The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia – Queensland Annual Conference (IPWEAQ) was one of the first conferences held in the Cairns Convention Centre since reopening in May after a full refurbishment.
IPWEAQ saw 430 engineers, technical officers, supervisors, fleet managers and operational managers experience the new look venue.
“It is state-of-the-art, contemporary and genuinely beautiful,” said conference organiser Monica Robertson. “The bright colours and stunning carpets suit the tropical oasis that is Cairns.
“Cairns Convention Centre includes new audio-visual options as standard, which are usually an additional cost, something extremely appreciated as a not-for-profit.
“For example, the lecterns have a screen on the platform itself (rather than a foldback monitor on the ground), which adds an extra level of professionalism to a conference. The venue offered above and beyond service to match their fantastic venue.”
Rainforestation Nature Park hosted the annual social function “Tropical Night”, on day two with delegates welcomed by the Pamagirri Dancers Cultural Performance, dining on roving canapés and food stations, and mingling with the likes of dingoes, kangaroos, snakes and koalas with wildlife interactions a part of the event package.
In the days prior, local Aboriginal artwork was displayed in the Cairns Convention Centre, culminating in an auction at Rainforestation. Each year, IPWEAQ conducts a raffle or auction for their President’s Charity.
“Interestingly the printed profiles themselves became so popular with the delegates that I had trouble keeping up with copies on the night,” said Rainforestation Nature Park event sales manager Kate Moore.
“The delegates were so pleased to have the artist profile provided, and conveyed they felt more connected to the artwork and appreciated a local artist being featured in our venue.”
With the $176 million Cairns Convention Centre project now focusing on the extension, at least 20 more conferences will be staged at the venue before the expansion opens later this year.
The expansion will deliver an additional 10,500 square metres for the venue that will include a large undercover, tropically planted entry forecourt, an expanded main entry lobby, a 410-seat plenary lecture space, three 120-seat meeting rooms, exhibition space for up to 30 display booths, a 500-seat rooftop banquet space and sky terrace with spectacular views over Trinity Inlet.