Adelaide Convention Centre

The Situation

In 2010, the Adelaide Convention Centre appointed Hughes PR to support its growth and future strategic direction resulting from the $350 million expansion. The Centre recognised a need to realign its PR and communications strategy to position itself for new business opportunities arising from future increased capacity.

Locally, a need was highlighted to garner community support by creating an understanding of the benefit to the South Australian economy of the Centre’s operations and the expansion. The Centre also sought to raise awareness of the strategy of diversifying revenue by hosting its own events during the traditional ‘nonconference’ season.


The Adelaide Convention Centre has a number of key objectives across its various stakeholder groups. The Centre’s overarching objective is to maximise the
return to the South Australian economy through its operations and ongoing expansion. In doing so, the Centre needs to effectively position itself to win new business and retain and grow existing clients by demonstrating the high quality
services and value offered.

More specifically, the Centre is aiming to:

  • Raise awareness and understanding for the Centre’s contribution economically, environmentally and socially;
  • Strategically attract new business that supports the key economic growth drivers of the state including but not limited to mining, defence, education, health and medicine;
  • Clearly demonstrate and illustrate the benefit of the $350 expansion of the Centre;
  • Make Adelaide Convention Centre the first choice for event and conference organisers in Australia and overseas; 
  • Promote innovation through its service offering and operations;
  • Effectively manage its reputation among key stakeholders.


Working with the Adelaide Convention Centre requires a multi-disciplinary approach and Hughes PR has brought together a number of services to deliver an
integrated strategy. These services include reputation management and stakeholder engagement, crisis management, event promotion, social media, media engagement and publicity and community relations.

This approach has included:

  • Generating ongoing awareness around the Centre’s economic contribution to South Australia;
  • Activating its community and environmental partnerships with Trees for Life and Variety SA;
  • Developing and implementing a communication strategy to support the expansion of the Centre;
  • Implementing a publicity program to maintain a regular presence in the industry media and
  • keep the Centre top of mind for professional conference organisers;
  • Establishing a strategy for the Centre’s social media channels. These include the corporate as well as the event and venue specific channels;
  • Developing and implementing a PR program to support the 25th anniversary of the Centre;
  • Support the growth of the Centre’s annual Cellar Door Wine Festival event;
  • Helping the Centre to prepare for a situation where its operations may be impacted by an adverse event beyond its control.

Our work with the Centre is ongoing and designed to build and protect the reputation of the Centre over the long term. Since starting work with the Centre though there have been a number of key successes and outcomes. They include:

  • Generating significant media coverage including TV, radio and print for the
  • ground breaking on the Centre’s $350 million expansion;
  • Securing key feature stories on the expansion in the industry media;
  • Publicising and engaging stakeholders in the milestone of the Centre contributing $1 billion to the SA economy 
  • Supporting the Cellar Door Wine Festival in achieving both record attendances and engagement through its social media channels; and
  • Promoting and leveraging the Centre’s sponsorship of the Convention 2020 study.