Organisers see a bright outlook for next year’s PacPrint trade show.
The Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) recently held its first ‘Centre Stage Update’ customer briefing. It says restrictions lifting around Australia and in particular in the southern capital, points to a bright outlook for 2022.
PacPrint organiser Visual Connections says the news is overwhelmingly good for the upcoming tradeshow that will take place at the MCEC. It says all signs point to the MCEC holding numerous events well before Christmas. MCEC expects a big lift in both the number of events, and the venue’s capacity limits, from March and April next year.
Peter King, chief executive officer at MCEC, joined chief operating officer Helen Fairclough, chief communications officer Melissa Sweetland, and senior manager for security and safety Darren Horne to bring event organisers up to date with the latest developments, as well as the outlook from government and health authorities.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has created an undeniably difficult landscape for the venue, King says his team has used the time wisely. It has added expertise and capabilities, expanding and revising its management structure. It has also invested in new digital tools and technologies to make it even more agile and customer-focused.
King contends that there is no question that venues are on the way back to full capacity. He sees the MCEC positioned more strongly than most due to positive discussions with government, which could see it designated a ‘venue of significance’ – leading to an expedited easing of restrictions. He adds that we can expect an announcement on that soon.
Visual Connections believes the outlook should give confidence to everyone making plans to travel to Melbourne for the shows. Jenny Harris, events manager at Visual Connections, says, “The indications from government are very clear that we will be moving to lift a whole suite of restrictions into 2022 as we work towards living safely with Covid-19.
“Already, the MCEC is hosting successful events, and we would expect that things will look almost back to normal by the time PacPrint rolls around mid-year.
“Regardless of restriction changes, however, the MCEC is now well-versed in providing a Covid-safe environment with contactless check in and payment systems across the venue, clear signage and floor decals, more than 100 sanitiser stations and plenty of Covid marshals to enforce capacity limits and social distancing.
“Other risk mitigation strategies include things like revised cleaning schedules and a new return-air HVAC system, which pushes 100 per cent fresh air into an indoor space, lifting the air quality to essentially on par with outdoor spaces.”
Harris is confident everyone will also see a bright outlook with virtual and hybrid event elements also being facilitated. She says, “We are reimagining the physical spaces within the MCEC complex. We are looking at greater access to outdoor areas. Also, the new 2000 square metre rooftop Skyfarm is now available for event organisers.
“We have an excellent relationship with the team at the MCEC and we are working closely with them and with our other partners. Further, we have well over 60 exhibitors as we confidently prepare for the shows to open from June 28 to July 1, 2022.”