Conference centres take a hit

Last Friday, the Federal Government announced that Australians should begin to avoid mass gatherings from today.

Naturally, large events like conferences will likely be cancelled.

Sydney's major conference centre, ICC Sydney, says it is experiencing a significant number of cancellations because of Covid-19.

"Along with the rest of the industry, we are seeking further clarification on the recommendation of "all non-essential organised gatherings of 500+ people or more should not go ahead from Monday 16 March," made by the Prime Minister [on Friday]," says ICC Sydney.

"We are currently working with our state authorities, Business Events Council of Australia and Federal Government to confirm the exact position and implications."

Sydney ICC says many clients have been cancelling events, but others, like Salesforce, are pivoting instead to livestreams and digital initiatives to make sure the large events go ahead as planned.

"A significant number of events have already been cancelled, with a great number looking to reschedule later this year and in early 2021," says ICC Sydney.

"Some are still going ahead with organisers looking at different delivery methods like live streaming and digital conferencing."

"It is up to the individual clients and event organisers to announce and publicise their cancellations or postponements, not ICC Sydney, but two prominent ones which have been announced publicly are Salesforce scaling to an online broadcast and Amazon."

Melbourne's major conference centre, MCEC, says it is still awaiting further direction from the Victorian Government.

"The health and safety of our people, customers and community is our priority, and we will be working to ensure we are in the best position, with the latest information from the Government, to respond effectively," says MCEC.

"MCEC will work with those event organisers who are affected to find alternative arrangements, should their event need to be postponed or cancelled as a result of this measure."

Updated 10:24am AEDT on 16 March 2020.


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