- Last updated:
- 10 Mar 2021
Major events are a strong focus for council. They attract visitors to the region in off peak tourism seasons and build our reputation as a great visitor destination.
The growth of our national profile from sponsored major events has been strong in recent years. We've attracted large, new events covering:
- professional and participation sport
- local food and beverage
- arts and culture.
Throughout 2020 in rapidly changing COVID times, council took a holistic approach to help the local event industry survive long term. This included:
- assisting events to postpone or adapt to new environments
- assisting with the challenges of developing COVID Safe plans for complex events
- developing COVID Safe plans for our venues
- working individually with all local sponsored events to adapt and amend contracts where possible to continue to support the local businesses behind each project.
In 2021, council will continue this holistic approach and support the region to host world class events which attract visitors and promote the Sunshine Coast as an event destination.
Major Events up next
Our destination continues to attract solid visitor numbers for major events including the upcoming Mooloolaba Triathlon (12-14 March), Mooloolaba Mile Swim Festival (21 March) and at the tail end of the school holidays, The Aussies (16-24 April). As the national Surf Life Saving event of the year - The Aussies will run across Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore beaches and parks.
More than 8,000 participants plus their family and friends are expected to visit our region for these events. And it’s not just an event itself which is on display, but the entire destination and those who live and work here - from the warm welcome event visitors receive at check in to the friendly service at the local cafe. Often, the cost of leveraging off an event will be minimal and all that’s really required is a creative and can-do attitude to value adding.
How businesses can prepare products for event business
Here are a few ideas on how your business could leverage off these audiences:
- Consider signage to welcome event attendees
- Dress shop-front windows in the event theme or colours
- Stock up on produce and products
- Offer value adds to existing products and services
- Create themed menus
- Encourage staff to be festival ambassadors by staying informed about the festival and where to direct those seeking more information
- Brief your staff about the type of questions some of your guests are likely to ask
- Embrace the theme of the event – dress your staff or business in a particular way to highlight the event
- Display the official event program at your business
- Take photos and use the festival hashtag to share on Instagram what’s happening in and around the event.
- Offer deals to encourage repeat business.
More strategically consider creating event sponsorship and partnership opportunities for brand marketing. Find out as much as possible about the event, who will be attending, where they are from and the event’s target market. Once you have established from where, work out why they are coming and how you can reach them through your business. There may be real benefits from optimising relationships with event organisers and other partners.