The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC), part of The Star Entertainment Group will have hosted more than 3,255 events in its 12 year history, set to be commemorated in June.
Riding the wave of confidence garnered from GCCEC’s best fiscal performance for a third consecutive year, the Centre is set to continue the trend in 2017. With more than 21,000 domestic and international delegates welcomed throughout the first six months of the current year, the GCCEC is well positioned to build on the recent success having hosted Australia’s largest travel and tourism trade event, the annual Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE).
The Tourism Exchange attracted record numbers in its 37 year history, with allure of the Gold Coast no doubt playing a key role in its immense success. With a global spotlight on the Gold Coast and over 2,300 delegates in attendance made up of wholesale and retail sellers, buyers, media and VIPs - the GCCEC proved why Coast’s premier conferencing facility continues to demonstrate that business and leisure are a winning formula.
GCCEC General Manager, Adrienne Readings, believes that in the wake of major development ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast has not only come of age but that it had peaked in popularity as one of Australia’s most attractive tourism destinations.
“As the regions prominent conferencing venue, ATE proved an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our truly unique destination and the ability to cater to key tourism decision makers globally was certainly a privilege.
“The appeal of the Gold Coast is without a doubt enticing and to be able to roll out the welcome mat for one of our main economic pillars (tourism), was a fabulous prospect for the region and a logistical challenge we embraced wholeheartedly, Readings said.”
GCCEC is renowned for service excellence and the venue has built a solid reputation for delivering bespoke events thanks to meticulous planning and an innate ability to focus on intricate details to bring events and organisers’ vision to life.
ATE was no exception, and with 838 shifts rostered across the duration of the four day event, it was all hands on deck for GCCEC’s team of 300 personnel.
Operationally, the GCCEC faced some challenges including replicating a large scale commercial kitchen equipped with all mod cons inclusive of power, cool rooms, 10 heat benches, and 15 ovens.A large marquee structure measuring 6m x 40m stood strategically erected on GCCEC’s northern lawn premises behind ATE’s main catering marquee.
Daily, GCCEC’s 25 chefs methodically delivered a tailored menu developed specifically for ATE by GCCEC Executive Chef, Garry Kindred and Sous Chef, Adam Hall. The duo tastefully produced an Asian fusion inspired menu complemented by a well-balanced hot and cold buffet in addition to the theatrics of live cooking stations and unique inclusions including Aussie sandwich ice-creams.
With a food philosophy steeped in challenging and indeed changing the thinking of conventions and catering alike, sustainable catering is a key consideration for the venue. A semi-open custom built kitchen offered guests the opportunity to view plating and watch as chefs masterfully fused the tastes of the Gold Coast, complete with fresh produce and ingredients grown and sourced locally, within 200km radius of the Centre.
Garry Kindred, GCCEC Executive Chef, said he knew his team would be “pushing themselves to deliver fresh and wholesome cuisine that celebrates the culinary diversity and innovation of the region”.
“Logistically, service was challenging because we had to be extremely organised to meet tight delivery timelines to make it all happen, given that we were working outside of our kitchen comfort zone, due to the unconventional nature of the set-up of this event.
“We served a tapas style menu for lunch guests in addition to catering for morning and afternoon tea in the main exhibition area measuring 10,000sqm, for separate special destination marketing cocktail requirements and catering for 80 media representatives.
“It was a tall order, however I am confident that the team delivered a successful event where our love of finer details was on display, Kindred added.”
The legacy of ATE is set to create a greater impact on the Gold Coast beyond its $11-13 million estimated economic value. As an industry-leading venue located within one of Australia’s most attractive tourism destinations, the Broadbeach precinct remains a thriving and dynamic catalyst for enticing business events and hosting major public events.
View images of ATE here via Flickr.