Big year ahead
2013 could very well be a watershed year for the Northern Territory business event sector with new business already booked and plenty of opportunities on the horizon.
Director of the Northern Territory Convention Bureau, Scott Lovett, is understandably excited about the year ahead for his beloved destination.
In his words it continues to go from “strength to strength” with a range of new product, a raft of refurbishments and improvements at venues in Central Australia and the Top End, and significantly strong interest from the corporate and association sectors.
That interest should be at an all-time-high at this year’s AIME exhibition in Melbourne (Tuesday, February 26 and Wednesday, February 27), with the Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB) sharing space with 20 of its industry partners.
Exciting news this year is that the range of Northern Territory exhibitors has never been more diverse. Suppliers range from cruise and fishing charter companies, uniquely NT attractions and activity experiences, convention centres and off-site venues, hotels and resorts, transport and tour operators, restaurants, event management specialists and merchandise suppliers.
For 2013, the Northern Territory Stand # 1532, directly across from the domestic market’s Globe Restaurant, will feature a brand new concept called ‘The Experience Zone’ where four first-time exhibitors will highlight a range of exciting “boutique” activity options in Central Australia and the Top End.
Destination presentations will be conducted by the NTCB on both days of the show – Tuesday, February 26, from 1:40pm-2:15pm and Wednesday, February 27, from 12:15pm-12:50pm.
Another feature at this year’s exhibition is that the NTCB will showcase its ongoing commitment to corporate social responsibility by introducing Bindi, an Alice Springs-based cross-cultural organisation that provides opportunities for people with disabilities, to the AIME audience.
Among other activities, Bindi operates a workshop and creative arts studio in Alice Springs which can create and supply name badges, delegate satchels, table centerpieces and artworks for NT conferences and events. The NT stand will have a distinct “Bindi flavour”, with the organisation’s diverse products scattered throughout the stand. These will include fine arts, stand décor, delegate bags, postcards and 2013 calendars, and all NT exhibitors will be wearing name badges specially created for them by Bindi.
Mr Lovett said the NTCB was “delighted to enable Bindi to gain invaluable exposure to the business events sector at AIME. We believe that it not only indicates that our CSR commitment is genuine, but also provides a great opportunity to yet again showcase how NT creativity can be so very relevant and accessible for conferences and events held in the NT.”
The NT’s involvement with Bindi follows the recent presentation of a $5000 donation to one of the Northern Territory’s other local community-based not-for-profit organisations, children’s indigenous drumming group, Drum Atweme. The NTCB and its 10 industry partners from the NT Meetings Muster roadshow, conducted in late October last year, took the decision to make the donation in lieu of distributing the usual promotional gifts to guests who attended Meetings Muster events throughout the country.
In other AIME news, the NTCB will delay its usual post-AIME familiarisation until mid-April and will instead be conducting three separate famils to Uluru, Alice Springs and the Darwin/Top End region.
Covering some 1,352,176 square kilometres, the Northern Territory is divided into two very diverse main regions – the Top End and Central Australia.
The lush and tropical Top End region at the northernmost tip includes the cosmopolitan capital city, Darwin, plus the world-heritage listed Kakadu, Australia’s largest national park.
Further south, the stunning desert landscape of Central Australia is home to icons such as Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Alice Springs, the quintessential outback country town.
Attendees to the 26th Meetings and Events Australia National Conference in May this year will have the pleasure of experiencing all that the Top End has to offer in an action packed program that is sure to showcase Darwin’s laidback lifestyle, its casual yet professional approach to business events, and the wonderful climate that is a feature of the region’s dry season.
While the conference will be held at the Darwin Convention Centre (May 6-8), a pre and post conference touring option will include an opportunity to experience spectacular Kakadu and Litchfield National Park.