Business Events News



LAST weekend the Gold Coast welcomed thousands of visitors in one of the city’s first major business events since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Australian Pharmacy Profession­al Conference (APP) took place at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, under strict COVID-Safe protocols.

The pandemic saw last year’s APP, scheduled for 19-22 Mar 2020, pivot to a virtual event amid border closures and lockdowns, with the show’s convenor, Kos Sclavos (pictured cutting the ceremonial opening ribbon) telling BEN he was thrilled the event was once again able to be held in person.

“We’ve been fortunate enough that we’ve had a clear run in the last two weeks,” Sclavos said.

“But even up to nine weeks ago, at the height of the Melbourne scare, it would have been a multi-million dollar loss if we’d pulled the plug then, or if half our Melbourne companies had to pull out.

“A lot of people have come to the conference confident, and it’s been great for the industry to show we can come together.

“But the lesson for Australia is we need more certainty with borders, because we’re still running enormous risk.”

While Sclavos noted there were delegates from across the country, Western Australian numbers were subdued due to concerns that attendees could find themselves locked out of the state if border closures were implemente­d.

Sclavos added that APP had highlighte­d the importance of face-to-face events and called for the continuati­on of the Government’s Business Events Grants program, with participan­ts receiving more than $1.36 million in funding.

“That support needs to continue until we have high vaccinatio­n rates, or until we get to a point where the shutdown of a region could no longer occur,” he said.

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