Major & Regional Events in TNQ

Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) is well-placed to deliver a vibrant and sustainable event portfolio. The dual World Heritage areas of the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest, combined with existing event venues, infrastructure and capacity to deliver world-class events, provide the foundation for the successful delivery of major and regional events that create positive economic and social returns. You can see the Major and Regional Events calendar on our destination website.

TTNQ supports a broad range of events that:

  • draw visitors outside of the region to visit TNQ, and/or
  • encourage visitors to extend their length of stay whilst in the region, and/or
  • exponentially enhance their time spent in the region

Your local council can also assist with support for community and civic events. This is not an area that TTNQ can provide support in.

The information on this page will assist you to hold a successful major or regional event in Tropical North Queensland.

 

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef Event Strategy

TTNQ and Cairns Regional Council recognise the efficiencies and advantages of working jointly to develop a regional event strategy that will guide the region. The C&GBR Event Strategy 2025 defines the region’s priorities for event attraction, optimisation, and growth, as well as a framework for developing a year-round calendar of events.

Working with TTNQ

TTNQ regards events as an excellent destination marketing tool however, they need to provide a return on investment for the region and be sustainable. The following areas are assessed for each event:

1. Contribution to the TNQ economy
2. Attracting visitors to TNQ
3. Enhancing the profile of TNQ
4. Community engagement
5. Demonstrating future growth and sustainability
6. Contribution to a balanced events portfolio
7. Demonstrating no adverse environmental impact

TTNQ is responsible for the attraction and acquisition of events and for providing support to amplify existing marketing activities to increase attendance and length of stay.

View or download the below information on how major and regional events can work with TTNQ.

Key Stakeholders

TTNQ works with several stakeholders to achieve visitation targets and ensure the successful delivery of events in TNQ.

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ)

Provide funding for business, hallmark, major and regional events on application that achieves state outcomes. They also offer marketing opportunities under the “It’s Live” brand and event optimisation activities for certain events. TEQ provides a range of resources to help support event organisers, including the Queensland events guide found here.

Other State Government Agencies

Events may be supported through other government programs such as Arts Queensland, National Parks, Sport & Recreation or Gambling Community Benefit Funds.

Local Governments

Provide funding (cash and in-kind support) on application. One-off applications are accepted for hallmark and major events. Offer an extensive range of venues and infrastructure, facilitate license and permit requirements and can assist with community engagement activities.

Event Owner

Responsible for event delivery, including operations and marketing, as well as associated financial risks

Event Funding

A range of grants are available from local, state, and federal bodies. Event committees should not be reliant on grant funding to run their event. The event should be sustainable, and outcomes and objectives achieved without additional funding. A grant may add value to activities the event organisers are already undertaking.


Queensland Destination Events Program

The Queensland Destination Events Program (QDEP), seeks to leverage the crucial link between events and the destination in which they are staged. The aims and objectives of the QDEP are:

  • Generate local economic activity and development in the host destination
  • Attract external visitation to the destination
  • Drive social and community outcomes for the host destination, noting the important link between community outcomes and economic benefits
  • Enhance the profile and appeal of the host destination

This TEQ Program offers two funding options for regional events:

  • Destination event funding ($10,000-$25,000); single-year funding for events seeking growth
  • Significant event funding ($25,000-$100,000); single-year or up to three years of funding for events that can demonstrate a strong track record of growth or growth potential

The funding can be used for marketing, strategic plan development, engagement of short-term specialised personnel, and hiring temporary infrastructure. Find out more here

Festivals Australia

Organisations can apply for arts and cultural projects that encourage community participation and audience engagement from a festival or community celebration. There are two funding rounds each year which generally open in February and September. Find out more here.

Local Council Grants

Check with your local council to see if they have a Community Grant. 

Resources for your event

TTNQ provides a range of resources to help support event organisers.

Media Libary

Bring your event to life with images and videos of Tropical North Queensland, a region fringed by reef, enveloped by rainforest, and ringed by the red dirt of the Outback. Our Media Library is complimentary to all major and regional events to access. You can register here.

