PCEC Welcomes New Executive Chef

PCEC Welcomes New Executive Chef

We are delighted to announce that Ramon Van De Griendt has joined the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) as our new Executive Chef.

Ramon has extensive international experience with over 30 years of working in a range of prestigious kitchens, such as The Ritz-Carlton, InterContinental Hotel Group and Pullman Hotels & Resorts.

During his career, he has become skilled in a range of cuisines including Asian, Mediterranean, French, European, South American, and Paddock to Plate.

Ramon commented “I am very excited to join the culinary team as Executive Chef at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, and I look forward to building on the strong foundation already established by this Perth Landmark.

With a reduced number of events at PCEC over the last two years due to COVID, we’re excited for events to be returning back in full swing. To do so, we will be moving in a new culinary direction. Soon, we will introduce new and innovative menus, using local, and Indigenous West Australian produce, blended together with global culinary influences.

I am looking forward to being part of the exciting journey ahead, bringing fresh ideas to the WA culinary scene.”

“PCEC is looking forward to seeing the venue’s exciting new culinary direction take shape as Ramon and PCEC’s newly appointed Director of Culinary Operations, Andrew Mann share their knowledge and experience to enhance PCEC’s food and beverage reputation at Western Australia’s premier event destination,” said Nigel Keen, PCEC’s General Manager.

PCEC Supports OzHarvest with 1600 Ready-made Meals

PCEC Supports OzHarvest with 1600 Ready-made Meals

During the month of March 2022, PCEC was heavily impacted by the level 2 restrictions put in place due to the growing spread of COVID-19. During this time, many events were either cancelled or rescheduled to avoid the restrictions. As a result, the PCEC kitchen facilities were left unused with staff members eager to ensure the downtime was used productively.

So PCEC teamed up with their partner OzHarvest, to get cooking. Staff members of PCEC volunteered in the kitchen, producing over 1600 meals since March 10, with an expected 2600 meals to be delivered by April 13.

OzHarvest was founded in 2014 and now rescues over 110,000 kgs of surplus food per month and has delivered over 16 million meals to those less fortunate. PCEC is delighted to be able to support such an incredible charity.

Gwendolyn, PCEC’s Senior Sales Manager, got her hands dirty in the kitchen and commented “it brings me great pleasure to be able to use these quiet periods in the events industry and truly help the most vulnerable people in our community.”

If you’d like to learn more about OzHarvest, head to https://www.ozharvest.org/

PCEC Appoints Andrew Mann as Director of Culinary

PCEC Appoints Andrew Mann as Director of Culinary

Monday 14 March 2022

We are delighted to announce that Andrew Mann has joined the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) as Director of Culinary Operations.

With a career spanning more than 25 years, Andrew has a wealth of experience. He has led many kitchens to great success, such as Bathers Beach House, Sandalford Wines, Delaware North and The Rembrandt Hotel to name just a few.

During his five years as Executive Chef at Sandalford Winery, Andrew was part of an award-winning team receiving 20 culinary accolades for the winery, including the Gold Plate “Fresh Produce Award” and “Modern Australian”.

PCEC’s General Manager, Nigel Keen, commented “PCEC’s newly appointed Director of Culinary Operations, Andrew Mann is an industry expert whose extensive culinary experience in hospitality expands across Australia and internationally in South East Asia.

Andrew will lead the team to deliver an extraordinary culinary experience at PCEC as we prepare to welcome our client’s events back into Western Australia. Andrew will set a new culinary direction and standard, including a focus on new concepts, presentation, imagination and sourcing new local products direct from WA suppliers, producers and farmers.

The appointment of Andrew supports the venue’s broader growth strategy as we move into the next phase of our recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. Andrew’s appointment will enhance PCEC’s reputation as Western Australia’s premier event destination and only dedicated convention and exhibition centre.

Last year, PCEC was awarded The Perth Airport WA Tourism Award for Best Business Event Venue. We hope with the addition of Andrew, PCEC will continue to be recognised for being WA’s premier event venue.

“I am excited to join the PCEC team and to work at Western Australia’s leading events venue” commented Andrew.

Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre Takes Gold in the Business Event Venues Category of 2021 Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards

Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre Takes Gold in the Business Event Venues Category of 2021 Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards

Monday 15 November 2021

PCEC is thrilled to announce that they have taken out the gold award in the Category ‘Business Event Venues’ of the 2021 Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards.

This category recognises venues that provide high-quality facilities specifically designed for business visitors e.g. meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions.

The industry’s premier awards night showcased the innovation and commitment to business excellence of the state’s leading tourism operators across 27 categories.

‘The resilience and innovation of our industry has never been highlighted more than in the past 20 months’ said Tourism Minister David Templeman.

