Conferencing in Cairns: A Blend of Nature & Innovation

5th March 2024

Back in Cairns for round two for Boardroom, and you know what they say—second time’s the charm! This city, nestled in the heart of Tropical North Queensland, Australia, is more than just a conference destination. It’s where unparalleled natural beauty meets cutting-edge facilities. Known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns blends knowledge, local expertise, culture, and adventure, offering a backdrop that promises to make any conference unforgettable.

Words Remi Deve

Central to Cairns’ allure for conference organizers is the Cairns Convention Centre, recently expanded to meet the increasing demand for world-class venues. “The expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre represents more than just an increase in size; it’s about amplifying the potential of Cairns as a premier global destination for conferences and events,” explains Janet Hamilton, General Manager of the Cairns Convention Centre. “We’re not just offering space; we’re creating opportunities for knowledge exchange, innovation, and connection, set against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful locations in the world.”

The modern facility now features additional meeting spaces, a plenary capable of accommodating up to 2,300 delegates (and up to 5,000 in the arena), and cutting-edge technology, marking it as a beacon of innovation and sustainability. Its eco-conscious design reflects Cairns’ commitment to melding inspiration with responsibility, providing an ideal setting for gatherings of all sizes.

Cairns Convention Centre

Cairns is also a centre of thriving sectors and industries, including marine biology, environmental science, indigenous culture, aviation, tropical health and medicine, agribusiness, life sciences – and of course tourism. This concentration of expertise offers a unique proposition for association conferences, providing access to a rich reservoir of local knowledge and industry leaders. By tapping into these resources, conferences can offer sessions, workshops, and field visits that are both informative and transformative, allowing delegates to engage directly with cutting-edge research and cultural insights unique to the region.

Hamilton doesn’t say otherwise: “We are very fortunate to be surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest, but we also have much more to offer business events in regard to our local expertise in a range of areas.”

Beyond the conference walls

Beyond conventional conference spaces, Cairns invites delegates to immerse themselves in experiences unique to this tropical paradise. The Cairns Aquarium, with its world-first Coral BioBank, offers a glimpse into the underwater majesty of the Great Barrier Reef, allowing guests to marvel at marine biodiversity without leaving the city. That’s where you’ll also find the Turtle Rehabilitation Facility, which shares a story of conservation and care, adding a layer of meaningful engagement to the conference experience.

Luxury accommodations are plentiful in Cairns, with the Shangri-La The Marina, Cairns, standing out for those seeking comfort and elegance. Its location by the marina ensures that guests are never far from the serene beauty of the sea or the vibrant life of the city. With exceptional dining options and superior amenities, the Shangri-La provides a haven of relaxation and inspiration.

Meanwhile, the Crystalbrook Collection, Cairns’ newest suite of hotels – including Crystalbrook Flynn and Crystalbrook Riley – introduces an additional layer of luxury, encapsulating the essence of the region with its sustainable practices and locally inspired designs. These hotels not only offer lavish accommodations but also embody the spirit of Cairns, providing an authentic and opulent experience for conference attendees seeking the extraordinary.

Riley, Crystalbrook Collection

Gateway to natural wonders

Cairns also serves as a gateway to exploring the natural and cultural wonders of the region. The lush landscapes of Mossman Gorge and the opportunity to engage with the ancient traditions of the Indigenous Australian people through a Dreamtime private tour for instance offer profound connections to the land and its history. These experiences not only enrich the conference agenda but also highlight the deep cultural heritage of the region.

The Great Barrier Reef itself is also a playground of exploration and adventure, offering activities that can transform the conference experience. Whether it’s snorkeling among the vibrant coral, sailing the crystal-clear waters, or viewing the reef from the air on a helicopter tour, the reef provides endless opportunities for discovery and team-building.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Port Douglas

As the narrative of a conference in Cairns unfolds, the role of Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef becomes clear. Acting as a guiding hand, this organization ensures that every aspect of the event planning process is seamless and efficient. From selecting venues to organising unique local experiences, their comprehensive services allow planners to tailor their events with precision and creativity. Their expertise not only simplifies the logistical aspects but also opens doors to exclusive experiences that capture the essence of Cairns, making every event not just successful, but unforgettable.

In the end, the promise of a conference in Cairns goes beyond the meetings; it’s an invitation to experience the extraordinary, to blend business with the breathtaking beauty of Tropical North Queensland. With a wide variety of stakeholders at the ready to support you, meeting planners can craft an event that stands apart, ensuring delegates leave with not just knowledge and connections, but memories that last a lifetime.

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