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.
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 Queensland event organisers 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.
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.
Responsible for event delivery, including operations and marketing, as well as associated financial risks
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
- 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.
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
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.
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:
- Post daily stories on their social channels of each experience they visit
- Share at least three posts on Instagram and Facebook (within 5 days of the event)
- Tag your event accounts and hashtags plus @tropicalnorthqueensland, #explorecairnsGBR or #exploreTNQ
- Tag the operators and suppliers featured in their experiences
- 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.
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
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 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:
- 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].