Ideasfest Tourism April 2018 – Ideas to Spark Business

IdeasFest Tourism (watch the stunning 2 minute video!) was an exhilarating one day ideas hackathon event at the Wirraway Business Centre at  Darwin International Airport, open to everyone with tourism ideas and visions for the Territory – Saturday 28th April 2018.  Rust490 was a major organizer.

Like other IdeasFests, this event  grew from the conviction that people’s ideas for business and opportunities abound, yet there are few opportunities for ideas to be heard or elicited- despite well established  fast alternative approaches from the world of start up thinking and innovation to do so. One of the drivers for Rust490 in planning IdeasFest Tourism was SlingshottersHorizons” tourism events in Queensland in 2017.

Tourism is A $1.8 billion dollar industry in the Territory, and one of 5 key sectors in the Northern Territory Government’s 10 year Economic Development Framework – yet it’s been suffering hard times. When the Chief Minister announced at the time of Turbocharge Tourism that he will “leave no stone unturned to support Territory businesses” we decided to  offer some opportunities!

Pre work always helps. Rust490 generated  frames of reference for sparking ideas before IdeasFest Tourism, summarizing 5 big picture idea frames on a page. These included facing deep longstanding tourism  industry challenges (13 of them!) , imaginative and fearless questions, and 5 things that are most likely to make a difference IDEASFEST TOURISM SPARKING IDEAS 

Using a hackathon model and expertly facilitated by Troy Haines from TheSpace in Cairns supported by local entrepreneurs, IdeasFest Tourism 2018 kicked off with 17 people pitching ideas or problems  to a room of  35 participants, who through a structured process formed 6 teams  around the final ideas. The teams worked all day on their concepts using a business canvas model and guided by a small group of us. What a great place to market test/ customer validate for tourism- the airport’ s passenger terminal! At the end of the day the teams pitched their businesses  to a 5 person judging panel- see them in the video !

The teams were TerritoryTimor, Top End Mountain Biking, AdventurHer, Unlocking Darwin Harbour MAK’N MILLION$, RV Friendly and NTWonders.

Here’s a summary of teams, concepts, prizes and the initial pitches IDEASFEST TOURISM SPARKING IDEAS RESULTS. All are highly desirable AND feasible business concepts,  with viability on the day clearer for  some than others, notably for Territory-Timor.

All teams are finding ways to continue working on their ideas. As is always the case after an IdeasFest “sprint” hackathon the cool clear light of day demands iterative re-work, and again where possible Rust490 is fostering agile innovative thinking and tools to qualify in or out business concepts at the next level of rigour.

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