Cairns Convention Centre is packing in as much business as it can before it closes down for six months from June to November next year.
Around 1000 delegates will head to the centre in March and April next year, for the 27th Australian Orthodontic Congress and Trucking Australia conference.
When the centre opens again in November it will host two large conferences of 1000 delegates straight out of the gates.
“Having this expansion means we’ll be able to do two events at once — one large conference or two or three conferences at once,” general manager Janet Hamilton told the Cairns Post.
“We’ve not been able to do that before and we’re very excited about that.”
The redevelopment will see the southern face of the building transformed to include a new tropical entrance, a third floor, three meeting rooms, 30 exhibitor booths, a flat floor space for 500 people, rooftop banqueting for 450 guests and a sky terrace offering stunning views over Trinity Inlet and beyond.
While the centre will open in November, expansion works will continue throughout 2021 with the whole project slated for completion by early 2022.
“We have an extensive business development plan in place and will be looking to increase our international and national conferences,” Hamilton told the Cairns Post.
“We will also continue to work with promoters for touring acts, but our main focus is trying to win conventions to bring people here.”
The centre already has a busy 2021 with six conferences delivering 5100 delegates to Cairns locked in.
Conferences already confirmed for 2021 include the 12th Congress of International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience with 400 delegates, the Congress of International Plant Molecular Biology with 1000 delegates and the Australian Society of Anaesthetists National Scientific Congress, also bringing 1000 delegates.
“We are selling conferences up to 2026,” Hamilton told the Cairns Post. “It can take three to five years to win a national conference and 10-15 years to win an international conference.
“That’s why long-term strategy’s really important.”