Meeting Newz Septeber / October 2022

award-winning grass-fed beef producer, the property offers panoramic views from its covered al-fresco dining and entertainment area which has capacity for up to 200 guests. A regional destination with a big city heart Kristy Rushe, acting assistant manager with the Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre (MECC) spoke about the advantages offered by Mackay and its convention centre. “Our multi award-winning centre is the largest venue between Cairns and Brisbane and provides a strategically positioned central meeting point in Queensland, with easy access from all regions,” she says. “Whilst we are a relaxed tropical regional city, Mackay has a ‘big city’ heart, and its population of more than 125,000 ensures that sophisticated technical, production and professional support services are available.” The state-of-the-art, purpose-built MECC comprises multiple versatile spaces including a 1,090-seat auditorium and two plenary halls which, when fully extended, seats over 1,450 delegates theatre style or 800 guests banquet style. There are four meeting rooms, a 100-seat studio space, two foyers, a selection of breakout rooms, a dedicated event planner office and a registration desk. Affordable and accessible An impressive portfolio of affordable, quality accommodation options are available, at least six of which are within easy walking distance of the MECC. The city also enjoys a schedule of frequent aviation services from airlines Jetstar, QantasLink and Virgin Australia providing over 80 flights per week in and out of Mackay to Brisbane as well as Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns. Flying time to Brisbane is just one-and-a-half hours and later in 2022, new Australian start-up domestic airline Bonza will be providing Mackay with additional services. Off-site activities abound The huge 66,484 square kilometre Mackay Region offers diverse destination experiences, complemented by an enviable climate, with an average daily temperature of 22C in the winter months of June-August. With 31 beaches surrounding Mackay and sparkling blue Coral Sea waters beckoning offshore, Wild Cat Mackay provides an [ AUSTRAL I A – MACKAY The purpose-built MECC incorporates a 1,090-seat auditorium and two plenary halls, with capacity to seat 1,500 delegates theatre-style or 800 guests in banquet-style. Four meeting rooms, a 100-seat studio space, two foyers, and a selection of break-out rooms complete the picture. The centre sits within a dedicated precinct which includes the contemporary Artspace regional art gallery and expansive Civic Lawns. MACKAY ENTERTAINMENT AND CONVENTION CENTRE (MECC) opportunity for business event delegates to get out on the water aboard a custom-built 40-seat catamaran vessel. In addition to its scheduled snorkelling and island tours which visit picturesque and untouched ‘secret’ locations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, it is also possible to exclusively charter the Wild Cat Mackay vessel. Mackay Adventure Tours also provides business event delegates and accompanying partners with a range of iconic and only-inMackay experiences and activity options. These include watching a sunrise with the kangaroos and wallabies on the beach or spotting a platypus in the wild in the Eungella Rainforest. Many groups choose to visit the award-winning Sarina Sugar Shed to see a sugar mill and distillery and enjoy unique Mackay food and beverage tastings. Delegates attending the Developing Northern Australia Conference in the MECC Auditorium Deleagates attending the offsite dinner at Notepark Wildcat Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland [46] meeting newz [sept oct] 2022

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