Event details

Event Name: Northern Australia Food Futures Conference 2021
Destination: Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Venue: Darwin Convention Centre
Attendees: 500 Delegates

About the event

The biennial Northern Australia Food Futures Conference, hosted by the NT Farmers Association, aims to promote the development of agriculture across northern Australia and attracts investors, politicians, industry and community stakeholders from throughout the country. Now in its fourth year, the conference focuses on the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland.

The 2021 conference theme, ‘Development and the Environment’, presented insights to assist investors and industry to profit from sustainable agricultural development, whilst also protecting environmental resources.

Why the NT?

Darwin was widely regarded as a safe destination to visit, giving delegates confidence to attend the conference. Being held at the start of the NT’s ‘Dry Season’, interstate delegates were able to enjoy the warm temperatures and escape the cold southern States’ winter weather.

Darwin offered a modern city experience for delegates, as well as providing close proximity to working farms for field trips plus unique venues for the social functions held during the conference.


The conference date was moved three times due to Covid-19, requiring significant program and planning changes. Despite this, the level of sponsor, exhibitor and delegate participation was the highest ever achieved for a Food Futures Conference.

Originally confirmed for 280 delegates, final attendance across all events grew to 500, with many registrations coming in the final weeks. The Convention Centre was able to accommodate the significant increase thanks to ready availability of food and beverage stocks. The Centre also greatly assisted organisers with a range of short-notice requests, such as a 16-tonne tractor being set up in the exhibition space.

NT Farmers and the event organiser, AA&P Events, liaised closely with the Darwin Convention Centre to implement Covid-safe best practice and management. This included the provision of a dedicated Covid Marshall for the duration of the event.

Special NT Touches

Field Trips are a key component of the conference – in 2021, the itineraries showcased successful Northern Territory business operations and included farms and developments in the Darwin area such as the Export Hub, Humpty Doo Barramundi plus mango and melon farms, along with key supply chain businesses such as Darwin Airport and the Port of Darwin.

A Welcome Reception was staged for invited guests at the Northern Territory Government’s Parliament House, located on State Square in the centre of Darwin city. An Industry Night held at Barramundi Adventures Darwin, a land-based recreational barramundi-fishing farm at Berry Springs, delivered an iconic and relaxed NT experience, providing an opportunity to watch a magnificent Top End sunset while catching a “barra”.

The Gala Dinner staged at the Darwin Convention Centre saw the skilful and creative turnaround of the Hall One daytime plenary set-up into a glamorous dinner and awards night venue. The dinner cuisine was inspired by the Convention Centre’s impressive ‘Seven Seasons’ menu which showcases the culture and cuisine of the local Traditional Owners, the Larrakia people.


Very positive feedback was received from delegates and sponsors regarding the conference. The organisers commented very favourably about the Darwin Convention Centre as the host venue, noting the breadth of their support ranged from the business development team, event co-ordinators, the bump-in and bump-out crews, chefs plus food and beverage department through to security, cleaners and all other staff.

“The Darwin Convention Centre provided a highly-professional and hardworking team who go above and beyond to work with you and support your team to ensure the success of your conference. Located in the heart of the Darwin Waterfront Precinct, it offers easy access to hotels and restaurants and is only a short walk to the Darwin CBD, making it a highly accessible and convenient venue.”

Natalie Bell

Managing Director

AA&P Events