QME to crank up the volume
THE Queensland Mining Exhibition is muscling up and will be 20% bigger and bolder next year, reflecting the strength of the industry in the Mackay region.
This increased interest in the biennial event comes on the back of new projects in the Bowen Basin and despite the Federal Government's new carbon tax.
Event organiser Reed Exhibitions' group exhibition director John Gorton said QME mirrored the industry's success.
"The amount of money flagged to be spent in capital investment, mine expansion, increase in workforce over the next three to five years is so large that QME is really, really perfectly timed for those selling and those buying to have those discussions and to do business," he said.
A total of 14,000 sq m of stall space for 550 exhibitors has already been locked in for the 10th edition of one of the state's signature mining and trade shows at the Mackay showgrounds on July 24, 25 and 26 next year.
The event showcases mining-related innovations, equipment and information.
Holding an exhibition where and when the customer needed it was important, Mr Gorton said.
"Mackay seems to own QME. So the fact that it's every two years means that there's a chance for new technology to emerge."
Mr Gorton and exhibition director Paul Baker visited the region to speak with key industry bodies such as Mackay Tourism and Mackay Regional Council.
"QME, due to the size of it, presents it own challenges," Mr Baker said.
The expansion could see strains on Mackay's accommodation availability and traffic congestion around the location.
Slight modifications at the showgrounds are necessary for the new floor plans; these were redesigned after the 2010 event jumped from 10,500 sq m to 12,500 sq m.
"We had to add on exhibition stands and space (last year)... that presented challenges," Mr Baker said.
Entry was free but the event was ideally a trade-only exhibition and everyone had to pre-register to attend, he said.