Adelaide Convention Centre Takes International Centre Stage

21st Sep, 2015

The opening of the Adelaide Convention Centre’s new West Building, the first stage in a $400 million expansion, has put the Centre in the international spotlight with reported record interest from professional conference organisers around the world.

Further interest is being sparked by the redevelopment of Adelaide’s Riverbank precinct with the expanded Centre at the heart of the city’s new hub for culture, sport, business, entertainment and health, the largest in the southern hemisphere.

The Centre acts as a gateway to the Riverbank’s key precincts which are creating a must see destination and centrepiece for the vibrant city of Adelaide, rated by both Lonely Planet and The New York Times it in the top 10 places to see in 2015.
Two years prior to the completion of the Centre’s new East Building in 2017, where the additional space and world-class facilities will be fully realised, the Centre already has more than 700 events secured, including 30 conferences with more than 1,000 delegates each.

These events include the 68th International Astronautical Congress in 2017 which will bring 3,000 delegates from around the world to Adelaide.

Attracting larger conferences
The larger conferences and events will occupy the entire Centre across the three unique buildings - West, Central and East - which will seamlessly integrate and link internally via a new Sky Walk. However, while Adelaide Convention Centre is aiming to attract more large conferences, it’s the flexibility of the Centre to cater for a number of conferences and events where the real benefits lie.

Adelaide Convention Centre Chief Executive Alec Gilbert said 92% percent of conferences attract 1000 delegates or less.

“This is where the Centre will now be able to cater for two or three conferences of this size simultaneously,” said Gilbert. “The expansion has been designed to provide conferences with their own dedicated entrance for their delegates so there’s no need for them to cross paths. The design of the Centre’s expansion also provides greater flexibility and choice for how a conference can be configured, with for example, the West Building’s new Halls (LMNO) able to be sub-divided into six different configurations. There’s also a range of breakout spaces where mini-exhibitions and networking hubs can be created during conferences, with these areas directly opening up onto the picturesque Riverbank promenade on the lower level.”

Key technologies
The expanded Centre boasts state-of-the-art technologies, with a number used for the first time in a convention centre or the largest of their kind in the world. They include:

• The first three dimensional retractable lighting grid in the world, powered by 158 chain motors, to allow ceiling heights to be adjusted and shaped for each event;
• Australia’s largest portable plenary which can seat up to 1,000 and can be extended, retracted and relocated in various locations within the new Halls;
• The same media broadcast network used by the Formula One teams to allow high definition video and audio to be displayed within multiple meeting rooms simultaneously.

With construction work about to commence on the Centre’s new East Building, it’s a new era for the Adelaide Convention Centre and Adelaide itself as it seeks to attract more international conferences and events to the city.

Adelaide is definitely ready for a new starring role as it takes international centre stage.

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