The Brisbane Airshow was set to be themed around the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
The Brisbane Airshow was set to be themed around the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Airshow rising to new heights after postponement

A MASSIVE tourism opportunity was set to take place in the Somerset Region next weekend, with the 2020 Brisbane Airshow planned for July 4 and 5.

Like many events, the show was postponed to 2021, and Somerset councillors have discussed whether to continue their partnership with the show.

Under the partnership arrangement made earlier this year, the council were to invest $38,000 cash, plus $22,000 in “exchangeable goods and services” as part of their sponsorship of the event.

Although the event has been cancelled for 2020, organiser Australian AirDisplays have already expended some funds for advertising and other costs, and are asking for the council to contribute $10,000 of the agreed funds this year, with the rest being paid in 2021, when the event goes ahead.

Councillors agreed to make the payment, and maintain their partnership with the show.

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“I think it’s money well spent, it was highlighting our region,” Cr. Robert Whalley said.

“This will be a great opportunity to get through a lot of domestic visitors. It’ll show Queensland and Australia that our region is a place where you can hold these kinds of events.”

As part of the partnership, the Somerset Council logo appeared on all advertising for the airshow, including billboards in Toowoomba and Fortitude Valley, online, and elsewhere.

This will continue when the show’s new date is advertised.

The show was going to take place at the Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield, near Cressbrook, with an expected attendance of 10,000 people per day.

So many people signed up for the Aviation Expo held as part of the event that organisers had to double the size of the area to accomodate more participants, with the expanded space being more than 75 per cent booked before the postponement.

The event has been postponed to July 3 and 4, 2021, with Expo participants being offered free advertising, and ticket holders being offered a free commemorative cap as incentives to stay on for the new date.

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These measures have proved extremely successful, as 78 per cent of tickets having been retained, with the industry average for postponed events being only about 8 per cent.

One expo participant and one vendor have chosen to withdraw, but all remaining merchants, volunteers, re-enactors, stallholders, and contractors have agreed to commit to the new date.

Cr. Cheryl Gaedtke said the success of organisers to retain so many ticket holders, sponsors, and supporters was a testament to plan and adapt effectively.

“This is a very professional group, and I’m sure the success of the event will reflect that,” she said.

Representatives from Australian Airdisplays have said they intend to speak with the council in September to further discuss the details of the renewed show.

More stories by Nathan Greaves.