Combining Conferences & Culture
With its year-round sunshine and laid-back pace of life, Darwin allows delegates the space to focus on the business at hand, and still have the time to network and make authentic connections. Conferences can easily incorporate cultural performances or workshops into their event programs, or arrange offsite excursions to nearby waterfalls, swimming holes, and ancient Aboriginal rock art.
But Darwin is much more than just a beautiful backdrop for conferences. Despite being a regional destination, it is a vibrant, modern city, with a thriving business culture based on innovation and enterprise. It boasts considerable strengths in a range of sectors, including oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, and agribusiness. Darwin’s capacity for interesting offsite technical tours, locally based speakers, and specific expertise enhances its appeal for event organizers.
Health is Wealth
The city is home to the Menzies School of Health Research and the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre. Universities such as the Charles Darwin University (CDU) and Flinders University, with their CDU Menzies School of Medicine and Poche SA + NT programs, respectively, offer significant value in research, education, health, and knowledge sectors, while the surrounding Northern Territory offers specializations in remote and rural health, trauma and emergency response, and tropical and Aboriginal health.
These assets make Darwin a particularly interesting destination for global health-related conferences, as attested to by the organisations and associations that have already chosen the city to host their events. These include the 9th Congress of the International Society for the Study of Iron in Biology and Medicine, the 21st International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology, and a joint Australia New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Safety & Quality/ International Society Rapid Response Systems Conference. Meanwhile 2025 will see the city play host to the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses Quadrennial Congress.
DevelopingEM is a non-profit conference and community that supports the rise of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care in remote areas. Co-Director Dr Mark Newcombe, explained why Darwin and the Northern Territory had been selected for the 2022 conference. “DevelopingEM has long considered returning to Australia for an event as we believe our ethos and aims have a synergy with the health care challenges and opportunities present in rural, remote, regional and First Nations settings in our home country,” he said. “After considering multiple options for a host setting for DevelopingEM 2022, the choice of the Northern Territory and Darwin was easily the best option for us.
Waterfront Convention Centre
The Darwin Convention Centre is the centrepiece of the picturesque Darwin Waterfront Precinct, which offers a resort-like setting with high-quality accommodation, upmarket shops, and eateries, along with a sheltered sandy beach, wave lagoon pool, pleasant walkways, and lush parkland. The waterfront setting enables delegates to combine business with leisure and pleasure by enjoying morning walks and yoga in the park, or taking a swim in the recreation lagoon. The alfresco dining options, cafes, and bars overlooking the scenic water views are also ideal for networking or unwinding at the end of the day.
“We are increasingly finding that conference Organisers want to bring their events to Darwin,” says Peter Savoff, General Manager of Darwin’s Convention Centre. “It provides an opportunity for people to escape the bigger cities and allows delegates to come away and network with their colleagues in a unique Australian destination where they can create meaningful connections.”
The Convention Centre was awarded Best Business Events Venue in Australia at the 2021 Australian Tourism Awards, and received a sixth-place global ranking in the prestigious Apex Awards competition conducted by the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), recognizing the best convention centres in the world based entirely upon client ratings.
Managed by ASM Global, the centre offers 23,000 sqm of space, including a 1200-seat tiered auditorium, 4000 sqm of exhibition halls, 225 exhibition booth spaces, and seven concurrent meeting rooms, all in a beautiful waterfront setting that allows conferences to get the best out of their delegates.
One of the key advantages of holding conferences in Darwin is the city’s tight-knit tourism and events community, which provides end-to-end support in the planning and delivery of business events. Associations can easily connect with local experts, get high-profile and government leaders to speak at their events, and host field visits to educational research centres, industry sites, or remote communities.
Additionally, the Northern Territory Business Events Support Fund (NTBESF) provides funding assistance to qualified organizers. Priority is given to business events that align with the Northern Territory’s economic and social strengths.
Business events planners or organisations considering the Northern Territory as the destination for their business event may apply for financial assistance of a minimum of AUD$100 per delegate, with higher incentives available for certain times of the year.