Events are BACK in QLD

IT CAN BE DONE! QLD successfully hosts Australia’s first major exhibition under strict COVIDsafe regulations.

Everyone involved deserves to be celebrated, from organisers to exhibitors through to attendees as it will continue to take strong, sensible efforts from the entire community to build on this progress.

The annual caravan and camping consumer event, the Gold Coast Expo, was held from July 24-26 at the Gold Coast Turf Club. The expo showcased the latest in camping, caravaning, 4x4s and boating across a large outdoor space, where over 10,000 people were expected to attend over the three days.

The organiser, Australian Events, mentioned that it required “two months of badgering Queensland Health” in order to gain approval to hold the event, and additional time to develop a COVIDsafe plan for the event industry. “We have worked hard to develop new systems and processes to meet the COVID challenge and at the same time create a safe environment for exhibitors as well as the public,” organiser Bob Carroll added.

TICKETING SOLUTION & OPPORTUNITY

A major area of uncertainty was around ticketing, where “for the first time in the history of consumer expos in Australia” it was compulsory for “all tickets to the event be pre-paid via the website”. Carroll added “There was no cash or credit card payments at the gate, it was all pre-paid. The public have understood and have got on board.”

Unfortunately, inclement weather kept attendance numbers lower than expectation but the move to pre-paid ticketing did not affect the total number of quality attendees for exhibitors expecting serious buyers.

Event under close scrutiny from QLD Health and QLD Police.

A team of senior health inspectors attended every day of the weekend’s events, and on Sunday the COVID Unit from Queensland Police arrived for a brief inspection. The systems put in place, including roaming Social Distancing Ambassador’s kept officials happy and even impressed. The Ambassadors helped implement systems to avoid clumping of crowds and queues. Other COVID-safe measures included numerous hand sanitisation stations, clear and prevalent signage all topped off by regular reminder announcements so visitors would not forget to keep a 1.5 metre distance.

“The Public want Events back” organiser Carroll said.

This event served as a test case for all upcoming events and many other events across Australia. However, better communication between event organisers and authorities is needed to get the industry back up and running. “The government have not done enough to help exhibition and event organisers so it is up to us to get it moving,” Carroll said. “I am looking to put together a gathering of organisers, venues, suppliers and contractors in the coming weeks in Queensland to share information and to inspire organisers to get back out there and start setting dates.”

This expo was under a microscope, closely scrutinized by health officials and other event leaders

The dreary weather couldn’t keep excited visitors away