A large group gathered at Lennox Head Cultural Centre this week for the launch of Business Events Boost, a new initiative to promote Ballina as a working destination.
Following the coronavirus pandemic, Ballina Shire Council is keen to stimulate demand for domestic business events, to help the region’s industries recover.
A new website along with videos have been produced to attract business event bookings to the Ballina Shire, with a series of virtual site visits to showcase the selection of venues available.
Aimed directly at the business event buyer, the latest video shows the experiences to be enjoyed in the Ballina coast and hinterland. Council says the website is a ‘One Stop Shop’ showcasing local businesses and the services offered.
Alicia Wallace, Team Leader Visitor Services said, ‘Council identified an opportunity to entice business events to the region mid-week, when accommodation and venues are generally quiet.
‘Bringing bookings here during the week will assist local businesses to stabilise their operations and improve job prospects for their staff,’ she said.
Ballina Council says the associated economic benefits flow on to the region, as business events bring group bookings to local restaurants, caterers, transport and tour operators, with conference delegates tending to spend money by shopping and enjoying what’s on offer while they’re here on business.
Ballina weathers the storm
Ballina Byron Gateway Airport Manager Julie Stewart also spoke at the launch.
Her presentation showed the surprising resilience of the local airport since COVID compared to other air destinations, with visitor numbers to and from major centres and other regional areas all showing increased demand, and carriers adding new services.
Mayor David Wright said business events were a vital part of Ballina’s long term resilience and sustainability.
‘All levels of government are working hard to get the business sector back on its feet,’ he said, noting that business events pre-COVID were worth $38bn per year to the national economy.
Claire and Evan Harding from the multi-award winning local business Barefruit Marketing shared their journey through COVID, and explained how marketing strategies have adapted in response to marketplace changes, offering tips to local businesses to maximise their all-important digital presence.
Ballina Council is also offering networking and other assistance to local businesses who wish to take advantage of new opportunities from working visitors.
The new video has been designed so it can be embedded on promotional websites and emails.
Natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle
‘Ballina Shire offers natural beauty, it’s easy to get here and we have a relaxed lifestyle that’s appealing to corporates,’ said Ballina’s Council’s Alicia Wallace.
‘These customers also like to support social enterprise and give back to regional communities. Business events can really benefit the entire Ballina Shire on so many levels. We are a safe destination and market ready for business events,’ said Ms Wallace.
The new promotional video for Ballina as a business destination is below:
More stories about Ballina Shire Council:
Cr Cadwallader's second version of the motion came with an extra suggestion referring directly to the dumped option of a new hinterland dam in Dunoon.
Cr Cadwallader has taken advantage of a local government rule allowing councillors to reintroduce a failed motion without having to wait three months if they have the signed support of at least two other councillors.
Councillors and members of parliament from across the region are calling for greater restrictions on who can come to the Northern Rivers and other vulnerable regional areas from COVID hotspots in NSW.
Cr Cadwallader told The Echo on Thursday she’d be asking council staff to pursue the matter of policing resources in the shire after last month winning majority council support to pressure the government on the future of Lennox Head Public School.
Cr Cadwallader said earlier this year she’d be running for mayor in the next local government elections and that water security, particularly the dumped Dunoon Dam proposal, would be one of her key campaign issues.