May 20, 2021

The Mackay Region of Queensland continues to punch well above its weight in the highly competitive Australian business events marketplace, winning national conferences, offering generous local support, and delivering impressive off-site venue locations.

The wide-open spaces and places on offer have never been more appealing, especially when backed up by more than 65 flights from Brisbane (just 90 minutes’ flight time) on a weekly basis.

The high instance of repeat clients to the region provides a clear indication that conference planners are delighted to discover a convention centre of the calibre of the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, conveniently located midway between Brisbane and Cairns.

Unique off-site locations

The Mackay region boasts a wealth of fascinating off-site locations ideal for conference welcome functions, dinners and social programme events. Many complement the region’s industry strengths which include buoyant agribusiness sectors such as the sugarcane industry.

One such venue is the Sarina Sugar Shed, a national award-winning food tourism attraction south of Mackay. Guided tours celebrate the regional paddock-to-plate experience featuring sugarcane and include taste-testing of the Sugar Shed’s rum and liqueur products. Unique customised experiences such as a distiller’s sensory experience, cocktail masterclass and food-with-rum pairing sessions can also be arranged.

Available for exclusive-use functions after closing time, the venue can accommodate up to 60 guests in covered and outside areas. Barbecues and light catering with various bar options are available, and the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre’s off-site catering team can deliver more formal events. The Sugar Shed’s retail store offers house-made treats such as chutneys, relishes, sauces, ginger beer and ice cream, as well as liqueurs, schnapps and rum, ideal as delegate, VIP and speakers’ gifts.

Sarina Sugar Shed was recently recognised by Queensland’s tourism authorities as a prestigious ‘Best of Queensland Experience’, awarded to tourism operators which score highly for customer satisfaction and quality of experience, based on visitor reviews.

Showcasing its capacity to host prestigious events, the Sarina Sugar Shed was recently the venue for a Regional Community Forum Dinner attended by the Queensland Minister for Tourism Development and Queensland’s Attorney General.

The Sarina Sugar Shed is a national award-winning food tourism attraction south of Mackay

Supportive Funding for Business Events

The Mackay Regional Council’s Invest Mackay Events and Conference Attraction Programs continue to provide generous support for conferences, offering up to a maximum of $75,000 per event per annum for events which meet the program criteria.

The MECC gets real and gets local

Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre will be participating at the inaugural ‘Get Local’ trade show to be held at ICC Sydney from July 29-30 and looks forward to meeting with planners who are seeking a fresh, regional destination that delivers the ideal venue and destination for these times.

The recently-launched Virtual Reality Tour on the MECC website enables planners to take a sneak-peek at the wide range of venues available at the MECC, ranging from the 1000+ seat auditorium through to plenary halls, meeting rooms and exhibition spaces.