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Visit Sunshine Coast showcases region’s Business Events assets to Brisbane buyers at Crocodile Hunter Lodge

Sunshine Coast operators attended the Soiree, MCed by Olympic gold medal-winner Duncan Armstrong & enjoyed networking with Brisbane buyers

Visit Sunshine Coast attracted over 50 leading Brisbane business event professionals to its annual Sunshine Soiree at The Crocodile Hunter Lodge, showcasing the region’s premium meetings and events venues, accommodations, attractions, and operators.

Sunshine Coast operators such as Venue 114, Spicers Retreats, The Events Centre, Accor, and Evoke Experiences attended the Soiree and were able to network with the Brisbane buyers.

The event was MCed by Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Duncan Armstrong. The Brisbane delegates were treated to a cooking demonstration from celebrity chef Peter Kuruvita of Alba Noosa and experienced some of the Sunshine Coast’s renowned produce at The Crocodile Hunter Lodge’s Warrior Restaurant & Bar, with locally-inspired cocktails.

It is the first time the Soiree has been held on the Sunshine Coast and enabled the Crocodile Hunter Lodge to showcase its restaurant and newly launched event space, Ironbark Paddock, to Brisbane-based meetings and events specialists.

Sunshine Soiree – Erina Kilmore Australia Zoo, Dean Jones FCM, Laurel Koh GHD, Ali Thompson Visit Sunshine Coast & Duncan Armstrong OAM

The Crocodile Hunter Lodge by Australia Zoo is a world-class accommodation and dining retreat that attracts national and international corporate meetings, incentives, and events in a unique setting that encapsulates the region’s ‘great outdoors’ environment.

Visit Sunshine Coast Head of Business Events, Ali Thompson, said it was a perfect venue for highlighting the Sunshine Coast’s strengths as a leading conferences and events destination.

“The Sunshine Coast business events industry contributes significantly to the local economy and importantly supports the region as a year-round destination, with the majority of business events held mid-week and in off-peak periods,” said Ms Thompson.

“Business events are crucial for driving social, cultural, and economic development, creating jobs, infrastructure and legacy, all key elements as we build towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032. Having Duncan Armstrong as MC brought the reality of the Olympic Games even closer to the delegates.”

Erina Kilmore, Head of Global Sales at Australia Zoo said, “We were thrilled to host this wonderful Sunshine Soiree at The Crocodile Hunter Lodge, as we introduced guests to our beautiful event spaces at Warrior Restaurant & Bar and Ironbark Paddock.

“We are thrilled to work with Visit Sunshine Coast and present the Lodge, which honours Steve Irwin’s love and passion for wildlife and wild places, opening an array of opportunities for guests to host their events while being surrounded by the tranquillity of nature.” 

Sunshine Soiree – Kristin Blewman Rio Tinto, Lucy Carmichael UGL Pty Ltd, Lisa Walker KingfisherBay Resort

There was very positive feedback from the visiting Brisbane industry professionals to the Ironbark Paddock event venue, with the space seen as ideal for conferencing, functions, VIP events and incentive groups.

Caroline Saunders, Manager, Global Accounts HelmsBriscoe, reflected the views of the group by saying: “What a great round-up of entertainment and cuisine, and an excellent showcasing of the new spaces available with the Crocodile Lodge and Ironbark.  Really good reminder of all the wonderful things you have available on the Coast.   Just awesome!”

The business event buyers also responded encouragingly to the Sunshine Coast’s sustainability credentials. The delegates had the opportunity to participate in VSC’s new Sustainable Sunshine Coast Program, with 60 more trees to be planted locally as an offset from hosting the event.

The Program was developed in partnership with Reforest, with trees being planted at two initial project locations as a way for local tourism operators and visitors to the region to have a positive local impact.

“Sustainability for business events is increasingly becoming a driving factor in determining where business events are held,” said Daniel Walsh, CEO and Founder of Reforest.

“Our program enables events to leave the Sunshine Coast better than they found it, by planting native trees in local reforestation projects to remove the carbon emissions they generate.”

“The Sunshine Coast has so much potential for business events, with a thriving metropolis of development for future industries and opportunity. This includes the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network Project, the Maroochydore city centre project and smart city initiatives, Sunshine Coast Health Precinct and Business and Technology Precinct plus the airport expansion to name a few” said Ali Thompson.

“The success of the event will go a long way to highlighting the Sunshine Coast’s natural strengths as a business events destination. We thank Australia Zoo, our business events operators, and all the delegates for taking part in such an inspirational and educational event.” 

Operators participating in Sunshine Soiree:

Accor Apartments & Realty, Alba Noosa, Alexandra Park Conference Centre, Aussie World, Australia Zoo, Evoke Experiences, Kingfisher Bay Resort, Mercure Sunshine Coast Kawana Waters, Noosa Springs Golf & Spa, Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort, RACV Noosa Resort, Reforest, Rumba Resort, Venue 114, Visit Sunshine Coast Business Events, Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, Spicers Retreats, Sunshine Beach Surf Club, The Events Centre, Tourism Noosa

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