destination offering a unique lifestyle and cultural hub.”
Mr Tunny said the historic regeneration of the RNA Showgrounds – a famous Queensland social heritage and cultural landmark – will cement its place as a leading national and international events precinct.
“It represents Australia’s largest Brownfield development, is the most significant urban renewal project in Brisbane since South Bank and includes 340,000m2 of new residential, commercial and retail precinct development,” he said.
Mr Tunny said the 22,000m2 multi-level centre is set to hold international, national and local business events, which in 2010-2011 pumped a total of $212 million* into the Brisbane economy.
“Situated in one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, the new RICC is ideally located just 1.6 kilometres from Brisbane’s CBD and 15 minutes from international and domestic airports,” he said.
“It will sit pride of place on the 22 hectare RNA Showgrounds site, which is Brisbane’s biggest indoor/outdoor events venue attracting a million visitors a year.”
Mr Tunny said the RICC offered Australian first features including a custom-built operable ceiling grid system which can cut exhibition set-up time by up to a day.
“It is the only centre nationally to feature this state-of-the-art rigging system which will result in less labour, less time and less set-up costs,” he said.
“The 30, 9m2 frames are each capable of a 700kg load, are fitted with power and network ports and able to be lowered by remote control.”
Mr Tunny said the RICC is positioned to stage domestic and international, business and social events and will be supported by a professional team of in-house event planners, an operations team and experienced catering staff.
“Our catering facilities will be world-class and feature 12 of the latest designed self-cooking centres, capable of serving 2,600 plates in 40 minutes,” he said.
“The ovens enable us to produce fresh food on a daily basis for large numbers and feature a computerised system to track and monitor the quality of food being served.”
Mr Tunny said the RNA Showgrounds has a long and close relationship with the Queensland community and this new centre has been specifically designed to cater for Brisbane’s significant growth.
“The RICC will become home to leading events on a year-round basis including banquets, conferences, exhibitions and seminars,” he said.
Across two levels, the centre will house:
• 4,500m2 of exhibition space which fronts 1,800m2 of flexible open space known as Ekka Plaza
• Three flexible halls totalling 3,210m2 plus 1,500m2 of foyer space
• Seven meeting rooms of flexible combination totalling 630m2 plus two board rooms
• A 1,200m2 commercial kitchen
• Approximately 140 car parks
Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau Director, Annabel Sullivan said Brisbane’s status as a leading destination for national and international business events is strengthened by the planned RNA Showgrounds Regeneration Project, of which the Royal International Convention Centre is a key part.
“Attracting business events to Brisbane Australia’s new world city has a positive effect on the bottom line of the local economy and creates lasting legacies for local businesses and individuals whom benefit from knowledge enrichment and skills transfer for years to come,” she added.
(*Source: Brisbane Marketing – Economic Value of Brisbane’s Events Industry)