The sunshine state of mind was on display in the latest Visit Sunshine Coast Business Events famil, where an immersion in the diverse natural environment set the stage for clear minds and open hearts, a combination that delivers powerful business outcomes.
Touchdown at Sunshine Coast Airport to check-in at the Novotel Sunshine Coast resort was a mere 20 minutes, where seven business event planners from Melbourne were greeted with an invitation to drop their shoulders and relax.
“You instantly feel more relaxed here,” said Katie Shaw from Flight Centre Group, “The sunshine and green space just puts you in a better mood and opens up the ability to balance deep work with that holiday feeling.”
Nature was present on the itinerary from the moment the curtains opened, with greetings from neighbourhood kangaroos and their joeys before a modern breakfast spread nestled within the 72 hectares of tall trees and chirping birds, where guests alternated between grazing and catching a few well-needed rays.
The Sunshine Coast Convention Centre, situated within the Novotel’s grounds, made an ideal location for focused work with its flexible, high-capacity spaces and 12 metre screen capability, while further south sits the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sunshine Coast, the newest venue joining the coast, with its rooftop pool and sweeping views of the Maroochydore CBD.
When paired with the Sunshine Coast’s unique local experiences, event organisers can deliver a business event that reconnects participants to self and others, a key driver of many business events that are bringing together groups for the first time in several years.
High-energy experiences enabled team-bonding, with guests of the famil participating in speedy go-kart races at the largest commercial go karting track in Australia Big Kart Track, motorcycle rides with Sunshine Coast Motorcycle Hire & Tours and a sail across blue waters with Saltwater Eco Tours, where local skipper Simon Thornalley provided a bush tucker experience.
Participants were introduced to local suppliers at all touch points, from Buderim Ginger treats in handmade tote bags, to fresh, responsibly caught seafood at the newly opened Lanai Restaurant in Noosaville, but it’s the region’s focus on conservation and sustainability that stood out the most for guests.
Participants had the opportunity to experience Australia Zoo and its unique event spaces, well known for its impressive conservation work, as well as the more recently developed Crocodile Hunter Lodge. This high-end eco-accommodation and Warrior Restaurant & Bar features interiors and artworks designed by local First Nations artists, with the entire lodge delivering a feeling of being immersed in the bush.
One guest, with a passion for sustainable and locally supportive destinations, even booked herself a stay for her upcoming honeymoon.
“The destination’s focus on sustaining the local environment is reflected in everything we do,” said Ali Thompson, Visit Sunshine Coast’s Business Events Manager.
“The Sunshine Coast is the only location in Australia where three UNESCO Biospheres sit side by side. These sites create a corridor of international excellence, responsible conservation, and sustainable living, stretching uninterrupted along the Sunshine Coast slice of the Queensland coastline – simply put, it’s paradise in its natural glory.”
As one participant of the famil said, the escape from city living allowed for a shift in headspace, moving her from intensity and reactivity to tranquillity and presence.
The spaces and experiences for business events in the Sunshine Coast were shown to value open spaces, natural light, local immersion, and a genuine sustainability of land – a combination that makes space for fresh thinking, connection and the flow of new ideas for delegates.