Cairns Convention Centre has been recognised as a leader in innovation by the International Association of Convention Centre (AIPC), after winning the AIPC Innovation Award (Delegate’s Choice) for its 20th anniversary corporate gift campaign.

The gift, a manta ray sculpture, is made from recycled steel that was salvaged during the centre’s recent roof replacement. Designed by local indigenous artist, Wayne McGinness, the manta ray is one of the ‘Great Eight’ must-see creatures of the Great Barrier Reef and was gifted to stakeholders and clients during the centre’s 20th anniversary celebrations.  

Cairns Convention Centre general manger, Ross Steele, says: “As one of 17 international finalists from all continents of the world, it is an honour to receive this award. It is a reflection of how the convention centre team were able to turn what was a negative – being closed during conference season for a roof replacement – into a positive. It also demonstrates that Cairns and the convention centre are at the cutting edge of industry ideas and innovation.”

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The project, entitled ‘What Do You Do With That Old Roof’, began as a sales and marketing plan and initiated renewed connections with past clients and the sales team. It linked clients back to the Cairns Convention Centre and their place in its history and future.

The AIPC Innovation Award celebrates creative thinking in convention centre management, operations and marketing. The awards ceremony took place at recent AIPC Conference and General Assembly held at the ICC Sydney.

The centre also recently announced plans for a major expansion that will help boost international business.