Exhibiting in Perth

What you need to know

Exposure Group, Benjamin Feltham

Each year, Perth hosts some of the world’s finest trade shows, drawing participants and attendees from around Australia and the globe. The Australian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference, which takes place in the Perth Convention Centre, is just one example.

The city is a great destination for organisations looking to showcase their goods and organise industry trade shows, but it’s important to know the ins and outs of the area before getting started. What should participants keep in mind when travelling to Perth for a marketing event?

Perth is in the far southwest corner of the country, often making for long journeys.
Perth is in the far southwest corner of the country, often making for long journeys.

1. Go the distance … the long distance  

When we talk about exhibiting in Australia in general, we like to refer to the ‘tyranny of distance’. As citizens are well aware, we have a massive country, and travelling to another city is often no small venture.

Keep in mind that Perth is in the far southwest corner of Australia. To put the city’s location in perspective, consider the following journeys:

  • Sydney to Perth: 3,938 kilometres and 40 hours by car (without traffic), or about a 5-hour flight.
  • Brisbane to Perth:  4,341 kilometres and 45 hours on the roads, or 5 hours 40 minutes by plane.
  • Melbourne to Perth: 3,421 kilometres and 36 hours by car, or just over 4 hours flying.

Unless you’re local, you need to take travel and transportation into consideration for both time and cost estimates, including for your personnel and your exhibition booth display.

2. Anticipate the climate  

The weather and environmental conditions of an area are important to keep in mind for exhibitions because they can influence the best types of materials to use as well as costs for utilities like air conditioning and water. You’ll also want to know what your booth staff should wear to stay comfortable at the event and in their leisure time.

In Perth, winters are pretty mild, but summers are hot and dry. Based on the Bureau of Meteorology’s figures, the average maximum temperature from December to March is about 30 degrees, dropping to a minimum of 17 at night. However, at the height of the hot season, it can top 40 degrees. The city gets plenty of sunshine, and rain comes most heavily in July.

Depending on the season, sunscreen may be a necessity, and you could be facing some water restrictions if the city is having a dry spell, which isn’t uncommon. These usually limit outdoor sprinkler use during set periods.

The Perth CBD is easy to get around and offers free internet.
The Perth CBD is easy to get around and offers free internet.

3. Understand the local transport system  

In addition to organising transportation for your people and trade show stand materials to Perth, you should understand how to get around once you’re in the city. If you’re flying in, you might choose to forgo the rental car if your trade show hall is easily accessible by public transportation.

Transperth is the metropolitan public transport system, which includes a network of buses, ferries and trains connecting much of the city. If you’ll be doing a lot of travelling, a SmartRider account will save you 25 percent on a fare. There’s also high-traffic routes where you can ride buses for free or hop on the train without a fare if you have a SmartRider pass.

4. Prepare for utilities and other costs 

For exhibitions, you will be charged for show services such as electricity and cleaning. It’s also good to keep in mind some cost-of-living differences between Perth and other areas in Australia.

You should contact your show organiser to learn how you’ll be billed for resource usage, but here are some figures for other costs to keep in mind:

  • A meal at an inexpensive restaurant averages $25.00, according to Numbeo.
  • A one-way fare on Transperth transport is $2.10 to $12.10.
  • Taxis cost about $1.70 per kilometre after the flagfall fee.

According to The Coffee Economist’s Cappuccino Price Index, which compares the cost of a cuppa in different cities, Perth still rings in among the most expensive. Your morning fix would cost about $3.89, above the national average of $3.63. That’s because Perth’s cost of living is still higher than in many regions. For example, data from Expatisan showed that entertainment is 20 percent more expensive in Perth than Sydney and food prices are 9 percent higher. However, you’ll likely save on transportation, which is 13 percent less costly than in Sydney.

5. Take advantage of internet connectivity 

The City of Perth provides free Wi-Fi to the public around the CBD and the Northbridge area. All you have to do is select ‘Perth WiFi’ on your device and connect through a web browser. Then you’ll be able to browse as you roam about the covered area and download up to 50 megabits each time you connect.

This could be a useful bit of information to share with your guests if they’ll be spending time in the CBD and you want to leverage social media to engage attendees during the event.

As always, working with a trade show booth supplier that has local experience can help you anticipate all the nuances of exhibiting in a specific location, while also smoothing out the bumps along the road.