More than 10,000 people poured through the doors of the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre for The West Live, The West Australian’s inaugural exhibition which brings the newspaper to life.
The three day exhibition was designed to give people a live journey through the newspaper, giving them a chance to see workshops and presentations from chefs, winemakers, authors, journalists, editors, television personalities and more.
The exhibition covered a wide cross-section of the newspaper, from news and current affairs exhibitions with editor-in-chief Bob Cronin, and editor Brett McCarthy, to a cartoonist masterclass with Dean Alston, to travel photography workshops, and even to a live pet workshop and demonstration with Dr Harry Cooper.
The West Australian commercial development manager Amanda Burton said the event was a massive success for the publisher from a commercial perspective, and a community engagement perspective.
“From a commercial perspective, developing our events division is a key part of our business plan moving forward, and The West Live contributed to bottom line growth of this division,” she said.
“The event also provided our advertisers with a new way to engage with the readership, while leveraging off The West Australian brand.
“And of course there were significant brand benefits to us by enabling us to interact with the community while showcasing our content, our people and our sections.”
Ms Burton said she has received incredibly positive feedback.
“We believe the public response to the event and the positive feedback we have received demonstrates an appetite within the community to engage with the newspaper, our people and our content in this way,” she said.
The event was such a success that The West Australian is looking to turn it into an annual expo, as well as further expanding its events portfolio.
Its events program currently covers various book launches, addresses from political leaders, the annual Commonwealth lecture, a careers and training expo, and its flagship Leadership Matters program that brings influential national and international figures to Perth to speak.
Ms Burton says The West sits in a great position to be able to discover what people want in an event, and to take advantage of that.
“Our point of difference in a fragmented media landscape is our people, and our ability to curate news and content,” she said.
“Our position is that the Australian newspaper industry, and in Western Australia in particular, has a very long, fat tail and we plan to continue to leverage our strong core competencies by running new business initiatives such as The West Live into the future.”