Cairns Convention Centre expansion gets ready to welcome delegates

cairns convention
The Centre's new porte cochere.

The Cairns Convention Centre is getting ready to open its $176 million expansion, cementing Tropical North Queensland as a premiere business destination.

Janet Hamilton, General Manager at Cairns Convention Centre, says the expansion adds a rooftop banquet area, outdoor terrace, three flexible meeting rooms, an exhibition and plenary space in the 10,500sqm of new floor space now available. This gives Cairns Convention Centre the ability to host multiple or larger events, with conventions and exhibitions of up to 2,500 guests now able to be accommodated in the entire venue.

“Coupled with the latest audio-visual technology, laser projectors and digital lecterns, conference organisers will have much greater flexibility when delivering events,” she explains.

cairns convention

“The new interior includes an exhibition space for up to 30 display booths and a flat floor plenary lecture area that holds nearly 400 people theatre-style, which can also be divided into two equal rooms. Also, on this level are three new meeting rooms, which can hold over 130 delegates each in theatre-style or when combined as one larger space, can host 400 theatre-style.”

As an international-class venue at the gateway to two spectacular World Heritage environments, Hamilton says the new Trinity Level frames the region’s beautiful natural views and enables delegates to enjoy the Cairns destination while inside.

“The Trinity Room is ideal for gala dinners and large cocktail functions and can host up to 500 people, while the large pre-function space and the outdoor Trinity Terrace offers stunning views over the Trinity Inlet. This stunning outdoor area is ideal for cocktail functions, lunches or unique events wanting to enjoy Cairns’ beautiful tropical weather,” she adds.

cairns convention
The Centre’s larger spaces can utilise a 15m screen.

On the business side of activities, as hybrid meeting space needs become more complex, Cairns Convention Centre has a raft of audio-visual equipment to keep pace with the most demanding of presentation needs.

“Hybrid meetings and online collaborations are here to stay, and we are fortunate to deliver the most complex needs in a simplified format, all backed by an outstanding technical team,” she says.

PTZ cameras have been fitted across all the meeting spaces, offering pan, tilt and zoom control features and there are now digital lecterns with built-in preview monitors for easy reference to presentation notes.

“These lecterns provide presenters a level of comfort with an upfront display and touch panel controls so they can control AV features within the room when, and if, required,” she says.

“The level of AV integration within the venue rooms are outstanding and provide a high level of flexibility to meet the most demanding needs. Centre-wide we provide high resolution laser projectors in every room, which provide a bright, crisp image enabling the finest details within presentations.”

In the Cairns Convention Centre’s larger spaces, there is the option of utilising a large format 15 metre screen with three projector blend.

“This screen and projector combination enables multi content to be simultaneously displayed on a huge surface,” she says.

cairns convention
There are many ways for delegates to contribute to the region’s environmental wellbeing including the Reforest program.

While all this technology takes energy to run, delegates can rest assured the carbon footprint of their event is offset by the Cairns Convention Centre’s commitment to sustainability and fostering positive environmental initiatives in the region.

As an eco-tourism destination between the two World Heritage listed areas of the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, the Cairns Convention Centre is well placed to introduce delegates to the assets of the region and give them meaningful interactions with the natural and cultural environment.

Events held at Cairns Convention Centre can utilise the Reforest program organised by Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef. Through the program delegates help eliminate the event’s carbon impact by supporting localised tree planting and revegetation programs, like the endangered Mabi rainforest which is the home of the Lumholtz tree kangaroo on the Atherton Tablelands.

Reef Connect is another program where delegates can contribute to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. Marine biologists and cultural guides offer educational tours where guests learn about conservation programs and gather valuable data while snorkelling, or learn about traditional music, art, weapons, and shields and hear creation stories about the Great Barrier Reef.

cairns convention
Executive Chef David Hart’s menus make the most of the local produce on offer.

The centre’s new Executive Chef David Hart is also well placed to encourage sustainable practices in the wider community, with a passion for using only the best seasonal produce and a food philosophy of simple, fresh and local. He says when it came to using local produce with low food miles and sustainability front and centre, Cairns Convention Centre is fortunate with the Atherton Tablelands, Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest right on its doorstep.

“Endemic native ingredients, tropical fruits, vegetables, fish, beef, dairy, coffee, vanilla, tea – we are definitely spoilt when it comes to the range of choice and the products we can use to create truly unique dishes that best represent our region,” Hart says.

As the Cairns Convention Centre staff and partners are united by their environmental philosophies, the Centre’s stunning new expansion is sure to inspire event organisers to choose Cairns as a host destination in the near future.