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March 11, 2021
In this issue
Tourism Australia’s Pip Harrison says we must get ready to capture pent-up demand
The one thing Reconnect Canberra taught us that every online event needs
400 attend AFR Business Summit in Sydney
MCEC prepares for first exhibition since Covid

Tourism Australia’s Pip Harrison says we must get ready to capture pent-up demand
By Joyce DiMascio
Tourism Australia (TA) has had a big brief for supporting the visitor economy. And a key to it is “just getting through this year.”
Marketing Australia as a leisure and business destination to the world has been its traditional mandate for more than 53 years. But over the past 12 months, its programs have been expanded to include encouraging Australians to both holiday and meet in Australia.
At the annual Destination Australia conference, held as a hybrid event last Friday, the nation’s chief of all things tourism, Pip Harrison, gave a wide-ranging speech that shed light on how the agency is approaching the future, the rebuild of the industry and in particular the return of the international market.
Continue reading here. 
The one thing Reconnect Canberra taught us that every online event needs
By Laura Bradley
Yesterday I joined 40 other members of the business events industry for Reconnect Canberra, a virtual famil aimed at showcasing the city’s venues, accommodation options and cultural experiences.
The famil was particularly timely as only weeks prior the city had eased restrictions on gatherings, allowing events with up to 10,000 people to take place and permitting the National Convention Centre Canberra (NCCC) to operate at 75 per cent of its capacity.
Reconnect Canberra featured updates from local suppliers, video footage of venues, an overview of the hotel scene and even a wine tasting experience with Shaw Wines.
But it was this one component that really made an impact with attendees, and it was something I believe should be integrated into every online event.
Click here to discover what it was.
400 attend AFR Business Summit in Sydney
On Tuesday Hilton Sydney played host to the first day of the Australian Financial Review’s Business Summit, an event presented by Broken Hill Propriety Company Ltd (BHP).
The summit brought together 400 of the nation's political and business leaders to discuss how Australia will emerge from the Covid-19 crisis in the strongest possible economic position.
After the opening address by PM Scott Morrison, one of the panels discussed “Team Australia business rebuilds”. One of the panellists was Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
Hilton Sydney’s new general manager, Hayden Hughes, said he was delighted to showcase the hotel’s $25 million renovation to the guests. The renovation saw all 587 of the hotel’s guest rooms and suites undergo an extensive re-design.
MCEC prepares for first exhibition since Covid
Between March 20 and 22, 2021, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) will host The Gift and Lifestyle Fair. This will be the first exhibition held in the centre since Covid-19 restrictions came into effect in 2020.
Under current restrictions, the MCEC is able to host events at up to 75 per cent capacity per event space, with a maximum of 5000 attendees. From March 20, 2021, the capacity will increase to 10,000 patrons per event space per day, at a maximum of 75 per cent capacity. This will allow for exhibitions to operate two daily sessions at a maximum of 5000 per session.
Darren Waite, director of sales at MCEC, said the venue is thrilled to welcome back trade shows and exhibitions.
“At MCEC we are incredibly proud to be acknowledged as a standout venue for COVID-safety, which means we can start the return of business events, exhibitions and conferences at MCEC,” he said.
“These trade shows and exhibitions are the lifeblood of what we do at MCEC and it is so exciting to see some of our most valued customers able to fill our building again.”
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