Mackay charges on to the PCOA Conference and beyond

The Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre (MECC) heads to the PCOA Conference in Melbourne on the back of a buoyant 2018, having successfully hosted a range of prestigious events, been named an award-winning convention centre and facing a positive 2019 and beyond.

The Centre, which has capacity to seat up to 1500 delegates, was delighted to be awarded the top spot in the ‘Business Event Venue’ category at the Mackay Tourism Awards held early in October. Over recent years, the MECC has been a multiple award winner across a range of categories at the annual regional awards.

Delegates attending the PCOA Conference at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and keen to find out more about the award-winning MECC can do so when they visit the Mackay Region-hosted Charge Bar, which will provide a handy station at which delegates can re-charge phones and other devices.

Other news from Mackay features a range of new venues ideal for business events. Rydges Mackay Suites, a 4.5-star full-service apartment hotel in the heart of the Mackay CBD, has recently undergone refurbishment, with a new cocktail function area now available for up to 250 guests. The hotel’s new restaurant “Moss on Wood” also provides a relaxed dining option for delegates, in a light and airy space.

Another new venue in the city which can cater for up to 200 guests is delivering exotic Mediterranean and Lebanese cuisine in a beautiful waterfront location overlooking Mackay’s Pioneer River. Ashtart Restaurant forms part of the city’s extensive Bluewater Quay and is positioned close to city centre accommodation and within walking distance of the MECC. The restaurant’s name comes from the ancient Phoenician Goddess of fertility and love, conveying the mystical history and culture of the East, rich with the aromas of food and spices of the Mediterranean and Lebanon.

Further afield, some 15 minutes west of Mackay, the Note Park Grazing Company is providing another new business event function venue. Owned and operated by third-generation farmers, the property produces Brangus and Brahman beef cattle and, in conjunction with a range of local producers, delivers “Paddock to Plate” events. A range of venues on the property offer capacity for 50 guests through to 200. Groups can take escorted walks through grazing paddocks to learn how cattle are managed and see what steps are taken to produce top quality prime beef. The facility is BYO and business event groups are welcome to bring their own caterers or enjoy a home-style barbeque featuring beef product from the property.

Nicky Hansen, Sales & Business Development Coordinator with the MECC acknowledged that the award-winning convention centre’s profile and the destination’s offering continue to grow, with boutique off-site venues forming part of the secret to its success.

“We strongly encourage our clients to take their groups off-site and discover what makes our beautiful region tick,” she said.

“It not only enhances the delegate experience but encourages them to consider returning on holidays as leisure visitors in the future.”

Mackay’s local connections and strategic location in Queensland continue to play a significant role in attracting conferences. In 2018, the Region hosted a very successful beef industry conference for over 480 delegates from the Australian Wagyu Association, with many delegates continuing on southwards to Rockhampton for the triennial Beef Australia Exposition.

In September 2018, Mackay also hosted a large religious group convention of 1600 delegates who were so impressed with the venue and the range of accommodation options available, they have subsequently re-booked Mackay for September 2019 and 2020.

The region’s important links to the once-again buoyant resources sector will assist to attract approximately 200 participants to the Resource Industry Network Safety Conference to be held at the MECC in March 2019, whilst the mining sector’s significant Bowen Basin Symposium will follow in September 2020, with an estimated 600 delegates.

For further information, contact:

Nicky Hansen
Sales and Business Development Coordinator

Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre
Phone: 07 4961 9761