This Is Gold Coast (TIGC) pulled out the stops this year showing the group of around 150 event organisers what this destination can do – and in spades.
“For this event we wanted to showcase the Sea World precinct, including the Resort and the Theme Park and our idyllic location right on the Broadwater and create an event that no one had experienced before,” says Caroline Duveau-Clayton, VRTP’s Head of Conferences & Events.
“Delegates enjoyed a sunset cruise on the Broadwater before being dropped off at the Sea World Resort Jetty and one of its newest event spaces, the Boatshed. They were welcomed by delicious food and beverages along with drummers and fire twirlers who escorted them to our new Atlantis precinct within Sea World Theme Parks, and being greeted by street performers along the way.”
Once in Sea World’s Atlantis precinct, the Resort and Theme Parks Chefs created six different live food stations with over 22 food offerings from around the world – from a Teppanyaki station and BBQ food truck featuring Lobster tails to Moreton Bay Bug sliders and tasty Bao buns.
And if you were too busy chatting to get food, a roving oyster schucker had you covered. For dessert, there were roasted marshmallows on fire pits scattered around the venue, Affogatos from a Barista coffee cart, Churros and ice cream.
The real star of the night though was Atlantis precinct’s Vortex, Leviathan and Trident attractions, which were opened up for the exclusive use of guests. Topped off with DJs, street performers, live musicians, a spectacular fireworks display and Pyroflow show. Welcome to the Gold Coast indeed!
“We wanted to showcase how unique and spectacular a theme park event can be when they transform after dark into magical sparkling venues. How special is it for the delegates to know the park is all theirs for a night,” says Duveau-Clayton.
The night actually began with a preview of a newly opened venue right on the water at Main Beach. An expansion onto dry land from the team behind by luxury cruisers YOT Club, the YOT Deck offers the ultimate waterside venue to host lunches, dinners or cocktail functions up to 700 guests. For those heading on one of their vessels for a cruise, groups can enjoy a pre-charter or post-charter drink at YOT Deck with the option to board and disembark from the venue for a seamless event.
Dreamworld Events has also launched new event package, ‘Cave of Waves soirée’ at its WhiteWater World, a unique dining destination with capacity for upwards of more than 800 guests. A three-course menu features a seafood platter and selection of main and dessert plus a variety of beverages, accompanied by the roar of ‘Huey’, the surging wave pool swell that travels 50 meters before breaking.
The new ‘Rivertown’ Precinct and venue is coming in late 2024 offering new conferencing and event possibilities alongside a new world-class rollercoaster, Jungle Rush.
Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub is another new venue that has stepped out beyond its original incarnation as a cabaret and burlesque club.
Inspired by the original 1920’s Spiegeltent and the NYC Cabaret Club district, this world-class entertainment venue located in the heart of Broadbeach is home to eight performances of its four resident productions each week, but also finds the time to host conferences, tradeshows and gala dinners as well.
“We offered a cabaret show that was unlike anything else on the Gold Coast – located right in Broadbeach near the convention centre,” says Pink Flamingo Spiegelclub’s Executive Assistant Teigan Hutchison.
“Then we see started booking out the venue as a space for conferences, after parties, award ceremonies and travelling shows who loved the space because of our AV capabilities such as a 15m screen that wraps around the entire stage – perfect for product launches.”
The venue’s style wouldn’t look out of a place in a Baz Luhrmann movie, including a bar that changes colour, chandeliers and yes, plenty of ornamental flamingos.
“Every aspect of the venue has meticulously been considered that no corner has been left unfeatured, everytime people come through they find something new,” says Hutchison.
“But our point of difference is the entertainment value. If you are having a conference or tradeshow we will entertain you from the moment you walk in through the door to the moment they leave. We wanted to push the boundaries of not being just four walls but showcasing world-class entertainment and levelling up events on the Gold Coast.”
It’s no secret that Luhrmann is one the Gold Coast’s biggest and most enthusiastic advocates after filming Elvis at Village Roadshow’s local studios.
“He came here just to film but stayed – he is a great ambassador for us and is always willing to help,” says Rachel Hancock, Acting CEO for Experience Gold Coast.
“Village Roadshow studio is booked out for two years and having that name is a great way to sell the Gold Coast to the world.”
One of the pillars that the Gold Coast is building on is its screen industry, with Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner the newest addition to Experience Gold Coast’s business events ambassador program BE Connected Gold Coast.
Brooke Campbell, Head of Business Events at Experience Gold Coast, says the city “champions the idea of just making it happen”.
“No matter the size of a meeting, conference or an event, there is something for everyone here,” she says.
“The screen industry is part of our business events strategy so we can get conferences in that market.
“It’s looking at businesses that relates to that industry and how we can best leverage that. It’s the same with the Olympic Games and attracting sporting associations that might have a high profile, so working with them in the lead to host events before and after the Olympics. It’s about having those discussions now.”
With a destination as dynamic as the Gold Coast, it can be hard to keep up with what’s new. This is where Kiff & Culture fits in, acting as a mini-PCO with its finger on the local pulse.
Started by three friends who wanted to share their passion for the region and now specialise in curating and organising offsite experiences, welcome events and unique dinners.
“We have such a big range of clients and group sizes from international incentives and corporates to domestic conferences looking for that unique event to open or close a conference,” says Alex Baker, Kiff & Culture’s marketing director.
“These are ranging from C-suite 20 pax exclusive events through to offsites up to 500 people. We have a 500-pax group next year that we are running a whole bunch of offsite activities for that people can book with their conference ticket. Everything from food and drink or wildlife experiences through to jet ski safaris and diving with the turtles.”
For one of the pre-famils at This Is Gold Coast, they took a group to Tropical Fruit World, which is just over the border in the Tweed Valley, for a beautiful paddock to plate style long lunch using produce from the property itself.
“We love tailoring our experiences to meet the needs of our clients such turning Fire to Fork into a kind of mini festival with live music and different activities and themes,” Baker says.
“We don’t like saying no because we are super passionate. We just love doing it.”
‘Just love doing it’ could be the motto for the Gold Coast. Whether it’s the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, which has recently reached Master Certification through EarthCheck in recognition of 15 years of commitment to sustainability, to the many highly regarded leaders who have joined the growing network of ambassadors that make up BE Connected Gold Coast.