City Dressing

City dressing creates a vibrant event atmosphere and positively contributes to both the visitor experience and local community pride. It is an effective tool for raising awareness of events and provides a great first impression for visitors arriving in the region. Your local council can advise how best this can be done in your area. This could include:

  • Billboard or roadside signage
  • Digital billboards
  • Digital signage at the airport welcoming your guests and athletes

Fencing & Umbrellas

TTNQ can supply the following temporary items that are teal with a white ‘Cairns & Great Barrier Reef’ logo:

  • 3.4m teardrop banners
  • 3m market umbrellas
  • 300m of mesh fence scrim

This is great for event branding, shaded areas, building temporary fencing, creating privacy for your event, or assisting with attendee traffic flow. The market umbrellas and teardrop banners have weighted bases. Each fence piece needs to be zip-tied to a chain-link fence (or similar). Fence scrim sizes include 6m x 1.6m or 5m x 0.9m.

Logos

In our marketing activity, TTNQ uses Cairns & Great Barrier Reef as the main locator for the region, not Tropical North Queensland. The ‘Cairns & Great Barrier Reef’ destination logo should be used to promote events to visitors. It can be downloaded from our Media Library.

Promoting Your Event

TTNQ can assist to promote your event to attract visitors to the region, to increase the length of a visitor’s stay, or to encourage them to spend more during their stay. We do this by amplifying your existing marketing activities. This can be done through many different avenues.

Destination Website

Our award-winning destination website, tropicalnorthqueensland.org.au targets visitors to the region. The event calendar on the website lists events that are suitable to:

  • attract a visitor to the region, or
  • entice a visitor to extend their time in the region, or
  • be a highlight of a visitor’s experience here.

Social Media

To have your event featured on our social media channels, please provide high-quality content. This includes an image or short video (30sec), a carefully crafted caption, and a call-to-action. The image or video should highlight the experience an attendee would have whilst here for an event.

  • Facebook: Tropical North Queensland, @tropicalnorthqueensland, 232k followers
  • Instagram: @tropicalnorthqueensland, #exploreTNQ, #explorecairnsGBR, 226k followers
  • Twitter: @CairnsGBR, 22k followers
  • TikTok: @tropicalnorthqueensland, #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR, 10k followers

Destination Content

We can provide content on the destination for your participant handbook, website, or newsletters to entice visitation to the region or encourage those already attending, to extend their time here. Similarly, we encourage you to use our content on your social channels; link to our destination website or blogs to share ideas about what your event attendees can experience in the region while they are at your event. Contact [email protected] to assist you with content.

Showcasing the Destination

To amplify your event in the marketplace, we recommend using the natural assets our region provides. By showcasing the destination you are offering another reason for your event attendees to book tickets, travel to the region and stay a little longer. We’ve created a Destination Content Package to assist you to thread the destination narrative through your marketing messaging.

It’s Live in TNQ Newsletter

The “It’s Live in TNQ” is a dedicated events newsletter emailed each month to our members and industry partners. The events listed in this newsletter are replicated from our Event Calendar listed on the Destination website.

Publicity & Media Coverage

A balanced event marketing strategy will take into consideration the level of impact your event can have through publicity and media coverage, your stakeholders, and the region. High-profile attendees and media access can assist with getting coverage for your event and generating demand for tickets for the following years, allowing your event to grow, increase ticket prices, create tiered ticketing packages and attract higher-level sponsorships.

Influencer Campaigns

Working with influencers to create hype around your event and generate content for future use, is a great way to increase your event’s contribution to the region. Influencers should:

  1. Post daily stories on their social channels of each experience they visit
  2. Share at least three posts on Instagram and Facebook (within 5 days of the event)
  3. Tag your event accounts and hashtags plus @tropicalnorthqueensland, #explorecairnsGBR or #exploreTNQ
  4. Tag the operators and suppliers featured in their experiences
  5. Produce content aligned with your event aesthetic and the destination brand

TTNQ can assist with coordinating media or influencer visits. Please submit a proposal to [email protected] and include the type of media/influencer you wish to attract, an example itinerary, the objectives of the visit, and the investment required from TTNQ. Each opportunity will be evaluated based on the potential return on investment through reach and engagement.

