Australia and New Zealand Event News – July 2019


NT Government invest millions into MICE industry

Under a new 10-year plan unveiled by the Northern Territory Government, business events will generate $68 million in delegate expenditure across the region by 2030. The Government is poised to invest close to $10 million through its Turbocharging Tourism and Turbo2 campaigns, as part of its Long-Term Business Events Strategy. Additionally, the NT Business Events Support Fund, will bring 13,725 delegates and inject $32 million in estimated expenditure into the local economy highlighting the importance of drawing visitors to the top end.


Kambri adds new spaces to Canberra

The Kambri cultural precinct has opened at the Australian National University in Canberra boasting a variety of fully equipped conference and event spaces, along with a host of outdoor venues. A lobby bar is also available for pre-function drinks and cocktail events, while Ambush Gallery’s newest exhibition space can also be utilised. Other non-traditional spaces are also available for corporate events, including an amphitheatre with tiered seating and a range of outdoor options including University Avenue, The Lane and The Lawn.


Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall opens

Located on Brunswick Street in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, a new site spanning 2500sqm with 3300 capacity will be the centrepiece of a masterplan to maintain Fortitude Valley’s position as a must-see music destination. The Fortitude Music Hall venue will be a stop for local and international touring artists and an entertainment hub for locals with plans to in deliver additional food and beverage venues and function space.


Hyatt Sydney named as top MICE hotel

Hyatt Regency Sydney has been ranked the best meetings hotel in the Asia Pacific region for the second year in a row. The property was one of 13 Sydney and Melbourne hotels in the annual list including InterContinental Sydney (ranked sixth) and Crown Melbourne (ranked 18th), which all moved up in their respective positions this year.


MCEC opens skyfarm

The Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre will manage a brand new 2000 square metre space, opening 2020, that takes its sustainability efforts to new levels. The space will feature a rooftop farm with orchard and beekeeping, environmental education centre and design hub, and a 90-seat licensed café with an elevated terrace and event space. The farm is expected to grow more than five tonnes of fresh produce per annum.



Government announces new venue and initiatives for Brisbane events

The Queensland Government has announced the construction of a new theatre at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), delivering a new world-class facility for the state. The new venue will make QPAC the largest performing arts centre in Australia, in addition providing more than 100 jobs during construction and more than 40 new full-time jobs upon completion. Meanwhile, a new major event planning unit was also announced to help support event organisers in Brisbane to deliver a safe environment for the community.


Melbourne Convention Bureau debuts VR site visit technology

Launched at IMEX Frankfurt 2019, the Melbourne Virtual Site Visit is an advanced virtual reality (VR) technology that offers international association clients and professional conference organisers (PCOs) an opportunity to conduct site inspections through VR. It delivers information for potential delegates to see what they can do and experience in Melbourne during their conference stay.


Accor reaches 1100 hotels in Asia Pacific region

Accor has hit a major milestone, opening their 1100th hotel in the Asia Pacific, the Sofitel Beijing Central. This announcement comes just six months after they announced their 1000th hotel opening in Tokyo. The new hotel features 345 spacious luxury rooms and suites, as well as three dining outlets and over 1500 sqm of event space.


voco hotel set for Sydney CBD

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has signed its fifth location for the voco brand in Australia, with voco Sydney Central scheduled to open by 2020. The 17-storey property will feature a unique sloping room with a ‘green waterfall’. Focused on a ‘Me Time’ concept, the 301 guest rooms will feature premium beds for quality sleep, superior showers, innovative lighting and user-friendly technology. The hotel will also feature an all-day restaurant and bar, as well as a guest gym.


Minor Hotel’s Avani Melbourne Box Hill Residence to open

Accor’s new property, Avani Melbourne Box Hill Residences will open on 15 August 2019. The new 20 storey tower features both one and two-bedroom fully self-contained suites, with breathtaking views of Melbourne and the Dandenong Ranges. Located in a prime position in Box Hill, the property includes an on-site restaurant, rooftop swimming pool and state of the art gymnasium.


New look for Townsville conventions

Townsville’s Rydges Southbank Conference Centre has unveiled a new look, state-of-the-art upgrade, paying homage to the colonial style of the building and the history of the region. The facility can accommodate a range of events, from board meetings to large conferences and cocktail parties in the Grand Ballroom; which has been brightened with white-panelled walls, feature wall lighting and a breathtaking grand chandelier. The adjoining hotel, Rydges Southbank, offers 98 modern, stylish rooms for event guests choosing to extend their stay, with a 24-hour reception, pool and spa as well as free onsite parking.


New Zealand

Christchurch Convention Centre takes shape

Christchurch’s Te Pae convention centre is on track to open in October 2020, with the construction 50% complete. The AEG Ogden-operated venue has already secured several national and international events well into 2021 with 1000 delegates expected for the largest gathering.


Holiday Inn set for Queenstown Remarkables

Destined to become the flagship property for the Holiday Inn brand in New Zealand, a 182-room newbuild will be constructed in Remarkables Park in Queenstown. It will be positioned close to Queenstown Airport and the Remarkables Ski Field. Guests will have access to facilities including a fitness centre, an all-day dining and bar as well as multiple large and flexible meeting facilities.