BIC, Opinion

BIC continues path to planning Brisbane National Bus and Coach Show

When it was announced BIC would be hosting the 2024 National Bus and Coach Show, it had to move quickly to begin the planning and preparation of the national industry expo

Upon attending last year’s BusNSW Bus and Coach Expo, the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) learnt a lot about how to deliver a fantastic trade exhibition. It didn’t expect to be putting these lessons into action just two years later.

It’s exactly what BIC will be doing though as it looks to build upon the traditions of the Australasian bus and coach expos when it hosts the National Bus and Coach Show in 2024.

“The National Bus and Coach Show will have some new features that will be aimed at both operators and suppliers,” BIC Executive Director Roz Chivers told ABC.

“This includes some new events and a greater array of industry partners, such as energy and infrastructure providers, exhibiting.”

The conversations around BIC hosting the 2024 National Bus and Coach Show started in 2021 when state association BusVic stopped being a member of BIC. BusVic had been slated to run the next bus expo in 2024. However, after the conclusion of BusNSW’s Expo last year, the BIC Council deemed it wasn’t appropriate that an association that wasn’t a BIC member should host the national Expo.

Following discussions with the BIC Supplier’s Group and a survey of group members, the Council made the announcement in March that BIC would instead host the national Expo.  BusNSW and QBIC were unable to step in and host it under a memorandum of understanding between their organisations and BusVic. Instead, in 2024, BusVic will run its own Expo in Melbourne while BIC hosts the National Bus and Coach Show in Brisbane.

The changes have meant Chivers and her team have had to spring into action quickly. With only 18 months on the clock, every month will be vital as BIC plans to host the Expo.

The process started by finding a suitable venue.

“Finding the right venue that was available in the school holidays was our first logistical challenge,” Chivers says. “Luckily we found a few in the major capital cities that would be able to host the event and ultimately decided that the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre was the place to hold it.

“It’s the location of the Brisbane Truck Show, hosted by the Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA), so we know that the venue works well for heavy vehicle trade shows.”

With September being a prime time to visit Brisbane, BIC quickly locked in the location and dates. The next step involved calling for expressions of interest from exhibitors, which is a process still ongoing through to the end of June.

Although it doesn’t follow the tradition of the previous Expo schedule, the 2024 National Bus and Coach Show promises plenty for members and attendees.

Building on the 2022 Expo at Sydney Showgrounds, Chivers says attendees can expect to see all of the newest zero-emissions buses and coaches alongside more exhibitors involved in the transition to zero-emissions, including energy and infrastructure suppliers.


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“There’ll also be a number of great social events, including the gala dinner, where we’ll hold the national awards and give away new award categories for the first time,” she says.

“We’re planning toolbox and tech talks so attendees can learn from industry experts while jumping onboard new vehicles to chat to exhibitors. In the coming months we’ll plan more features so members and other attendees have a truly unforgettable experience.”

The show, to be held on Tuesday the 17th and Wednesday the 18th of September, with bump in on September 16 and bump out on September 19, is set to showcase suppliers’ innovations and expertise.

 

“It’s very exciting to be able to showcase the best in the business and new innovations and developments,” Chivers says.

“The main purpose of a trade exhibition like the National Bus and Coach Show is to provide our members with potentially game-changing marketing and lead generation opportunities that they won’t get anywhere else. 

“For smaller companies or those new to the industry, it is a great opportunity to make a name for yourself in the industry and let everyone know your company is important enough to have a presence at leading events.

“All exhibitors, no matter how small or large, new or old, will get the same access to prospective customers, so it is the perfect place to establish your brand and strengthen your business’s position in your industry.”

In addition to the business side of the event, the Expo will also allow for networking at social events.

Chivers says show goers should stay tuned for more unique features to be added to the show program over the coming months, whether it be an exhibition, event or workshop.

It may have been a frenzied start, but BIC is now going full steam ahead in the planning for the National Bus and Coach Show.

Once the expressions of interests to exhibit are closed, BIC will be confirming the floor plan allocation with exhibitors and announcing the exhibitor list. 

“We will be making progressive announcements in the coming months about different aspects of the Bus and Coach Show so people should stay tuned,” Chivers says.

“We don’t want people to miss out on any of the great opportunities that the National Bus and Coach Show has to offer.

“We are hosting the event at the request of the national suppliers’ group and supplier councillors on the BIC Council. They were strong in their representation that the show should be delivered by a body that supported the suppliers, so we’ll do our best to do so.”

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