Sue goes out on a high

RNAAfter announcing her retirement on the first anniversary of the Royal International Convention Centre, General Manager Venue Sales and Marketing, Sue Hocking is confident she is leaving on a high note.

I am so proud of my team at the Royal ICC. The first year is hard in any business, but particularly in the convention centre business.

Despite this, in our first nine months of operation we attracted 130,000 people to the venue and held 126 events, including three international conferences.

The team delivered exceptional and cohesive service. It’s this service excellence coupled with our unique conference facilities that has secured repeat and new business for Brisbane’s newest convention centre.

I am thrilled to report that the team is tracking well against its targets for 2014, having already achieved more than 80 per cent of its 2014 budget just two months into the year.

What I find most appealing about this state-of-the-art facility is the beautiful character-rich design which celebrates the building’s history through the conservation and enhancement of the existing heritage facades built in 1937; and a modern interpretation of the previous saw-tooth roof profile.

The Royal ICC used lovingly restored timber from the original Industrial Pavilion along with timber sourced locally from large ironwood trees.

Another big point of difference for us is our direct connection to Queensland’s top producers through the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show. We’ve been able to really benefit from this direct relationship with the country’s award-winning producers by using their produce to design some of the most delicious menus for our clients. Aged Granite Belt beef is a regular on the menu and a favourite of mine.

This is an exciting time for the Brisbane Showgrounds which is evolving into a colourful mixed use urban precinct through the RNA’s $2.9 billion redevelopment with joint venture partner Lend Lease. It is just going to get better and better.

I am looking forward to watching on from afar, while I tend to my garden, sip wines from the McLaren Vale wine region and ponder the next stage in my life.