Content Capture

Ensuring your event has show-stopping imagery and captivating footage goes a long way when you’re marketing your event. We can assist your event to capture content to use in your marketing for years to come and promote the destination at the same time. If you need tips on what to advise your content creators, we’ve put together Event Photography Guidelines for you.

Australian Tourism Data Warehouse

List your event on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) for free. The ATDW distributes your event on Tourism Australia (TA), TEQ and TTNQ’s websites. Other benefits for your event include:

  • You can maintain your own listing online and update it at any time
  • Updates are automatically distributed to 200 agent websites
  • Inclusion in TEQ’s event calendar and in cooperative campaigns
  • Inclusion in the This is Queensland app
  • ATDW website performance reports

Eligible events must provide a direct service or experience to the leisure tourist and fall under one of the following classifications:

  • Exhibitions and shows: including agricultural, local, and regional shows and motor shows
  • Festivals and celebrations: including seasonal, sporting, cultural, music, or art festivals
  • Markets: including food markets and farmer’s markets
  • Performances: including song, dance, and theatre
  • Sporting events: both spectator and participatory
  • Classes, lessons, and workshops: including arts/crafts, dance, music, painting, pottery, cooking
  • Business
  • Community

Connecting with the Tourism Industry

TTNQ has a membership base of over 500 tourism operators and supporters. If your event has an opportunity that you would like to share with them, TTNQ can assist.

Examples of an opportunity that we can share with the tourism industry include:

  • requesting an exclusive tourism deal to share directly with your event attendees via an e-newsletter or website
  • requesting for tourism suppliers to submit a tender to fulfill an element of your event delivery ie. transport, entertainment, accommodation for VIPs etc.
  • requesting participants to put together an accommodation, tour and event ticket package
  • requesting participants for a major prize giveaway

In the above examples, you would need to provide the marketing plan, estimated reach of the activity, and the return on investment for the tourism operators.

Tourism Experiences for your VIPS

Another way to generate interest in your event across multiple platforms is to arrange for your VIPs, performers, or other high-profile attendees to experience the region. An ‘experience’ can be:

  • hosted tours,
  • tickets to an attraction with special access
  • hosted meals
  • hosted accommodation

In return, they’ll share their experience on their social channels, or participate in a media interview opportunity, and local media can be involved. It works much like an influencer or media campaign but on a smaller scale.

TTNQ can assist with connecting you to our industry for tourism experiences for your VIP. Please provide the details to [email protected] for consideration. The proposal should include the VIP/performer details, the tourism experience, the objective of the experience, and the investment required from TTNQ. Each opportunity will be evaluated based on the potential return on investment through reach and engagement.

Evaluating Your Event

We recommend using an independent third party to provide evaluation services for your event, such as IER.

IER

IER provides evaluations of the economic impact generated by your event. This is essential to be able to provide statistics to funding stakeholders to secure future support, it identifies areas of growth and provides an overall snapshot of your event. When you engage IER to evaluate your event, you receive a report, that provides statistics on the following:

  • Attendance
  • Demographic profile
  • Visitor origins
  • Primary purpose of visitors
  • Direct visitor nights
  • Net promoter score
  • Community pride

If you need assistance engaging IER or a similar company, please contact [email protected].

#ExploreTNQ

We’re not afraid of the dark..I mean shark 🦈

Climb aboard @spiritoffreedomcairns to get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to hang out with our marine life as the sun sets! You don’t have to be a diver to experience this epic adventure either - join the fun front the boat deck and peek below the surface 🌚🤿

Will you be trying this on your next liveaboard experience? 😱

🎥 @tabithalipkin #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia #greatbarriereef #sharks
Whether you’re out to catch a barra, hike Australia’s largest island National Park or adventure your way through a scenic 4WD track, #Cardwell is the perfect launchpad for an outdoorsy weekend with a friendly local twist 🎣🍃🏝 Hit the #CardwellForestDrive & make your way to this gem – #AttieCreekFalls – to float away your troubles 💎

