Greetings from soggy Sydney.
On Wednesday night it was great to catch up with colleagues at Royal Randwick for the MEA NSW kick off function. There is definitely a feeling of optimism that this time around the industry might stay open. And after two years it was great to meet a bunch of new faces.
No such luck in Queensland though with floodwaters currently affecting major venues including the Howard Smith Wharves and the Brisbane and Gold Coast convention & exhibition centres.
Even events in venues like the Brisbane Town Hall have had access issues resulting in postponed events.
In Sydney events are coming back – sort of
Last night I had intended to go to the Genesis Owusu gig at the Enmore Theatre (my partner has a family connection to the musician we know as Kofi). As it turns out the gig was short lived. I really feel for the team at the Enmore who have spent millions on the venue out of love for the venue and their gigs. Yes I have spent quite a bit of time at that venue both as crew and as a punter.
Sydney’s event venues – as one opens another is rumoured to be closing
The MEA function was held at Sydney’s newest event venue, the Winx Stand at Royal Randwick.
Meanwhile The Star Event Centre have stopped taking bookings for the latter part of this year with considerable concern in the industry about rumours that is to close for conversion into another live theatre. Remember that when The Star opened there was a smaller theatre where shows like The Rocky Horror Show played – that space has since been converted into a nightclub.
Great event venues are in short supply. They have large foyers, easy access and high ceilings – this differentiates them from function centres that while useful for corporate events are more suited to private events such as weddings.
Event venues are the go to for major awards dinners. The Star Event Centre can accommodate up to 1000 patrons for dinner events and is the venue of choice for industry awards such as the Rugby League, ARIA and AACTA and for corporates including real estate, small business and many more.
In Melbourne the popular choice is the Palladium at Crown, well known for AFL Awards and a host of corporates.
Although there are other venues in Sydney with the capacity to host these awards (ICC Sydney, Royal Randwick and The Venue Alexandria) none have the glamour fitout and outstanding staging facilities associated with The Star and the Palladium. I suspect that when The Star Event Centre closes Melbourne will truly become the event capital of Australia as the big awards events head south.
Speaking of high ceilings – as we continue to deal with COVID related issues, Dr Norman Swan told the audience at Get Local that high ceilings and good ventilation are even more important for keeping staff and patrons safe.
Bronwen Largier has written an excellent piece about the impact of COVID safety measures on events that are relevant to the discussion around venues.
And now to this week’s articles
Gary FitzRoy is back with his take on the recovery and what the industry represented bodies are doing (or not doing) about it.
Australian Regional Tourism (ART) has this week unveiled a comprehensive online professional development training program for Local Government and tourism professionals at a meeting of regional tourism organisations in Melbourne.
With restrictions lifted and people encouraged to return to their workplaces, it is now time for Victoria to get back to business. At the forefront of this drive is the resumption of Victoria’s robust business events sector.
‘Regional Australia – Paving the way for a stronger Visitor Economy’ Australian Regional Tourism and convention partner, City of Ballarat, is pleased to announce that Ballarat, Victoria will be hosting the 2022 Australian Regional Tourism Convention to be held 10-12 October 2022.