Event planners experience taste of the outback

The 2015 Alice Stampede mega-familiarisation hit the Northern Territory over four action-packed days in September.

A joint initiative of the Alice Springs Convention Centre (ASPCC) and the Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB), the famil was held in Alice Springs.

Twenty event planners representing a diverse range of associations, institutes, corporations and professional conference organisations from throughout Australia gained valuable insights into an intriguing town called Alice.

The Stampede itinerary showcased infrastructure, attractions and experiences whilst also providing interaction with the unique Central Australian community of Central Australia.

Highlights included early morning hot air ballooning over the desert landscape, a visit to Alice Springs Desert Park and three evening functions held under the stars at historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station, the spectacular Old Quarry and the authentic cattle station property, Oooramina Homestead.

The famil coincided with several other uniquely Central Australian major events being held in Alice Springs at the time.  The inaugural Red Centre NATS, an automotive lifestyle festival which celebrates all things on wheels, was very effectively contrasted against the annual arts festival known as the Desert Mob.

Both events showcased the potential to align a Business Event with a major event and provide an extra layer of activity options, as well as enable a strong local connection with the people of Alice Springs.

In the case of the Red Centre NATS, this included a chance for Stampeders to kick up their heels at the ‘Rock N Rumble’ concert which was a part of the festival.

The majority of famil participants were visiting Alice Springs for the very first time and they were not disappointed. Jessica Symmons, Executive Assistant to the CEO of GE Healthcare in Melbourne was impressed by the organisational aspects.

“As an assistant, we all know how hard it can be to organise events for other assistant/event planner groups (high expectations!),” she said.

“Each day was busy, but I now understand why – you don’t want to miss out on any of these experiences!”

Central Australia’s rich Indigenous culture was showcased throughout the programme and included visiting the annual Desert Mob art exhibition and marketplace at the Araluen Cultural Centre, as well as engaging in a basket weaving workshop with a local Indigenous art group.

A Business Forum was held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre as part of the famil programme.  It included a warm welcome from the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, the Honourable Adam Giles MLA, as well as a panel discussion by a group of eminent Territorians and local speakers talking about their Alice Springs.

Guests stayed at Lasseters Hotel and also undertook site inspections of a number of other accommodation properties including Double Tree by Hilton, Chifley Alice Springs and Quest Apartments Alice Springs.

For more information on Alice Springs, visit