📸 @kellerdiaries #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia #cassowarycoast 

[ID: A sparkling blue river running through bushy forest and large granite boulders. In the distance there are tree-covered mountains and a blue clear sky.]
Forget going for a walk to see the sunrise, around here we like to start the morning right...by jumping into it! 🪂 Book now to get your adrenaline pumping with @skydiveaustralia before you start your boring work day 😉🌅

🎥 @tabithalipkin #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia [ID: woman skydiving through the clouds]
Kicking your week off with breathtaking sights of the @athertontablelands 🍃🦋

Around here, you’ll be treated to an abundance of waterfalls, lakes, local produce and more! 🌴✨ It’s time to explore the rolling hills that stretch for miles, and one of the best places to do it is Millaa Millaa Lookout, also known as the McHugh Lookout 🌱

P.S. get your sightseeing started as the sun rises to catch the golden skies over the Tablelands - and don’t forget your jacket, it’s starting to get chilly 🥶

 🎥 @kellerdiaries #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia 

[ID: Camera panning over woman leaning on wooden fence at lookout on the Atherton Tablelands. She is standing under a tree in a white flowing dress and hat. The view overlooks grassy fields, farmlands and mountains in the distance]
We’re telling you, you WANT to be waiting at the finish line to cheer on our champs in #IMCairns tomomorrow! 🏃‍♂️🌴

🎥 @ironmanoceania & @ironmantri #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia

[ID: Drone shot of cairns Esplanade before showing clips of competitors waiting on the beach and then sprinting into the water to start their swim. Followed by clips of competitors running and one man breaking through the finish line banner. Finishes with a clip of cyclist on a long road on the coastline]
In case you didn’t already know, @queensland has some pretty epic locations right here on our own shores…especially in Tropical North Queensland 🌴⛵️

Did you know that all of this and more lies just a 2 hour drive from Cairns!? Say hello to the incredible @cassowarycoastaustralia ☀️🏝️

🎥 @_chelseacavo_ #exploreTNQ #explorecairnsGBR #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia #cassowarycoast #missionbeach

[ID: clips of Mission Beach and Cassowary Coast including: Resort entry overlooking the pool with a pink and yellow sky in the background; boating experience showing snorkelling, blue ocean waters and golden sandy beaches]
If you didn’t already know, the most common residents of Tropical North Queensland are the tourist-turned-locals (aka ‘I came for a holiday and never left)🌴

If you’re wondering why, it’s because of incredible experiences like this one with @oceansafaricaprtib just being part of the every-day! 

Have you gone swimming with turtles before? Drop us a 🐢 or head to our bio link to find out how ☝️

🎥 @rachelsholliday #exploretnq #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia #explorecairnsgbr #portdouglasdaintree #greatbarrierreef #capetribulation [ID: underwater shot of a turtle swimming amongst beautiful coral and a woman swimming alongside the turtle]
Shout out to @crystalbrookflynn for reminding us that winter in the tropics is unlike anywhere else 🌴❄️

Head to our bio link to find winter activities to book on your next holiday ☝️

#exploretnq #explorecairnsgbr  #winter #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia [ID: beautiful scenic shots of cairns in winter including a flight over the Great Barrier Reef, palm tree, sunny beaches, beautiful rainforests and colourful sunsets]
Happy World Oceans Day! 🌊🐠

Around here, the ocean isn’t just celebrated one day a year - it’s everyday! And here are just a few ways you can dive in while you’re exploring Tropical North Queensland 🩵

Head to our bio link to find more ways to explore ☝️

#exploretnq #explorecairnsgbr #worldoceansday #greatbarrierreef 

[ID: clips of woman exploring the bright blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef on a scenic helicopter flight, glass bottom boat, snorkelling, an aquarium and helmet diving]
Tag your hiking buddy 💅😮‍💨

#exploretnq #explorecairnsgbr #hiking #fitness #nature #outdoors