December 3, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

The destination marketing agency brought together 70 stakeholders from the region’s operators and suppliers yesterday to discuss the anticipated recovery of the meetings and incentives sector in 2022 in the latest instalment of Visit Sunshine Coast’s Real Talks event series.

Visit Sunshine Coast’s CEO, Matt Stoeckel believes the initial recovery will be cautious with a preference for natural settings.

“The Sunshine Coast must play to its strengths, which are our natural assets and environment – that’s what we are hearing from meetings, events and incentive organisers,” he said.

“The aim of Real Talks was to bring local businesses together to hear from all sides of the industry about what is required to kick start the industry in 2022 and beyond.

“A takeaway from Real Talks was that during the past two years it has been demonstrated clearly that we can learn anywhere through online conferences. So we have to go beyond the straightforward aspects of the learning and look at the overall experience, incorporating pre and post events to maximise the benefits of face-to-face meetings.

“Our Real Talks event today demonstrated clearly there is an appetite for a return to ‘real’ meetings, but obviously major corporations and associations have to be comfortable with how a destination manages such events, and we are confident we can deliver.”

Stoeckel said his team was seeing demand for the region.

“Our team is concentrating particularly on incentives, as smaller bespoke groups are really wanting to gear up for business revival in 2022, and we are already fielding numerous inquiries. Accessibility is also important, and we can now provide enhanced access through the new runway and expanded direct services at Sunshine Coast Airport.”