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GCCECApplications are open for the first round of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre’s (GCCEC) innovative program that links academics and professionals with the opportunity to attend an international conference in their chosen field.

The 2019 Linkage Grant Program provides grants of up to $5000. Attendance at conferences provides the opportunity to learn about the latest thinking, trends and innovations, as well as the ability to network with peers and establish links to professional colleagues. The program also provides professional and personal development in the form of travel and increased industry knowledge.

In return, the recipient champions GCCEC as a choice for future international conferences and exhibitions through their new professional networks.

Dr Oz Sahin of Griffith University is a recent recipient of a GCCEC Linkage Grant. He holds a PhD and is affiliated with the Griffith Climate Change Response Program and the School of Engineering.

Dr Sahin received $5000 through GCCEC’s Linkage Grants Program to travel to Italy last year to attend an annual, international conference on sustainability.

While in Italy, he lobbied for GCCEC to win the honour of being the first Convention Centre in Australia to host the conference. “There are lots of ingredients needed for a successful conference – the quality of the conference itself, the quality of the venue, the city and the timing all need to be considered,” he said.

“I’ve attended a few conferences at the Centre and it comfortably meets all of those needs.” Dr Sahin said the greatest benefit from receiving the grant was being empowered to conduct negotiations confidently.

“It was very useful to be provided with all the knowledge and guidance. Receiving help with budgets and venue capabilities as well as advice on how to organise a conference encouraged us to negotiate effectively,” he said.

The GCCEC Linkage Grant program has been established for seven years and has resulted in 13 applicants who have travelled as part of the program. Last year three academics from Bond and Griffith universities were awarded grants to attend conferences in the fields of medicine, climate change and technology.

To date the Linkage Grant Program has provided more than 70 conference leads for GCCEC. Currently, GCCEC is in the bid phase for seven international conferences with the potential to bring millions into the Gold Coast economy.

Applications for the first round of the 2019 Linkage Grant Program close on 3 May.

GCCEC welcomes applications from QLD and Northern NSW residents.

Applicants can be lodged here

Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) is a business partner with the PCO Association

For more information on the PCO Association business partner program click here