Adelaide Convention Centre throws open doors to East wing

Adelaide Convention Centre’s (ACC) East wing was launched last Wednesday in a spectacular fashion which included fireworks, a narrated light show, and South Australia’s State premier appearing by hologram.

The opening completes the end of a nine-year redevelopment project costing almost A$400 million (US$318 million). Its centrepiece is a plenary hall with the world’s largest rotating drums seating 320 people each, a feature demonstrated to more than 500 guests who sat in two auditoriums to experience it revolve 180 degrees towards a stage as the Adelaide Youth Orchestra performed.

ACC was declared open with much fanfare

South Australia’s premier, Jay Weatherill, then appeared in holographic form to start his speech, before turning up in real form to finish it.

The plenary itself provides 3,000mof flat floor space for exhibitions or banquets and seats 3,500.

It can also be configured in 15 ways, making it Australia’s most flexible convention space, Simon Burgess, ACC’s director of convention & exhibition sales, told TTGmice.

“Innovation is the key to the future of conferencing,” added Burgess. “I think we’re very much ahead of the curve right now but we’ll need to continue to innovate”.

Burgess: 95 conferences secured so far, wouldn’t have been possible without the expanded wing

The launch of the East wing is part of Adelaide’s wider A$5 billion redevelopment of the city’s Riverbank, Adelaide Oval, the casino and other connected areas.

“(The launch) wasn’t cheap,” said Burgess. “But we want people to know we have a facility here that can accommodate world class conferencing.”

Another highlight of the new space is a sparkling ‘starry night’ aerial backdrop with more than 35,000 fibre optic lights, available for banquet events when the plenary is in flat floor mode.

Currently, 95 major conferences have already been secured for the expanded centre, none of which would have been possible without the new East wing, said Burgess. This includes the International Astronautical Congress which starts on September 25, which will be the largest event ever held in Adelaide in terms of international delegate numbers.

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