Events Planning

The information on this page will assist you to hold a successful major or regional event in Tropical North Queensland. You can also download the information as a .pdf below.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland 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. Fostering community pride
5. Demonstrating future growth and sustainability
6. Contribution to a balanced events portfolio
7. Demonstrating no adverse environmental impact

Other areas such as increased sports participation, trade relations or awareness of cultural customers will be used where appropriate.

Key Stakeholders

Tourism Tropical North Queensland

As the destination’s regional tourism organisation, TTNQ is responsible for the attraction and acquisition of events and for providing support with marketing activities that increase attendance and length of stay. TTNQ works with several stakeholders to achieve visitation targets and ensure the successful delivery of events in Tropical North Queensland.

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ)

Provide funding for business, hallmark, major and regional events on an application basis that achieves state outcomes. Offer marketing opportunities under the “It’s Live” brand and event optimisation activities for certain events.

Other Government Agencies

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

Local Governments

Provide funding (both cash and in-kind support) on an application basis, often through competitive funding rounds. One-off applications are accepted for hallmark and major events. Offer an extensive range of venues and infrastructure and have a lead role in the facilitation of license and permit requirements. Can assist with community engagement activities.

Event Owner

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


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

TTNQ Major & Regional Events Marketing Support

TTNQ invites applications from Major & Regional Event organisers to receive between $10,000 and $25,000 of funding support for marketing activity.

The funding can be used to amplify an event’s existing marketing activity to:
– drive interstate visitation to the region
– encourage interstate visitors to extend their length of stay and spend whilst in the region

Marketing activity that would be suitable includes:
– media and/or influencer program
– print, digital, TV and radio campaigns

Monies will not be paid directly to the event organiser but to a third party to undertake the marketing activity. The third-party will be mutually agreed to by both TTNQ and the event organiser. TTNQ can recommend suppliers for the activity.

Eligibility criteria:
– Events must be held before 30 November 2022
– Events must be held in Tropical North Queensland
– Events must meet the assessment criteria in the application form

Applying for Funding:
– Each application will be assessed on its own merit as it is submitted.
– The marketing activity must target an interstate audience.
– The support is available until all funds have been distributed.

This project received grant funding from the Australian Government under the Recovery for Regional Tourism program, an initiative of the $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.

Queensland Destination Events Program

The Queensland Destination Events Program (QDEP), seeks to leverage the crucial link between events and the destination. The aims and objectives of 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

QDEP offers two funding options for regional events:
– Destination event funding; single-year funding for developing events seeking growth ($10k – $25k)
– Significant event funding; a single year or up to 3 years of funding for events that can demonstrate a strong track record of growth or growth potential ($25k – $100k)

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

Local Council Grants

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

Festivals Australia

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

Resources for your event

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. Access to our media library is free for tourism events.

All images are to be credited to Tourism Tropical North Queensland. It’s important that you read the terms and conditions prior to registering.

City Dressing

City dressing creates a vibrant event atmosphere in the destination 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 into the region. Your local council can advise how best this can be done in your area. This could include:

  • Branded banners on light poles on main streets surrounding your event venue
  • Billboard or roadside signage
  • Digital signage on large screens positioned around the city
  • Digital signage at the airport welcoming your guests and athletes
  • Triangular corflute bollards that wrap around street poles

Temporary Fence Signage

TTNQ can supply 3.4m teardrop banners, 3m market umbrellas, and up to 300m of mesh fence scrim that is teal with a white ‘Cairns & Great Barrier Reef’ logo. This is great for event branding, shaded areas, to cover temporary fencing, creating privacy for your event, or to assist with attendee traffic flow. The market umbrellas and teardrop banners have weighted bases, and 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, we use Cairns & Great Barrier Reef as the locator for the region, not Tropical North Queensland. The ‘Cairns & Great Barrier Reef’ destination logo should be used to promote events to visitors.

Australian Tourism Data Warehouse

List your upcoming event on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) for free. To list your event you must first register as a user of ATDW-Online by creating an account to manage your ATDW listing.

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 farmers markets.
– Performances: including song, dance and theatre.
– Sporting events: both spectator and participatory.
– Classes, lessons, workshops: including arts/crafts, dance, music, painting, pottery, cooking.
– Business
– Community

What’s In It For My Event?

– Distribute your event on, and
– Feature on the and’s events calendar.
– ATDW automatically updates over 200 distributor websites on your behalf.
– Maintain your own listing online and update at any time.
– Participate in Tourism and Events Queensland’s online and cooperative advertising campaigns.
– Inclusion in the This is Queensland Application for iPhone and Android devices.
– ATDW website performance reports showing top-page views, keywords and the most popular distributor websites. 

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, 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

  • Facebook: Explore Tropical North Queensland, @tropicalnorthqueensland, 214k followers
  • Instagram: @tropicalnorthqueensland, #exploreTNQ, #explorecairnsGBR, 210k followers
  • Twitter: @CairnsGBR, 20k followers

To have your major or regional 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 ie. link to your website or contact details. The image or video should highlight the experience an attendee would have whilst here for an event.

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 whilst they are for your event. We’ve done all the hard work for you!

Showcasing the Destination

To amplify your event in the marketplace, we recommend using the natural assets our region provides. By showcasing the destination your are offering another reason for your event attendees to book tickets, travel to the region, 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. The events listed in this eDM are replicated from our Event Calendar listed on the Destination website. It also contains information on Cruise Ships in the region and events being held at the Cairns Convention Centre.

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 for your event, your stakeholders, and the region. High-profile attendees and media access can assist with getting coverage for your event and can generate demand for tickets for the following years, allowing your event to grow, increase ticket prices, create tiered ticketing packages, attract higher-level sponsorships, and so on.

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. TTNQ can assist with coordinating an influencer’s itinerary. Influencers should:

  • Post daily stories on their social channels of each experience they visit within their itinerary
  • Share three posts on Instagram and Facebook (carousels, reels or single static posts within 30 days of the event)
  • Tag your event accounts plus @tropicalnorthqueensland and use your event hashtags plus #explorecairnsGBR or #exploreTNQ
  • Tag the operators and suppliers featured in their experiences
  • Produce content that is aligned with your event aesthetic as well as to our brand look, feel and language where possible (and natural)

TTNQ can assist with coordinating a media or influencer visit to attend your event. Please contact us with a proposal and include the type of media/influencer you wish to attract, an example itinerary showing why the itinerary would be attractive to media/influencer, 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 along way when you’re marketing your event. It’s a simple task that is often overlooked in planning. 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 guidelines for you.

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 one of (or a combination of):

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

Do you need event statistics for funding stakeholders? Not only can event statistics help to secure funding, but you can make important decisions based on them rather than guesswork. 


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 to engage IER or a similar company, please contact us.