South Australia & Adelaide

Recently, the 2018 Executive PA Corporate Event Organiser Survey indicated Adelaide experienced significant success in attracting more business events to the city during 2017. Since other data agrees with these findings, our Chairman, Russell Peacock decided to sit down with some of South Australia’s leading authorities on the topic, both from government and the private sector, to learn more about SA’s resurgence, the reasons why the state is a great bet for the future and why you may find yourself recommending it to your executive.

Open an old guide book on South Australia and alongside the faded photographs, you’ll inevitably be informed about its “healthy Mediterranean climate, with wet, cold winters and dry, hot summers”.

SA is so much more than its weather patterns. Especially now, as it goes through one of its most impressive periods of development and change in its 200-year existence.

The tourism expert explains it from his perspective
Rodney Harrex is an ex-Sydneysider with two lengthy periods in London for Tourism Australia. Since he became CEO of the South Australian Tourism Commission five years ago, Mr Harrex and his team have been instrumental in building South Australia’s visitor economy (which includes business events) to over $6 billion, as well as attracting more international and national direct flights to the state.

I manage to get hold of Mr Harrex before a scheduled video interview. I ask him why a family should consider living in South Australia.

“Well take my own experience,” he says cheerfully.
“I haven’t looked back. It’s a great lifestyle, affordable house prices, excellent schools & universities and fantastic wine. And to top it all you are never far from the natural beauty of the place.”

He believes that infrastructure is just as big a draw card.
“It’s one of the most well laid out and walkable cities to live in (he’s right there, I walked to every one of my interviews), great internet speeds and even the trams are free.”

I mention that nearly everyone I’ve interviewed seems to be singing from the same song sheet, which can be important for EAs and businesses interested in running events in a region and looking to speak with the right people.

“Yes, that’s right,” he responds.
“We work very closely with state government and the Adelaide Convention Bureau with the aim of attracting more business to the city and state. One way or another we can help, either directly or by putting an enquiry in-touch with the right people.”

And finally, the event organiser says her piece
The 2018, Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) National Conference was a great success and a lot of it can attributed to the destination, Adelaide. I spoke with MEA CEO, Robyn Johnson to learn more.

“MEA last met in Adelaide in 2009 and since then it really has been transformed. This year’s conference was held in the new East Building that was part of a $397 million expansion of the Adelaide Convention Centre and together with the upgrade to the Adelaide Oval and the Adelaide Festival Centre, has created a dynamic riverbank precinct all within close walking distance from hotels,” Ms Johnson says.

“It’s an easy city to conference in and very accessible. It boasts great meeting facilities and its scale ensures an intimate delegate experience and is just a stone’s throw from a terrific range of experiences for pre and post-touring. It’s little wonder that Lonely Planet ranked the Adelaide’s West End one of the top three “coolest” neighbourhoods in Australia.”

This is an excerpt from our in-depth report on South Australia that will appear in the next issue of Chief of Staff Magazine.

SA Premier Steven Marshall with Executive PA Media’s Russell Peacock

More on Adelaide and South Australia here

Get the full inside story on why your business needs to know about South Australia. CoS hits the shelves first week of July and will contain exclusive interviews with several South Australian key figures including, Premier Steven Marshall and the Trade and Tourism Minister David Ridgway.