Mackay's magic changes perspectives

The North Queensland city of Mackay has recently enjoyed some significant conference wins, many of which highlight the region’s diverse business and industry strengths.

The lineup includes events which reflect Mackay’s close association with mining, agriculture and the pastoral industry. The Queensland Mining Expo, the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists and the Australian Wagyu Association events will collectively attract over 5000 delegates when they come to town in 2018.

A satellite workshop in Mackay for international delegates attending the Australasian Bioenergy and Bioproducts Symposium in Brisbane in October 2017 also indicates the diversity of events associated with the sugar industry and highlights how Mackay is perceived as a leader in the field.

The city’s dedicated convention centre, ready supply of 4 + star accommodation, excellent aviation and road connectivity as well as regional proximity were also contributing factors to the wins.

Nicky Hansen, Sales & Business Development with the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre notes that event planners are responding positively to the idea that fewer big city distractions can be good for conferences, especially in combination with strong local support and outstanding group experiences such as meeting the wallabies on the beach at Cape Hillsborough.

“We believe that our strong calendar for 2018 is evidence of our strategy to seek out conferences which are tailored to our local industry and business pillars,” she said.

Many planners are in agreement. Lisa Robey, Engagement and Business Director with the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association recently visited Mackay “The conference facilities are excellent, access is good, there is plenty of accommodation and good restaurants, with the ability to navigate the city by foot,” she said.

Rebecca Henderson, who reviewed Mackay for a large steel manufacturing company event, had similar comments. “Mackay has really surprised me,” she said. “It has a great range of accommodation, with some once in a lifetime opportunities that shouldn't be missed. It would be a wonderful location to hold a regional conference.”

Event planner visits to the region are often scheduled to coincide with some of the city’s significant annual events such as the Mackay Festival of Arts, a week-long celebration of wine, food and live entertainment hosted annually in July and the Mackay Airport Beach Races, a spectacular event held on Mackay’s beaches every August.

The Mackay Regional Council has enhanced the destination’s appeal by extending its innovative Invest Mackay Events and Conferences Attraction Funding Program into 2017-2018. The program provides financial support for eligible conferences which choose Mackay as their host destination.


ABOUT THE MACKAY ENTERTAINMENT AND CONVENTION CENTRE: The MECC has multiple spaces including a 1090-seat auditorium and two plenary halls with capacity to seat 1500 delegates theatre-style or 800 guests banquet style. In addition, there are four meeting rooms, a 100-seat studio space, two foyers, and a selection of break-out rooms. The Convention Centre Precinct also includes the contemporary Artspace regional art gallery, expansive Civic Lawns and the Mackay City Library. All offer additional break-out meeting rooms and alternative function options.

The Mackay Region sits half way between Brisbane and Cairns in Queensland, offering a relaxed regional city, serviced by 65+ weekly flights. The 1000 seat MECC convention centre is enhanced by a portfolio of more than 1000 rooms within walking distance, along with amazing rooftop venues with panoramic views of the blue-water river and ocean.

The Mackay Region’s growth is fuelled by the boom in the mining industry in the Bowen Basin, resurgence in agribusiness, growth in tourism and an emerging marine sector. It is the largest sugar-producing area in Australia and nearly a third of Queensland’s export goods originate from the Mackay region.

For further information, contact:

Nicky Hansen
Sales & Business Development

Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre
Phone: 07 4961 9761