The Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB), in partnership with the Darwin Convention Centre (DCC), recently hosted 13 conference and event planners in Darwin for a four day showcase of the tropical, harbour city.

The VIP delegates attending “Meet Darwin 2016” represented a broad range of national associations, societies, institutes, not-for-profit organisations and companies from throughout the country.  They saw and experienced the very best of Darwin, as well as gaining insights into the capacity and capability of the world-class 1200-seat Darwin Convention Centre.

While in Darwin, they met with NT business and industry leaders, visited attractions, accommodation and hospitality venues and experienced unique Indigenous cultural activities.

The action-packed “Meet Darwin” program was designed to highlight the Northern Territory’s unique strengths as a business events destination. It also addressed potential marketplace perceptions regarding the actual distance, travel time and cost of staging events in the NT. The flow-on effect from the recent addition of more than 930 rooms to the Darwin accommodation portfolio has brought about a reduction in average room rates for the city. By comparison to 2014, Darwin’s average daily room rate for its 4000-plus rooms has decreased by 18 per cent to $180 per room, enhancing the city’s appeal even more for event planners.

Paul Constable, Australian Member of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision talked about his perceptions of Darwin, before visiting. “I didn’t expect Darwin to be like this. I thought it would be smaller and I didn’t think there’d be as much diversity—of people and culture and food—I’ve been very pleasantly surprised.”

He identified some of the key assets from his perspective.

“Because it’s so small, everyone seems to work together well and it’s easier to do business and to integrate, which you don’t get in many other places. We’d get more delegates from Asia for a Darwin-based event, which is good because that’s a growing area for our organisation.”

“We were delighted to partner with the Darwin Convention Centre to support the `Meet Darwin’ event this year,” said Daryl Hudson, director of business events with the Northern Territory Convention Bureau.

“We believe the event program overwhelmingly conveyed that Darwin is a vibrant and very accessible destination for business events, and has many unique offerings that are the envy of our competitors.  After four days, our VIP delegates departed as ambassadors for the city, inspired by the innovation, the ‘can-do’ attitude and amazing capacity and capability of Darwin.”

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