‘Doing nothing’ not an option as Adelaide commits to events showcase

The head of an Australian convention bureau has told event organisers to get used to the ‘new normal’ of lockdowns and border controls and find ways to ‘work around them’.

Damien Kitto, CEO of Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB), said Destination South Australia – the business events showcase  – would go ahead as planned, despite a lockdown in Perth, Western Australia (WA).

The four-day event, taking place at the Adelaide Convention Centre, February 10-13, includes a welcome reception, exhibition, dinner, and two days of familiarisation tours.

The event is a key date in the calendar for business event planners in the region and for ACB members.

Damien Kitto, ACB

Kitto said: “Frankly, if we stop planning for future business events in South Australia – an incredibly safe state at managing COVID and with Australia’s only visitor end-to-end COVID safe plan – then we are failing to understand how well we must be prepared for a post vaccine COVID national recovery.

“Everything you plan early in 2021 means you have to stay nimble and adroit at reconfiguring. You simply have to accept clusters, snap lockdowns, border restrictions are our unfortunate new normal for now, and work round them. For Destination South Australia we have done exactly that.”

Kitto said that while delegates from WA would were now unlikely to join ACB guests and exhibitors, there was eagerness from clients in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria to meet face to face.

Delegates can also attend the event virtually.

“Nothing beats having face to face communication for business development and event decisions,” said Kitto. “But, for some that continues to be too complex to achieve and so the ACB’s responsibility to event clients and our members is to do everything possible to mitigate when face to face is not possible, hence glitch-free high-quality hybrid planning is critical.”

He added:  “We cannot afford not to work toward a post-COVID recovery. Staying committed to holding Destination South Australia is therefore critical.”

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