Cairns takes AIPC prize for the best convention centre

Cairns Convention Centre was last month voted the world’s best, after winning the International Association of Congress Centres’ (AIPC) annual Apex Award. The accolade, described as the ultimate recognition among convention centres, was presented at this year’s AIPC general assembly in Edinburgh. A shortlist of 16 finalists was evaluated by an independent team of researchers, which looked at a range of areas including congress facilities, project management, catering and technology. Cairns finished one position ahead of Austria’s Bregenzer Festspiel und Kongresshaus, while, in a further boost to the Australian market, third place went to Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. AIPC president Barbara Maple said: "We’re pleased to congratulate Cairns on winning the Apex Award and want to emphasise its importance in the industry. In order to win, a centre must have extraordinary performance in all aspects of its operations – a win is not just a peer evaluation but an endorsement by the market itself." Managing director of Cairns Convention Centre Geoff Donaghy was delighted. "It’s very important for us, being away from a capital city where most events have previously been held, that the standards and facilities we offer compare favourably with those anywhere in the world." There was also encouraging news for the UK, with the Brighton Centre, Belfast Waterfront Hall and the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre all reaching the final shortlist. Head of sales and marketing at the Waterfront Andrew Kyle felt the shortlisting was a strong indication of his venue’s international standing. He said: "It shows us how we compare with the best of the best worldwide and, most importantly, it’s based on the feedback of our clients."

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