Third Sector travels up and down Queensland’s eastern coast to speak with two of the state’s leading convention centres about the attraction of holding events in Queensland, and what their venue has to offer for not-for-profit organisations.
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
Why the Gold Coast?
The Gold Coast is a region that thrives, and is only a short trip away from the state’s capital. Its infrastructure and professional support services rival those of any location in the world, and the region is in rare company when it comes to considering the overall experience on offer.
In nowhere other than the Gold Coast could you integrate a business event with 70 kilometres of pristine coastline,100,000 hectares of world heritage-listed rainforest, more theme parks than anywhere else in the southern hemisphere, private islands, 500 kilometres of canals, 800 accommodation venues and more than 600 restaurants and cafes – all within
40 minutes drive of each other.
Why the GCCEC?
The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) has hosted 1,426 events and attracted more than 1.39 million delegates in six years – holding an average of 20 events every month. Third Sector asks the GCCEC about the features which makes the Centre so popular.
The Centre is connected by walkway to the award-winning Jupiters Hotel, and is five minutes’ walk from more than 100 restaurants and cafes. Its picturesque beaches and parks make the GCCEC an attractive option for conference organisers.
The GCCEC caters for up to 6,000 conference delegates, 500 exhibition booths, or a banquet for more than 3,500 guests. It is also the perfect business destination for exclusive use, enabling organisations to brand and ‘own’ the centre during their event.
The Centre’s excellence is reflected in its Hall of Fame status in the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) Awards, and its achievement as Best Venue in the 2009 Meetings and Business Tourism category in the 2009 Queensland Tourism Awards.
It is the GCCEC team members who champion the Centre and are its most ardent ambassadors and supporters.
Long after the thrill of an event has passed, guests will continue to recall their beaming faces, without such welcoming team members, GCCEC’s heart would not beat so strongly.
The Centre plays a major part in the leisure tourism sector, holding 40 major leisure and sporting events and attracting thousands of intrastate, interstate and international participants and spectators.
The Centre also hosts larger events. One of its stand-out not-for-profit events was the 2010 Australian-Canadian Prostate Cancer Research Alliance (AC-PCRA) Symposium, held in conjunction with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) 2010 National Conference.
The Symposium was a chance for researchers, clinicians, scientists, academics, and other professionals working in prostate cancer to share their work and plans. Sessions favoured a collaborative approach, and included workshops, round-table discussions, and panel-style presentations, along with joint plenaries with the PCFA.
The Symposium was an excellent opportunity for colleagues to strengthen existing relationships, as well as form new bonds with other delegates.
Find out more
The GCCEC works collaboratively with the region’s tourist body and Convention Bureau to ensure that all visitors to the Centre have a complete destination experience.
To find out more visit www.gccec.com.au
Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre
Mackay is a safe, family-orientated city with spacious sandy beaches, tropical islands and a fascinating hinterland. It combines these attractions with growing infrastructure and the commercial facilities expected of a major regional city.
Located midway between Cairns and Brisbane along the tropical Queensland coast, Mackay is linked to the rest of Australia by a comprehensive transport network, and has the added attraction of its close proximity to the Whitsunday Islands.
Local attractions include the Mackay Botanic Gardens, Artspace Mackay, Mackay Marina and Bluewater Quay and Lagoon. Delegates can experience sipping champagne on a sunset cruise, taking a flying-fox ride through the rainforest canopy, discovering vast beef and sugar cane properties, open cut mines, gem fossicking, beautiful islands and white sandy beaches.
Why the MECC?
The Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre (MECC) is a state-of-the-art, $29 million facility, which only opened in July 2009. Third Sector asks the Centre about the features that make one of Australia’s newest convention exhibition, banqueting and performing arts facilities so attractive.
The Centre recently received two major awards at the 2010 North Queensland Regional Architecture Awards, which included the Walter and Oliver Turnbridge Award for Building of the Year in the North Queensland Region.
Set on the manicured tropical lawns of the Mackay Civic Precinct, the MECC is walking distance from the city centre, where an array of shopping, entertainment and dining is available.
The Centre consists of eight dedicated meeting rooms for 30 – 1,500 people, including a 1,090 seat theatre, 100 seat studio space, two plenary halls, two foyers, an experimental theatre space, breakout rooms and extensive front-of-house and backstage facilities.
The MECC boasts award-winning cuisine, showcasing fresh seasonal and regional produce, and has a dedicated professional events team who can assist in co-ordinating all operational, technical and catering requirements, delivering conferences, conventions and expositions in a seamless fashion.
Attracting over 5,000 patrons, the 2009 and 2010 Former Origin Greats (FOGS) Indigenous Employment and Careers Expos have been hosted at the MECC.
Presented by the Australian Government and supported by Construction Skills Queensland, the Expo provides Indigenous job-seekers and school-leavers with the opportunity to talk with exhibitors in a relaxed environment about career, education and training opportunities, and to personally meet current and former Queensland State of Origin players.
In April 2010 the MECC hosted Variety Queensland’s “Old Bags Lunch” gala charity event, with a focus on females, fun, fashion and handbags. Guests brought their old handbags to donate to a local charity in a unique fundraising event.
The Centre has also hosted a range of not-for-profit events in its first year of operation, including Rotary and Lions Clubs conferences, and the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland Medical Education and Training Conference. Each of these events included plenary sessions, workshops and banquets, all conducted at the Centre.
Find out more
MECC caters for a broad range of events including meetings, conferences, product launches, award dinners and exhibitions, banqueting and performing arts events for community, commercial and not-for-profit clients.
For more information visit www.mackayecc.com.au