First large scale event to visit CQ in virus aftermath
THE return of large scale events to Central Queensland looks to be imminent as hundreds of attendees prepare to descend on the Rockhampton Expo later this month.
Back for another year, the annual outdoor living and camping expo makes its much-anticipated return as one of the region’s first since COVID-19 took hold.
Despite initial fears the three-day event would been cancelled, Director of Australian Events Bob Carroll said he was pleased to once again be hosted by the Beef Capital.
“We were in doubt, but we’ve worked really closely with Queensland Health and in particular with Central Queensland health units to devise frame works to still stage the event,” Mr Carroll said.
“It’s exciting and daunting at the same time. The process we’ve had to go through to get to this point has been fairly arduous but it’s exciting that we’re able to bring it back.
“There’s been a considerable amount of measures we have undertaken to ensure it can still go ahead.”
New safety measures include additional hand washing stations, social distancing ambassadors and mandatory pre-paid, online tickets.
“It provides us more of a contact free process at the entry gates, it also allows visitors to process through [the gates] a lot easier and quicker without having to touch anything,” he said.
He said both event staff and attendees were thrilled to see the event’s comeback – with around 1200 attendees expected to grace Rockhampton Showgrounds over the expo weekend.
“A lot of events have been cancelled across the region and apart from the weekend markets nothing else has been on,” Mr Carroll said.
“I think that to have an event come back now, people are excited to know it’s coming back, and I think we’ll get great support. We’ve already had great support from the exhibitor base.”
While its return provides a welcome boost for entertainment purposes, Mr Carroll further explained the expo’s significant contribution to the region’s downturned economy.
“We have some fabulous local companies in Rocky and CQ who are benefiting from this, the showground needs the revenue too,” he said.
“There’s a lot of company heads that come from Brisbane and they’ll be there staying in accommodation and renting cars.”
Rockhampton’s local job market could also record a slight boost, with officials currently recruiting for paid customer service-based roles for the event.
Mr Carroll advised attendees to move quickly on any purchases as stock from both Victoria and New South Wales was expected to halt in coming months due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
To learn more about the event and exhibitors, visit Rockhampton Expo’s website.
When: 21-23 August 2020
Where: Rockhampton Showgrounds, New Exhibition Rd, Wandal
Tickets: Adult – $12, Seniors – $10. Only available online