The award is monumental for PCEC after releasing their first major advertising campaign earlier this year ‘The Blank Canvas’. This campaign focused on PCEC’s uniquely flexible spaces, making the venue the perfect blank canvas for big thinking.

Nigel Keen, PCEC’s General Manager commented I’m extremely grateful and excited to be recognised for our efforts over what has been a very difficult 18 months. The team at PCEC have done an amazing job in creating and maintaining a safe workplace and venue for our clients. The fact we have been able to host many national events and exhibitions during this period is a testament to their professionalism and resolve’.

‘We now look forward to this recognition continuing at the National Awards where we can really showcase PCEC as a venue of choice for all manner of future business events.’

PCEC will go on to represent Western Australia at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, being held on the Sunshine Coast in March 2022.

PCEC team coordinate 3000 meals in 6 weeks to support OzHarvest charities

When St John’s WA cancelled an event planned at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) at short notice due to the risks of COVID-19 our teams quickly negotiated with St John to coordinate the delivery of 3000 meals to OzHarvest charities within 6 weeks.

Oz Harvest received and distributed the 3,000 meals to 15 charitable agencies including the Red Cross Migrant Support Program; Patricia Giles Centre (Domestic Violence Resource Centre); Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren; and the Lorikeet Centre (a community centre supporting those with mental illness).

The OzHarvest team were overwhelmed with gratitude from those who have received meals, including the one below

“I didn’t know where our next meal was going to come from. Hubby had been stood down and we have six children. When we have been getting the meals each Friday, we know that we can take it straight home and eat it right away and we will have been fed at least an extra day. Thank you for the service you provide.”


Meet one of Perth’s best known business events figures who chose a career in business events over foreign affairs

September 22, 2021 | By Joyce DiMascio (original source)

You hear often that people don’t set out to have a career in business events – they fall into it.

That was the case for Tracy Baker, Director of Sales for the association and not-for-profit sectors at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC).

She’s become one of Western Australia’s most well-known business events professionals.

Before kicking off her business events career in Perth, Baker worked at the Australian Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal as the Ambassador’s Assistant and Archivist. It was the period when the erudite Gareth Evans was Foreign Minister in the Hawke/Keating Labor Government. A period when Australia was beginning to have a grown-up role in international diplomacy.

Formative years for Baker and seminal in shaping her knowledge of the importance of diplomacy, discretion and attention to the detail.

Travelling and working overseas was part of her plan. The Lisbon posting was a very swish thing to be doing as a young adventurous woman. Close to London, Paris and Rome – so she could combine work and travel.

After returning to Perth to visit family she took some leave and decided to help out a PCO for a bit of pocket money. It was meant to be a temporary thing, but instead of returning to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra she stayed on in Perth and her career in our sector began.

Her first big roles were at Burswood Entertainment Complex and then the PCEC where she has been for almost two decades.

Baker has played a key role in helping to bring business to Perth and building its reputation as a welcoming and exciting place for events.

She speaks highly of the partnerships with Business Events Perth and Business Events Australia. She loves her job at PCEC and being part of the bigger team that secures important state, national and international events.

Baker doesn’t takes Perth’s current return to delivering events for granted. She is very sensitive to the difficulties being experienced in the east.

For while Perth is open for business again and operating with no physical space restrictions, Baker knows many in our industry are doing it very tough.

“We are grateful we can operate and have local events,” she says.

On the day we spoke, PCEC was having the busiest day in months with the Association of Women in Mining Conference, Source Kids Disability Expo and six graduation ceremonies all happening back-to-back.

But despite the value and impact of local business, Perth was missing its national and international events, she said.

Baker said short-lead-time inquiries were growing, and other opportunities were also coming through. For example, the AMA has holding its inaugural state conference for WA, MEDCON21 from June 18-20, 2022.

This has been developed because of the travel restriction and the AMA says it aims to give doctors a world-class medical conference without leaving the state. It will be an inter-college medical conference developed by doctors for doctors.

And while the 21/22 financial year has taken a big hit, the calendar for 2024 is looking better and Perth has already secured two international events.

The 18th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG 18) in 2016 was possibly the most challenging of events hosted by PCEC

Baker works very closely with the association market, and she says that while there is good will and intent, conversion is hard due to uncertainties.

“We’ve had lots of proposals and inquiries but the reticence in conversion is due to the constraints of the operating environment. There were national events in March, May and June 2022 – but as site tours and associated meetings were scheduled for the back end of 2021, the intent was there but all that has fallen apart due to the travel restrictions and lockdowns.”

Baker says there is lots of client goodwill and most are rescheduling. Some have rescheduled three times.

