Beef Australia chairman Bryce Camm is confident this year’s event in Rockhampton will eclipse 105,000 guests, the attendance record set in 2018.
Held every three years since 1988, Beef Australia, or Beef Week as it is also commonly known, is poised to welcome its first patrons from this morning at the Rockhampton Showgrounds. More than 31,000 people went through the gates on Monday alone.
The forecast attendance puts the event in rare territory among major world events which have been rocked by social distancing requirements, lockdowns and travel bans since the start of the global pandemic last year.
Outside sporting fixtures, it would be difficult to name an industry event that has been able to host more than 100,000 people since physical distancing guidelines were introduced last year, an assessment Camm acknowledges with thanks to his team and health authorities.
“Having a safe event is paramount to us and thankfully we have a great working relationship with the state government,” he said.
“We have worked for considerable time since last year to have our Covid safe plan approved, but apart from the hand sanitiser stations and the c heck-in procedures required before entering venues, our patrons should notice very little difference to previous events.
“Masks are certainly not required and we’re not facing any capacity restrictions for outdoor events.”
With no international guests this year, Queenslanders have dominated early ticket sales, almost matched by strong interest from interstate that has seen organisers increase the event’s footprint by more than 20 per cent.
The momentum ahead of this week’s event couldn’t be better, Camm says.
“The size and the confidence surrounding our event is phenomenal,” he said.
“We’re having –a great season on the eastern seaboard, rural property is going strong, cattle prices are just electric and there’s a huge buzz around the beef industry from other parts of the economy.
“And we’re seeing this first-hand because businesses that have never engaged with us before are wanting to come and be a part of it.
“It’s a diverse industry and there are always some sectors doing better than others, but I think the wider confidence speaks to the resilient nature of our industry, that even in the midst of a once-in-a-century global pandemic, we can continue to grow and host a celebration like this, which only fosters and enhances our reputation here and abroad as a safe and secure supplier of great tasting beef.”
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