Australia Updates

Brisbane hosts first-ever virtual expo streamed via YouTube

Attendees experience exhibitor booths using virtual reality.

With tighter restrictions on social gatherings in Australia, organisers behind the QODE Brisbane technology conference partnered with YouTube this week to transform the two-day event into a virtual experience.

In what’s believed to be an Australian-first, attendees were also given the opportunity visit exhibitor booths using virtual reality, thanks to local VR company, Visitor Vision.

Chief QODE officer, Jackie Taranto, said the annual innovation festival (24-25 March) is focused on future technology and, thanks to innovative partnerships, this year’s event offered a new way for attendees to view conference exhibits.

“Using virtual reality, attendees can walk through the exhibitor booths as though they’re at the convention centre and can even jump on a call to chat with the exhibitor as they would face-to-face.”

Innovation minister, Kate Jones, said moving the event online was in the best interests of all attendees.

“The organisers of QODE have been clear — the show must go on. Or in this case, go online. In the true spirit of this event, rather than cancelling the festival, they’ve taken the entire programme online.

“This festival is about showcasing our best and brightest to the world. What better way to achieve that, than by sending the world a message — we have the resilience and the brains to keep this show on the road.”

Supported by the Queensland Government and the City of Brisbane, QODE was streamed free of charge, while tickets purchased to attend the in-person event were refunded.

“These extraordinary circumstances call for innovative solutions and what better way to ensure this important global event goes ahead than by embracing the latest technology,” Brisbane Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner said

“While it is unfortunate that thousands of world-leading experts and delegates will not experience our great city at this time, I am pleased that Brisbane will still facilitate discussions on the technology trends and issues shaping the way we live and work.”