Event planners discover Darwin

A group of event planners from the association, corporate and not-for-profit sectors recently discovered how very supportive Darwin industry, business and government leaders can be when business events come to town.

Eleven highly-qualified planners from across Australia participated in the ‘Meet Darwin’ familiarisation event which is staged annually as a collaborative partnership between the award-winning Darwin Convention Centre and the Northern Territory Convention Bureau.

Business sessions were a key component of the four-day event and provided a snapshot of the NT’s various assets as a business events destination, as well as an overview of the very positive economic, cultural and social drivers of Darwin.

Presentations were made by the NT Government’s Department of Tourism and Culture, Department of Trade, Business & Innovation and Tourism Top End.  The NT Government Minister for Education and representatives from the NT Government Department of Health, Tourism NT and Tourism Top End also attended the culturally-inspired finale dinner held at the Darwin Convention Centre.

Mark Band, Chief Executive Officer with Parks & Leisure Australia commented on this support.

“The ease of access to government and willingness to work with interstate organisations to do business in the Territory makes Darwin a compelling conference destination,” he said.

“Also the accessibility to facilities, both conference and off-site venues. The link to Asia is a real attraction and being able to tap into that market is a major selling point for our conference.”

‘Meet Darwin’ provided scope for planners to undertake invaluable networking with their sector peers in Darwin and also view the city’s impressive business events infrastructure, the flagship of which is the world-class 1200-seat Darwin Convention Centre.

A Pudakul Aboriginal Cultural Tours experience enabled interaction with young members of an Aboriginal community and the chance to learn about the cultural traditions, activities and environment.  An Aboriginal art class held aboard the ‘Charles Darwin’ cruise vessel on the magnificent Darwin harbour enabled participants to create their own culturally-inspired artwork.

In addition to the cultural dinner at the Darwin Convention Centre, delegates dined at renowned Darwin restaurant venue, Pee Wee’s at the Point, which has recently undergone a million dollar renovation and expansion. A visit to the iconic Mindil Beach Sunset Market on the first evening of the famil provided a chance to view a spectacular Top End sunset, whilst enjoying crocodile-meat tasting at Smokey J’s, which is one of the 60 food stalls and 200 market stalls on offer.


Janet Hamilton, General Manager of the Darwin Convention Centre was delighted.  “Now in its tenth year, the “Meet Darwin” joint program has proven to be one of the most successful initiatives to attract future conferences to our Centre,” she said.

She summed up the reasons why the destination has such strong appeal.

“Our city offers strategic access to and from Asia via direct aviation services, excellent business and industry connections, unique Top End experiences, a stunning waterfront, year-round tropical climate, and a warm, friendly culture.  Darwin and our world-class 1200-seat convention centre are the perfect combination in a destination which delivers highly effective business event outcomes.”