Five Ways to Have a ‘Conference With a Purpose’ in Cairns

The business events industry in Cairns are proving their commitment to being custodians of the natural environment by putting together five ways to have an event with purpose in the region.


“The business events industry in Cairns sees itself as custodians of our natural environment – without which we wouldn’t have an industry,” says Rosie Douglas, General Manager of Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef.

“The region is not only home to two World Heritage listed sites, but also an industry committed to sustainability”, says Douglas.

Here are five ways to have a conference with purpose:

#1 Participate in the Nurturing our Nature with Business Events program to leave a legacy

The recent launch of the Nurturing our Nature with Business Events initiative in Cairns will see five local hotels donate $5 per delegate for all conferences booked and held in 2020 to a not-for-profit organisation that protects and preserves our nature and wildlife.

Hilton Cairns, Pullman Cairns International, Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, Riley, A Crystalbrook Collection Resort and Shangri-La Hotel, The Marina, Cairns are participating in the initiative by honouring that each donation per conference delegate will go to one of four locally based charities; Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Tropical Animal Rehabilitation Centre and North Queensland Wildlife Trust.

Nurturing Nature is aimed at inspiring responsible business events through creating local legacies for event delegates and organisers.

#2 Low emissions on the ground

The convention precinct is centrally located in the heart of Cairns city boasting a range of conference and accommodation venues, adventure and wildlife experiences and dining options, all within close walking distance to each other. The Cairns Airport is conveniently located a short 10-minute drive from the city centre.

Down Under Tours is a locally owned, Eco-certified transfer company that is committed to sustainability in their everyday operations by offsetting carbon emission and partnering with not-for-profit organisations, such as the Treadright Foundation and Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.

Tropic Wings is another locally owned transfer company committed to responsible practices and has recently introduced a collection of fully-electric coaches into their fleet.

#3 Add some team building to your conference

For conferences wanting to incorporate a hands-on volunteering experience, the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is a non-profit organisation dedicated to rehabilitating sick and injured turtles in the Great Barrier Reef. Delegates can get involved by feeding turtles, cleaning turtle tanks and volunteering in the Intensive Care Unit.

Groups can also adopt coral on the Great Barrier Reef through the Reef Restoration Foundation’s Coral Nursery Project that involves rescuing broken coral from the seafloor and replanting in a coral nursery off the shore of Fitzroy Island, which adopters can visit.

Team building initiatives that give back to the region are perfectly paired with the Nurturing our Nature with Business Events program to make double the difference.

#4 Eat local and avoid food miles

Event venues and catering companies across Cairns all share a dedication to featuring menus of locally sourced produce with minimal food miles. Ochre Restaurant and Catering make the. Most of the abundance of local seafood available by sourcing fish, bugs, prawns, scallops, squid and lobster locally from the Coral Sea.

Similarly, Nu Nu Catering and Events supports local farmers by sourcing fresh produce from the local fishermen and the Atherton Tablelands, the Hinterland located 1.5 hours’ drive from Cairns city.

The Crystalbrook Collection has embedded responsible luxury into their hotel philosophy and low food miles is the mantra for their restaurants with the Crystalbrook Station signature beef farmed just a three-hour drive away.

#5 Reduce event waste and use a local exhibition company

Using a locally owned exhibition company can significantly reduce waste from an event, specifically carbon emissions, through minimal transportation of materials. NQ Exhibitions focus on sustainable events and minimising impact to the environment by using specific materials and technology that ensure exhibition signage, booths and promotional materials are reusable or recycled.



Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef, is the official Convention Bureau for Tropical North Queensland. Their role is to market the destination as premier destination for conferences and incentive programs to a global audience.