Words by Renae Spinks
The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) has been voted the best in the world.
The International Association of Convention Centres conference this month handed the Queensland venue the 2016 AIPC Apex Award based on client ratings, beating out a pool of 21 applicants.
Picture: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Runners up were Kongresskultur Bregenz in Austria and Hawaii Convention Center in the US.
Criteria included technical facilities, organisational achievement, project management, catering and the program of accompanying events.
Last month BCEC celebrated its 21st birthday, having hosted 18,000 events, 14 million visitors and delivering $3.87 billion in economic benefit to Queensland. One of its most notable achievements was hosting the G20 Summit in 2014.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated BCEC and its operators, AEG Ogden, saying it was a great honour for the state.
“This award acknowledges what Queenslanders already know – that we have some of the greatest show spaces in the world, right here on our doorstep,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The award comes hot on the heels of three gongs for BCEC at the 2016 Queensland Meetings & Events Australia Industry Awards in March. The venue took out honours as Meeting Venue 500 Delegates or More; Banqueting & Catering; and In-House AV Services.
Picture: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
BCEC sits at Brisbane’s South Bank, and features 24 multi-functional meeting and event spaces, including the Great Hall, the Plaza Ballroom, executive boardrooms, ancillary rooms and four exhibition halls, incorporating 20,000 square metres of dedicated exhibition space.
What we like:
- Its boutique expansion, BCEC on Grey Street, is designed for small and medium-sized conferences, with a collection of boutique event spaces.
- It has a permanent art gallery for its collection of Indigenous art, which doubles as a venue space.
- Its green credentials include sensor-operated escalators; an organic waste dehydrator; recycling of mercury-containing lamps; and the use of recycled water to clean its 37,500 square-metre roof.
- Discover the Americas Travel Expo: July 31, 2016
Mini city guide: Art Walks in Brisbane
Conventions outside the box: Hamilton Island
Picture: Kongresskultur Bregenz
Set in the town of Bregenz, Austria, on the shores of Lake Constance, the architecturally wonderful Kongresskultur conference centre features the Bregenz Festival House (Festspielhaus); Great Hall (Grosser Saal); Studio Theatre (Werkstattbuhne) and many more spaces.
What we like:
- The Floating Stage is the world’s largest floating stage and provides Lake Constance as the unique backdrop to events such as the internationally acclaimed Bregenz Festival.
- Restaurant buehnedrei is right on the lake, serves regional specialities, has a spacious sun terrace, and converts into a bar and lounge at night.
- Kongresskultur can help you organise your accompanying program, from cablecar rides to mount Pfander, to brandy tastings or canoeing tours of the Bregenzerach river.
- 2016 Bregenz Festival: July 20-August 21, 2016.
Hawaii Convention Center
Picture: Getty Images
Tranquil and invigorating is how the Hawaii Convention Center describes itself – it is in Hawaii, after all. The open-air Honolulu venue, steps from Waikiki Beach, is adorned with shady terraces, waterfalls and fishponds, and features 47 meeting rooms, an exhibit hall, two theatres, a ballroom, registration lobby and rooftop terrace.
What we like:
- There are more than 30,000 overnight rooms in Waikiki, with 28,000 of them within a 2.4-kilometre radius of the convention centre.
- The spirit of aloha is everywhere, from the sea breezes to the extraordinary views, tropical decor, and farm-fresh Hawaiian-style food.
- The one-hectare rooftop events garden can accommodate 1,000-person banquets or 2,500-person receptions, with extraordinary views over the city.
- Comic Con Honolulu: July 29-31, 2016