As a long time industry member, Baker has experienced lots of challenges in the past. It gives her a broad view of the current setbacks which she says are far worse than the experiences such as the Ansett collapse, SARs, and the global financial crisis which started in 2007.

The COVID-19 pandemic “has had an incredible global impact” and she is concerned about its long-term implications in Australia for staffing, skills and confidence.

She says it’s going to take patience, persistence and perseverance to get through.

And that is Baker’s work mantra even in the best of times.

There have been many highlights in her career. She puts great emphasis on the “client’s journey leading up to them walking into the convention centre for their event”. The legacy comes from how well that phase is handled, she says, and she personally has a great passion for this period in the client relationship.

So, what are the standout projects for Baker?

The 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, commonly known as CHOGM 2011 was a standout especially its opening ceremony.

“I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite so moving,” she said.

CHOGM 2011 held at PCEC is a standout event for Tracy Baker

And the 18th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG 18) in 2016 was possibly the most challenging of events hosted by PCEC. She says Arinex, ETF and Perth Expo did an extraordinary job with 8,700 people in attendance and PCEC creating additional spaces to accommodate the range of events.

Baker’s passion for her work is well known in the industry.

She’s one of the most knowledgeable players – discreet, professional and considered always.

She’s one of the key people that have helped to build WA’s international reputation as a place for business events.

She has been part of many missions overseas to promote PCEC to international associations – she knows the market extremely well and for this reason is a great asset to the business events economy of the west.

You can see how the experience in foreign affairs and trade equipped her well for our industry.

She’s a very polished operator and just maybe that stint in Lisbon at the Australian Embassy has had a defining influence on the way Baker has conducted herself all these years.

She is after all a fine ambassador for WA and Australia.

PCEC launches Blank Canvas Campaign to Kickstart WA Events Industry

Wednesday 03 March 2021

The Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre today announced the launch of its Blank Canvas campaign, designed to reboot and foster confidence in the COVID-affected WA events industry.

Blank Canvas aims to highlight the venue’s adaptability and attract enquiries from event organisers both locally and nationally.

The campaign shines a spotlight on the Centre’s biggest assets: its space and flexibility. PCEC is the largest conference and exhibition centre in WA, housing 29 flexible spaces that can be configured to meet the needs of audiences big or small.

The driving force behind the campaign was a desire to encourage new events in the government, education, corporate, association, exhibition and live entertainment industries – and to help existing events grow and adapt as we return to face 2 face meetings and live events

Given WA’s strong economic recovery from COVID-19, Perth’s PCEC is one of the best places to host business events – especially events with ‘big ideas’ to lead industry recovery and support a return to sustainable and profitable business.

PCEC General Manager Nigel Keen said ‘we have great confidence in the future of the business events industry, and the campaign communicates that to audiences on a local, national and international scale.’

‘We are open for business and look forward to open dialogue with organisers on how they want to use the spaces and flexibility of PCEC, because together we can make that happen.’

With support from both Business Events Perth and Business Events Australia, Blank Canvas will roll out over two separate dates. The local and national components will launch in March 2021, followed by an international launch in future.
For more information about hosting an event in Perth, PCEC welcomes enquiries via their phone or website: pcec.com.au.

Media Contact: pcec@roobix.com.au

Why Event Venue Decisions Are Brand Decisions

There are so many things that could go wrong at an event.

The food could be bland. The wine could run out. The P.A. system could be missing in action.

An events planner will check for a multitude of critical elements ahead of time to make sure the worst can’t happen – because they understand how your brand can be affected when something goes wrong.

Many elements of events and conference management are obvious – like sublime food, top-tier entertainment, flawless registration and communications. You want all of these to represent who you are and what you stand for.

Often, however, we forget about the subtler brand touches. We forget to consider some of the elements that aren’t on anyone’s checklist, but might still have a significant impact on your choice of event partner.

This has been especially pertinent in recent years as we’ve seen a strong shift toward brand and business accountability. As the hot water rises around a business or an individual, we’ve increasingly seen sponsors and shareholders distance themselves both to avoid the fallout and to take a public stand. Essentially, there’s a sizable push for organisations to separate their brand from any other brand or individual whose actions don’t pass the ‘pub test’.

When it comes to events, your choice of venue partner is highly visible. You promote your venue pre-event, on the event day and after the event, so often the venue logo sits right beside your own. The association is clear, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to align your business with a venue that will truly reflect your brand and represent it well.

At PCEC, we offer event organisers a blank canvas for big thinking. We also help our clients’ big thinking by working with several trusted event partners to ensure the success of events.

To find out more about PCEC’s events services, check out the Planning section of our website.

Riverside Theatre