Mackay has been selected as host destination for the National Economic Development Conference. The event will take place between October 13 and 15, 2021 at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre (MECC).

The conference is the flagship event of Economic Development Australia (EDA), the national peak body for economic development professionals in Australia. With more than 750 members, the organisation seeks to build capacity, promote excellence and provide leadership on issues of relevance to its members.

The Mackay conference is expected to attract 200-250 economic development professionals, as well as their partners and families. Delegates will experience an action-packed program including a masterclass, local study tours and site visits, an awards gala dinner and a range of networking functions and events.

Andrew Bobeldyk, Manager, MECC and Events said the convention centre was delighted to be hosting the conference and felt the bid win conveyed a strong message about the region.

“The conference theme is to be centred on transformation through a circular economy and Mackay provides a perfect example of such a concept,” he said.

“Acknowledged as a thriving regional centre, its economic diversity is represented by a strong resources sector, agribusiness, construction, logistics, education and tourism. The type and calibre of conferences which we continue to attract to the MECC reflect those specialisations and give us an edge in the highly competitive business events marketplace.”

Organisers have indicated the conference will proceed irrespective of COVID restrictions that might potentially apply in late 2021, with scope for it to also be held as a hybrid or online event should it be deemed necessary.