Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA December 2014 January 2015 Contents So there I was, a little fish in a big pond. With my just-
acquired media accreditation badge firmly on, I entered
the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre like a young
lad that had been given the keys to his dad’s shiny new car for
the first time.
Forget that I’d sweated my way from the air-conditioned cool of
the Mantra South Bank on the hottest Brisbane day in 50 years
and done a half lap of the convention centre to finally find my way
in, this was the G20 and I felt privileged to be one of the 2000
journalists to actually be allowed to attend this high-profile meeting.
I was there, I told the G20 Taskforce, to write this event up from a
logistical point of view. The policy making was secondary, although
I have to admit I sat down and watched President Obama’s
University of Queensland address with the rest of the hacks on the
Saturday afternoon. (I can imagine there were plenty of smiles from
those working in the local business tourism sector when he
described Brisbane as a “global city in a globalised world”).
What I can report is that to me, a journalist who has been
covering the business event sector for more than a decade now,
this was one slickly run operation.
Some may say that with such a big budget – with media now
claiming that in excess of $400 million was spent on the event –
any meeting would be a success. But those who understand this
industry will tell you that money certainly doesn’t guarantee
anything. What made it appear to work so seamlessly was most
definitely the planning that went into it, and I have to say, the
convention centre and its staff, the South Bank precinct, and the
city of Brisbane as a whole.
The convention centre’s location, lauded at the best of times,
was perfect for this event. It can and was in this instance cut off
from the rest of the city with kilometres of barricades and
checkpoints that ensured the safety of the world’s leaders like
nothing I had seen before.
Anybody entering the building (except the leaders no doubt),
had to pass through security scanners like those at an airport,
along with their baggage. Once inside, they passed through
another security scanner that checked their official name badge
(that everybody was required to wear at all times). I was stopped
once by a security guard when my badge didn’t at first appear
to match who I was.
All motor vehicles allowed into the centre’s car park had to
have prior approval, with the drivers requiring the requisite
identification, and access was only allowed at certain times. This
made it particularly challenging for the centre’s executive chef
Martin Latter and his team, especially considering they needed
only the freshest produce that was befitting of the very special
guests who were “in da house”.
Equally as challenging was the technological requirements
that the G20 Taskforce and their clients demanded the centre
have. For the past six months the centre’s 70-strong in-house
audio-visual team were planning and then installing an incredibly
complex array of equipment to ensure that every meeting and
event could be captured and disseminated to all corners of the
globe. Equipment included 300 x 40 inch television monitors
installed, something like 100km of broadcast cable, and an
incredible 18m x 5m LED screen that was composed of 324
individual LED panels carrying news feeds from a range of media
companies as well as international time zone clocks.
On top of that there were computers with the highest internet
speed possible, fast WiFi, and dozens of security cameras
throughout the centre that were reportedly watching everything
The International Media Centre was a hive of activity.
Sometimes it appeared to be quite empty, but what you didn’t
see on television was that beyond where the bank of TV
cameras were there was a series of offices for media
organisations that obviously didn’t want their counterparts to
know what they were reporting on.
Also in this space was a large dining facility where breakfasts,
lunches and dinners were served to the hungry throng. Like the
Forget the politics, Brisbane’s hosting of the G20 from an event
perspective was an unadulterated success. BY BRAD FOSTER AT THE G20
Brisbane to remain
in the G20 spotlight
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