Darwin Convention Centre (DCC), in partnership with the Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB) recently held its sixth annual familiarisation program “MEET DARWIN – A Journey of Discovery”: a four-day showcase of the city to conference decision-makers, putting the spotlight on Darwin once more as a compelling destination for business events.
In what has become a tradition for DCC, message sticks handcrafted by a local Larrakia artist were sent as invitations – a memorable and authentic introduction to Darwin and its indigenous culture.
DCC hosted the group of CEOs, events managers, marketing executives and academics, from industry associations and events companies who travelled from Australia and Asia to take part in an action-packed itinerary, which highlighted Darwin’s unique destination drawcards.
On hand to welcome the participants and lead an impressive program of business sessions were local government, business and industry leaders including Tony Mayell, CEO for Tourism NT, Greg Bicknell, CEO of Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Professor Barney Glover, Vice-Chancellor of Charles Darwin University. Enlightening updates on Darwin’s economy, the international airport’s master plan, future pathways for research-led Charles Darwin University and the dynamics of business events engaged the attendees.
Held to coincide with two hot dates in the city’s events calendar – the Darwin Festival and the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair – participants were welcomed by a city abuzz with performers, artists, locals and visitors enjoying the vibrant and colourful atmosphere and festivities. Attendees were treated to a private viewing of the Art Fair where unique works from 40 Indigenous art centres from across Australia were on show. An evening at the Darwin Festival was a memorable sampler of the famous 18-day eclectic feast of music, theatre, dance, and cabaret mostly held in spectacular outdoor venues.
Of course a dose of quintessential Darwin experiences was in good order: joining the locals at the Mindil Beach Sunset markets, an immersive Defence of Darwin Experience at the Military Museum and a cooking master class with renowned chef Jimmy Shu of Hanuman Restaurant. A highpoint in the social program was the spirited entertainment provided by B2M, a six-piece band from the Tiwi Islands made up of Indigenous men performing R’n’B pop music with a traditional twist.
“Our ‘MEET DARWIN’ event has proven to be one of our most successful initiatives,” says DCC’s Business Development Manager, Carrie Altamura. “Having had such an exciting and informative visit, they leave Darwin as ambassadors for our city with plenty of inspiration for planning future conferences.”